Indiscriminate tree killing festival is going on in Kushtia. In suburban Kumargara area, an influential gang has cut down over six hundred fruit and forest trees on both banks of the Ganga-Kapotaksha (GK) irrigation project. It is as if there is no one to see trees being cut down indiscriminately.
Talking to the locals, it is known that about six hundred fruits and forest trees in an area of about one kilometer on both sides of the GK irrigation canal running along Kumargara BC of Kushtia Sadar Upazila have been indiscriminately cut down by local influential circles for the past few days. An official of the Water Development Board’s Irrigation Extension Department and the local municipal ward councilor number 20 have been accused of involvement in this festival of tree cutting. Electric saws are being used for quick tree removal.
Tarikul, a resident of Kumargara Khalpara area, said that for more than a week, the trees on the canal bank are being cut and taken by trolley loads. But no one dares to speak against those who are cutting these trees.
He said that there were at least 600-700 trees on both sides of the Kushtia-Jhenaidah highway starting from the culvert to a distance of about one kilometer to the east. With the help of electric saws, the trees are quickly cut and transported by trolley loads.
Residents complain that this tree killing festival is going on indiscriminately under the leadership of local councilor Ejazul Hakim, Irrigation President of Baria Village Abdul Khalek and Assistant Irrigation Extension Officer of Paubo Kushtia Afzal Hossain.
However, Afzal Hossain, Assistant Irrigation Extension Officer of Paubo Kushtia denied the allegations and claimed that the local residents had cut down the trees in front of their houses. He is not involved in cutting this tree.
And Ejazul Hakim, Ward Councilor No. 20 of Kushtia Municipality, said, “It is not my responsibility, it is the association’s responsibility.” I don’t know who is planting trees, who is cutting them.
In this regard, Divisional Forest Officer of Kushtia Social Forestry Department GM Mohammad Kabir said that there is no alternative to afforestation and tree planting to save environment and life. Action will be taken in this regard after inquiry.
Rashidur Rahman, executive engineer of Paubo Kushtia, said that a local miscreant gang had cut down different types of trees from both sides of the irrigation canal, and on August 6, Kushtia Model took legal action on the names of Abdul Khalek and Salim Hossain of Baria village of the local oil union. A written complaint has been made to the police station.
However, Kushtia Model Police Station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Syed Ashiqur Rahman said, I am not aware that anyone has made any written complaint to the police station in this incident. Action will be taken after inquiry.
Kushtia District Commissioner Ehtesham Reza said that the government has taken many initiatives in tree planting and afforestation across the country to combat global warming. For this purpose, various programs including a week-long tree fair are being implemented in Kushtia. Strict action will be taken against those involved in tree killing to disrupt these initiatives. No exemption will be given to anyone in respect of tree killing.
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