It is illegal to allocate land for construction in environmentally-endangered forests, says the organization
The Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) has expressed concern over the government’s decision to construct establishments on 700 acres of the Jhilangja forest near Marine Drive in Cox's Bazar.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Bapa demanded the immediate cancellation of this initiative to build the Bangladesh Civil Service Administration Academy and Bangladesh Administrative Service Association and so protect the forest.
The statement was signed by Sultana Kamal, president of Bapa, and Sharif Jamil, general secretary of the green group.
The Forest Department has been maintaining Jhilangja forest since the British government declared it a “protected forest” in 1935.
The allotted land has around 400 acres of hills and 300 acres of rhyme or fountains.
The Forest Department earlier sent letters to various departments concerned stating that “this land is non-negotiable”.
But the Ministry of Land “illegally” leased the land to the Ministry of Public Administration, ignoring the objections of the Parliamentary Committee on the Forest Department and the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Bapa says.
Also Read - Bapa calls for making Sundarbans a tiger habitat
The green group states that it is illegal to allocate lands for the construction of any type of facility in environmentally endangered and protected forests under the Environmental Protection Act.
The market value of the land allotted is Tk4,803 crore but the token price for the academy has been set at Tk1 lakh, reads the statement.
Bapa also protested all the initiatives, including the establishment of a safari park in Moulvibazar, destroying the forests, rivers, hills, nature and environment of the country.