According to the Hill District Council Act 1989 and Chittagong Hill Tracts Regulation 1900, no land, including khas land, shall be leased out, settled with, purchased, sold, or transferred without prior approval of the concerned department, but this law is hardly implemented. Many lives have been lost in the CHT due to landslides in the last several years, the main reason of which was illegal hill-cutting. Only last Tuesday, four people including a child died in a landslide in the district. But such tragedies could not stop these people from cutting hills. What is more worrying is that the authorities who are supposed to stop such illegal activities are also a party to these acts.
We urge the government to take immediate action against the owners of the project and other organisations that are destroying the hills in the name of development work. Hill-cutting must be stopped at any cost as this affects the ecology, biodiversity, and geological formation of the area. The government must strictly enforce the laws if the CHT environment is to be saved from permanent damage.