Md Shah Jahan Shahin
The Comilla University authority is razing and cutting hills and hillocks, destroying e and violating the environmental law, to build a teachers club cum guest house despite having issued a show cause notice by the Department of Environment, Comilla.
According to Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act 1995 (amended in 2000), cutting hills without having approval from the environment authorities is prohibited.
A recent visit by this reporter found that nearly half of the hill on the west side of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall of the university has already been cut off and rest was under process even without any concern of the Department of Environment.
Earlier on January 8, Environment Department, Comilla Directorate issued a show cause notice to the university authority, asking why legal actions wouldn’t be taken against them, for razing some part of another hill on the north side of the central field unlawfully to increase its size. Concerns fear landslides on the campus can happen any time for this folly action of the authority.
Regarding this issue our reporter talked with a couple of teachers and students of the university and they expressed their anger about razing hillock.
They expected that the authority should have shown respect to the country’s law and to save Lal Matir campus. They can’t do such an indiscreet act in the name of development, they released this anger.
When contacted with Jahangir Alam, contractor of the Teachers Club-Cum Guest House, said that “We took mud from the hill to fill up the low-level of the building as it needed equilibrium.” Asked if they had approval letter of the Environment Department to raze the hill, he kept silent.
However, the university Registrar (in-charge) Professor Md. Abu Taher denied the allegation and said that they didn’t instruct the contractor to remove soil from the hill. No excavation has been done in the hill, he added.
Environment Department, Comilla Directorate, Instructor Md. Nazrul Islam said that they would take legal action against the authority if the allegations were found.