Commissioner Mahbub Alam Talukder devised this unethical scheme to make a handsome amount of money, the locals and environmentalists alleged
When over a hundred trees surrounding the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner's Office in Cox’s Bazar were abruptly cut down on Tuesday, it triggered widespread criticism among environmentalists and locals alike.
They say the mistake to cut down these longstanding trees was a grave one, as it will surely have a detrimental effect on the environment.
Commissioner Mahbub Alam Talukder devised this unethical scheme to make a handsome amount of money, the locals and environmentalists alleged.
Deepak Sharma Dipu, founder and president of Cox's Bazar Forest and Environment Protection Council, said: “Mahbub Alam all of a sudden decided to cut over a hundred trees that helped maintain a serene environment for decades. This act will likely endanger the environment here. For a long time, these tall trees provided a pleasant environment which attracted many visitors.”
District Forest Department Forest Officer Humaiyun Kabir said: “Before cutting down any government or privately owned trees, the forest department has to be notified so they can determine its value and charge a certain amount in exchange for the permission. However, the forest department was not made aware before the incident occurred.”
When contacted, Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mahbub Alam Talukder said: “We are renovating the office building and its surroundings. For this purpose, some trees were cut down. We shall have to cut a few more, as barely any sunlight can enter the premises. We will plant more trees in return, if necessary.”
When asked about the issuing of tenders for cutting and selling the trees, he claimed the trees were not cut illegally, but also admitted that the Forest Department was not notified beforehand.