The High Court yesterday directed the government to take all kinds of effective steps to protect the Sakhipur reserve forest area in Tangail.
Delivering verdict on a writ petition filed on the basis of a report The Daily Star published in June 2011, the court ordered the authorities concerned to constantly monitor the forest area to prevent further felling of trees.
The monitoring committee will have to submit a report every six months to the deputy conservator of forests who will take necessary measures, it said.
The HC asked the deputy commissioner and superintendent of police of Tangail to conduct drives in the forest every six months using mobile courts to execute the forest and environment related laws.
It ordered the authorities to stop issuing licences for running sawmills within 10 kilometres of the reserve forest area and to take steps in 365 days for settling cases involving the forest.
The HC bench of Justice Md Rezaul Hasan and Justice Farid Ahmed asked the authorities to submit a report to it every six months on the progress of implementation of the directives, petitioner's counsel Manzill Murshid told The Daily Star.
The Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh filed the writ petition as public interest litigation on June 6, 2011 on the basis of a report headlined “52 MILLS sawing reserve forests” published in The Daily Star on June 5 the same year, and sought directives to protect the reserve forest.