An earthen road illegally built by miscreants in a reserve forest in Hathazari Range was destroyed by upazila administration along with the forest department, who feared it would facilitate the stealing of forest resources from the rich reserve forest of Chattogram.
The road was built in Mondakini forest under north division of Chattogram Circle in the beginning of December.
Ruhul Amin, upazila nirbahi officer of Hathazari upazila told The Daily Star that the road was two kilometres long and 12 feet in width, built in such a way that it would remain hidden if someone looked from outside the forest.
The perpetrators cut a hill and used its soil to make the road, he added.
“The road was built in an attempt to steal trees from deep inside the reserve forest, which has huge market value. As forest department sought our help, we assisted in destroying the road by engaging around 70 day labourers,” he said.
Contacted, Bakteyar Nur Siddiqui, divisional forest officer of Chattogram Forest Circle (north) told this paper that they were able to destroy the road before miscreants could do any more harm.
“We suspect the muddy road was built to steal forest resources. As our foresters were vigilant, we with help from upazila administration destroyed the road,” he said.
Forest department sources said miscreants are constantly trying to steal trees to supply to brick kilns, as winter is the peak season for manufacturing bricks.
Forest department in the meantime filed a case against 34 people including four named persons, in connection with building the road.
Sources said its getting difficult to safeguard the forest with the manpower they have. There are only three people at that area of Mondakini forest where the road was built.