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13 January, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Illegal sawmills operate near Rangabali forest

OUR CORRESPONDENT
Illegal sawmills operate near Rangabali forest
This recent photo shows an illegal saw mill near the forest of Charmontaj range in Rangabali upazila of Patuakhali district. Independent photo

Complaints have been raised about local influential people running unlicensed sawmills near the forest of Charmontaj range in Rangabali upazila of Patuakhali district.

Allegedly on a monthly arrangement of bribes with some unscrupulous forest officials, 11 sawmills have been operating near the forest for several years, said reliable sources.

This reporter saw the mills on a visit to the island upazila. The sawmills of Zia Faraji and Masum lie within half a kilometre of the sluice market of Charmontaj range. Abu Mia has set up his sawmill 3 km from Darbhanga forest, while Firoz’s sawmill is a kilometre away from the Darbhanga sluice area.

Jamal Sharif has set up his sawmill a kilometre from the forest of Madhya Charmontaj forest, while Shahjada’s sawmill is within a kilometre of the Charbestin forest. Mohiuddin’s sawmill is a kilometre from Nalua forest, and Mohan Hossain’s sawmill is within half a kilometre of Charmondol forest.

These unlicensed sawmills were allegedly set up four to five years ago.

But, strangely, the forest department is yet to take any legal action against them. The sawmill owners claimed that they have an arrangement of monthly bribes with a certain section of

foresters.

Abdus Salam, the beat officer of Charbestin Camp, said, “Five sawmills have been shut in my area. I cannot say how the rest of the mills are still operating.”

Mizanur Rahman, beat officer of Charmontaj Sadar camp, denied the monthly bribe arrangement charge. “I have joined work here very recently. The previous beat officers had served notice to the owners to shut down their unlicensed sawmills.”

Charmontaj range officer Zahangir Hossain did not respond to this reporter’s calls.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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