The Roads and Highways (R&H) Department felled more than 100 trees on Barisal-Dhaka highway with an excuse for smooth traffic movement before and during Eid vacation.
While visiting Barisal-Bhurghata portion of the highway recently, this correspondent found that the labourers employed by the R&H Department cut down the trees through trunks at many places and branches of big trees at some points without inviting tender.
Mizanur Rahman, work assistant of R&H Department, claimed that only the branches of some korai, shishu, mahogany, chambol and rain trees were felled on Barisal-Bhurghata portion of the highway for safe movement of buses and other passenger-carrying motor vehicles during Eid rush.
Contacted, Md Nasiruddin, sub-assistant engineer of R&H Department admitted to felling of some trees though trunks and branches of some others on emergency basis to ensure safe journey of home-goers before and during Eid holidays.
However, the R&H officials in Barisal said no tender was invited to do the job due to 'shortage of time.'
Sukumar Biswas, director of the Department of Environment (DoE) at its Barisal office, said felling of roadside trees without tender or coordinated decision of Roads and Highways, environment and forest department is prohibited under the existing laws.
Md Khaled Shahed, executive engineer of R&H in Barisal, said the branches of some roadside trees felled to ensure smooth movements of buses and other vehicles during the coming Eid festival.
“We did the job on an urgent basis without inviting tender as per directive of our of head office,” the executive engineer said, adding that he was not aware of cutting down the trees on the Barisal-Bhurghata portion of the highway.