One of the errant enterprises was penalized for cutting hills, while the others were fined for not obtaining Environmental Clearance Certificates
The Chittagong regional office of the Department of Environment (DoE) has fined four errant businesses a total Tk10.65 lakh, for cutting hills and running factories without Environmental Clearance Certificates.
The fines were imposed on the businesses on Tuesday.
Among the four fined businesses, Feel Private Company Ltd, Bandarban was fined Tk10 lakh; Ash Shefa Hospital Private Ltd, Satkania, Chittagong was fined Tk30,000; Popular Hospital and Diagnostic Centre, Satkania, Chittagong was fined Tk20,000; and Alight Hospital and Diagnostic Centre, Satkania, Chittagong was fined Tk15,000.
Muktadir Hasan, assistant director of the DoE (Chittagong Region), said the errant enterprise in Bandarban was penalized for cutting hills, while the others were fined for not obtaining Environmental Clearance Certificates.
As per the Environment Conservation (Amendment) Act 2010, hill cutting is a cognizable offence and no government, semi-government, or autonomous organization is allowed to cut or raze hills without prior permission from the authorities concerned.
The penalty for cutting hills without approval is up to two years imprisonment, a fine of Tk2 lakh, or both for a first offence. For subsequent offences, the penalty is up to ten years imprisonment, a fine of Tk10 lakh, or both.
Under the terms of the Building Construction Rules 1996, Environmental Clearance Certificates must be obtained from the Department of Environment in order to raze or cut any hill.
Unsustainable use of land and rampant hill-cutting are two major reasons behind the vulnerability of the hilly region of Chittagong to landslides.