Thousands at risk of landslide

Thousands of people living on the slopes of the Chittagong Hills, Chittagong Hill Tracts and Cox's Bazar are exposed to landslides during the rainy season due to the hillside cut and 39 And unauthorized use of public lands.

Many cut hills and trees to build their homes while others rent chalets built on rugged land captured by influential people. The trend could not be interrupted despite the repeated landslides that have cost dozens of lives to districts over the years.

Yesterday 's landslides in Chittagong, Rangamati and Bandarban after the Monday evening rain shower resumed the story.

Environmentalists had feared such landslides, as in 2007 when 117 were killed in the town of Chittagong.

In the town of Chittagong, more than 50,000 people from low-income groups live on the slopes of 30 hills.

Abdul Jalil, Chittagong 's new deputy commissioner (Revenue), said they were driving eviction orders, and that city authorities should also do the same to recover illegally occupied land.

The Hill Management Committee, after the landslides of 2007, proposed the permanent rehabilitation of hill dwellers, afforestation and the construction of retaining walls on hills vulnerable to landslides.

Locals, however, have stated for many years that the Chittagong District Administration has been asking people to leave the hills by megaphones and expel them during the monsoon.

Amena Begum, a resident of the Batali Hill area, said before the cyclone Mora that she left her home with her son five years after the city authorities disconnected her public services.

She came back the next day.

"My husband is an addict, he does not care for us, I have no choice but to go home because it is not possible for me to Rent a house elsewhere, "said Amena, a help at home.

Md Al Amin, a resident of the Motijhorna region, said that he had nowhere to go.

"Our income is not enough to rent a house outside this area … If they (the concerned authorities) give us a permanent place, we will go there," he said.

Professor Jahangir Alam, former vice-chancellor of the Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, said that when the cutting of trees and hills continued unabated, the consequence was Landslides by rainy reason, because most of the hills of Chittagong and hill areas have a mild soil.

Jahangir said that many influential and politically blessed people were behind the hillside, building houses on hills and praising them to the poor. There were at least 15 hills in and around the town of Chittagong where illegal cutting of hills was underway, he added.

According to an official of the district administration, about 60,000 people in Bandarban live on the foot and slopes of the hills.

Jumlian Amlai, chairman of Chittagong Hill Tracts Forest and Land Rights Protection Movement Chapter Bandarban, said cutting hills and building houses, there were disasters.

He said that the people of the hill do not cut the hills to build houses. If somebody really needs to build a house on a slope of the hill, they build traditional "Machang" type houses using pillars, not crossing hills.

Settlers usually inhabit hills to build houses. In recent times, some Rohingyas have also cut hills.

Jumlian said that people mainly in Lama, Naikkhangchhari, Ali Kadam and Bandarban Sadar have houses on the slopes of the hills.

Shahidul Haque, who rents a house on a slope of the hill at Kashempara of Bandarban, said: "I know this is risky during the rainy season, but what can I do? Poor gun-shoot. "

He stated that he had moved to Bandarban from Patuakhali in 2008 and, after two years, his wife and children joined him. Since then, they have lived there.

Akbar Hossain Chowdhury, Mayor of the Rangamati Municipality, said that about 6,000 people lived on slopes of hills vulnerable to landslides.

The district had the highest number of dead in landslides yesterday.

COX & # 39; s BAZAR

It is estimated that a lakh people live in houses on hillsides and slopes in the city of Cox 's Bazaar, according to district administration officials.

People cut hills and trees and build houses on the lands and forests of Khas, said Md Ali Kabir, Divisional Forest Officer in Coaz's Bazar (South).

Cox's Deputy Commissioner Bazar, Ali Hossain, said the government has embarked on a project to rehabilitate the poor living illegally on the hills.

Our correspondents from Cox's Bazar, Rangamati and Bandarban contributed to this report.

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