Protect people from landslides

Seminar calls for action to stop recurrence of manmade disaster
Fire service men and locals conduct a search and rescue operation following a landslide at Jungle Salimpur Village of Sitakunda yesterday. Photo: Star

Speakers at a seminar in the capital yesterday called for the protection of the environment in the country's hilly areas by taking up of long-term plans to tackle landslides.

They said manmade reasons like unabated cutting of hills, deforestation and development activities without precautionary measures triggered frequent landslides in the areas.

Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) in association with Bangladesh-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bangladesh-China Cultural and Economic Centre (BCCEC) and Chinese embassy in Bangladesh organised the seminar held at Cirdap, says a press release.

Prof Shahidul Islam, of Dhaka University's Geography and Environment department, said construction of roads without taking preventive measures after cutting hills was a key reason behind this year's landslides.

Landslide is considered as one of the key disasters around the world, but it is yet to be recognised as a “disaster” in Bangladesh, he said, stressing the need for forming a hill management cell for effective measures to control landslides.

Prof Badrul Imam of DU's Geology department said long-term plans needed to be taken up by identifying risky hills, and unplanned development activities had to be stopped.

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon said Bangladesh achieved capability in disaster management.

He, however, said the recent casualty from landslides was an unfortunate incident and called for carrying out development activities in hills, taking into consideration the protection of the environment.

Columnist Syed Abul Maksud, Bapa General Secretary Abdul Matin, Director of DU Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies Prof Mahbuba Nasrin and BCCEC General Secretary Shahjahan Mridha, among others, spoke on the occasion.


কঠিন সময়ের বাজেট

আগামীকাল বৃহস্পতিবার অর্থমন্ত্রীকে টানা দ্বিতীয় বছরের মতো অর্থনৈতিক চাপ মোকাবিলার উদ্যোগ নিয়েই হাজির হতে হবে। কারণ, বিদায়ী অর্থবছরে গৃহীত ব্যবস্থা প্রত্যাশিত প্রতিকার এনে দিতে পারেনি।