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744 families living on Khagrachhari hills amid landslide risk

  • Published at 10:40 am July 28th, 2020
People are unwilling to evacuate their homes under risk of landslide disaster in Khhagrachhari town. Photo taken on Tuesday, July 28, 2020
People are unwilling to evacuate their homes despite the threat of landslide disasters in Khhagrachhari town. Photo taken on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 | Dhaka Tribune

The district administration has adopted a zero tolerance policy to stop cutting of hills in order to prevent landslide, said the district's deputy commissioner

More than 744 families have been living on the slopes of 40 hills in nine upazilas of Khagrachhari amid danger of landslides, which are quite common during monsoon.

Locals complained that local administration remains indifferent about constructing makeshift settlements on hill slopes and have been cutting hills round the year. Moreover, now they have become active as the monsoon has arrived.

To mitigate casualties from recurring landslides, authorities conducted drives in several areas and public announcements were made to inform the locals, said Deputy Commissioner Prothap Chandra Biswas.

The district administration has adopted a zero tolerance policy to stop cutting of hills in order to prevent landslides, said Protap Chanda Biswas.

In the last few days, continuous rains have triggered landslides in different areas of Khagrachhari town including Sabujbagh, Shalbagan, Comilla Tila, and Kalabagan areas, creating anxiety among families living on the foot of the hills.

Two mud houses have collapsed recently due to landslides, said locals. Besides, several houses were also damaged but no casualties were reported.Photo: Dhaka Tribune

Although miking is going on, the residents of the areas are not evacuating, said the deputy commissioner.

On the other hand, people living in the areas said that they had no alternative place to shift to, so they had to stay on the hill slopes despite the risk.

“I have nowhere else to go. We will stay here no matter what our fate has in store for us,” said Noor Mohammad, a resident of Harinathpara area in the district.

“If we leave our homes, criminals would rob our valuables. We cannot leave our homes,” said another resident of the area.

Pradeep Chowdhury, president of the Khagrachhari Environmental Protection Movement, said that any big accident may take place anytime if the people living on the hills are not relocated.

Khagrachhari municipality Mayor Rafiqul Alam said that the municipality and district administration were working to evacuate people living in the risky areas.

Besides, shelters have been prepared and the district administration is working to raise awareness among local residents.Photo: Dhaka Tribune

DC Pratap Chandra Biswas said they have emphasized on stopping hill razing as a permanent step towards preventing landslides.

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