The Department of Environment (DoE) has served a show-cause notice to Khulshi Club Limited of Chittagong for illegally levelling hills.
The notice served on January 1 mentioned that the club was causing damage to the environment through cutting down lands classified as hills or hillocks for infrastructural development.
The president and vice-president of the club adjacent to Ansar Camp under Khulshi police station were asked to appear at a hearing at Chittagong DoE office.
According to the notice, the president and vice-president of the club will have to explain why necessary legal measures should not be taken against them for damaging the environment through hill cutting.
No government, semi-government or autonomous organization is allowed to cut or raze hills without prior permission from authorities concerned as per the Environment Conservation (Amendment) Act 2010.
However, Rafique Uddin Babul, vice-president of Khulshi Club Ltd, described the allegation as baseless.
“There is no hill or hillock within the boundary of the club. We only levelled some high ground to demarcat the boundary of the club,” said the vice-president.
According to law, hill cutting is a cognizable offence and the punishment for cutting or razing hills can go up to two years of imprisonment or Tk2 lakh fine, or both.
If the offence is repeated, the person or organization shall face 10-year imprisonment or be fined Tk10 lakh, or both, according to the law.
Under the terms of Building Construction Rules-1996, clearance certificate must be obtained from Department of Environment for razing or cutting any hill.