Conserving Ukhiya forests and woodlands is a challenge due to manpower shortage

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Mohammad Aman Ullah

Cox's Bazar Correspondent

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Eati Akter

Sub editor

 Ukhia of Cox’s Bazar has 42 thousand acres of forest land. But, a large part of it is now in the face of destruction due to the violence of forest bandits. They are cutting down the forest trees. Only 40 officers and employees of the forest department are protecting this vast forest land. As a result, the forest department is unable to stop them despite efforts due to manpower shortage. According to the information received, there are 3 people working in Haldia Palang bet under Ukhia range, 2 people in Vanukia bet, 2 people in Walapalong bet, 1 person in Ukhia Sadar bet, 4 people in Dauchari bet, 2 people in Ukhia Ghat bet, Thaingkhali bet and Mochar open. There are 2 people in beat and 3 people in range office. With the new 5, there are a total of 24 forest workers. Also, 16 forest workers in 4 bits including Inani Sadar, Chowankhali, Jaliapalong, Rajapalong bits under the Inani range. Recently conducted several operations. Illegal dumpers with sawmill seized. Recently, several forest lands of the forest department have been recovered by conducting an operation in Ukhia, along with the seizure of a sawmill. According to the local conscious, before 2017, there was a large amount of trees in the forest land in Ukhia. Social forestry also did. But in 2017, the oppressed Rohingyas from Myanmar continued to enter Bangladesh and constantly occupied the area’s mountain forests and built houses. The forest area has been affected. Ukhia range officer Gazi Shafiul Alam said, I have only 24 officers to protect 9 thousand 78.39 hectares of forest land. We are working to protect forest or forest land. Recently we have seized several environmentally destructive equipments including sand mining, sawmills. There is a manpower crunch at our range. Even after that, we have been fulfilling the government duties by leaving the illusion of life. He also said that the forest department is trying to save the government forest land. Due to shortage of manpower, operations cannot be carried out on time despite the desire. But regular eviction operations are being carried out in the areas accused of encroachment under strict surveillance. Action will be taken against whoever is the encroachment. Their accomplices will also come under the law. Inani range officer Feroz Al Amin said that at least 60 people were needed to protect 20 thousand acres of forest land. But there are 16 people. Although there is a shortage of manpower, we are in a strict position to protect forest land. Wherever forest land is encroached, eviction operations are being carried out. And the evacuation will continue.

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News Source

Mohammad Aman Ullah

Cox's Bazar Correspondent

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