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Stop hill cutting at Sajek Valley: HC

Published : 02 Apr 2024 10:29 PM

The High Court has ordered the government to stop hill cutting at Sajek Valley at Baghaichhari upazila in Rangamati.

The court also issued a rule asking the authorities concerned of the government to explain why the administration’s inaction to stop the hill cutting should not be declared illegal.

The HC bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil issued the order and the rule on Tuesday (April 2) following a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) seeking necessary directives in this regard.

The HC bench also directed the administration to form a monitoring team to ensure that no one can cut hills without permission from the Department of Environment (DoE).

The HRPB filed the writ petition on April 1 as alarming news of cutting down hills to construct swimming pool by a resort authorities came on newspaper on March 29.

Senior lawyer of Bangladesh Supreme Court Advocate Manzill Murshid appeared moved the plea for the HRPB. He was assisted by lawyers Sanjay Mondal and Zahid Talukder, while Deputy Attorney General Pratikar Chakma represented the state.

During the hearing, Advocate Manzill Murshid told the HC that an influential group is destroying the natural balance at Sajek Valley and its environment by cutting its hills, which must be stopped.

However, no action was taken against them even though reports were published in the media. He appealed that the court’s direction was necessary as the matter is related to public interest. He also 

said that according to Section 6B of the Environment Conservation Act -1995, cutting hills without permission is prohibited. However, the influential group is destroying the nature defying the law.