Green groups send letter to stop construction on forest land in Cox’s Bazar

Numerous environmental groups have written to the authorities requesting the cancellation of the 700-acre lease of hilly forest land under Jhilangja Muza of Cox's Bazar Sdar. This lease was acquired in order to establish the "Bangabandhu Academy of Public Administration".

Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon, Transparency International Bangladesh and Association for Land Reform and Development were all represented in a joint letter to the concerned ministries and agencies.

They also requested that the government cancel the project and expand the existing Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre, which is located in Savar, on 54 acres.

They said that Naming an establishment after Bangabandhu, who destroyed forests, biodiversity, and wildlife habitats, would be disrespectful to the Father of The Nation.

Concerning the lease of 700 acres of land, the Forest Department stated on January 6, 2019, that the area was protected forest and objected to its acquisition by Land Ministry.

Forest lands are also non-retainable property according to the State Acquisition and Tenancy Act 1950.

According to the Forest Department, the proposed area is a hilly forest under its custody. Hills and slopes will only be used for forestry in accordance with the Land Ministry directives.

The department stated that Jhilangja Mouza was declared an ecologically critically important area and prohibited deforestation and any other activity that could damage or alter the natural features.

These organizations noted that Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration was built in India on just 189 acres of land while Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban in Bangladesh was built on 215 acres.