Trees chopped down without forest dept approval
Eleven trees have been cut down inside the Ajmeriganj Upazila Health Complex in Habiganj without any approval from the forest department. A contractor has cut down the trees in the name of building a gate, causing outrage among hospital authorities and locals.
Abdul Khaleque, range officer of Ajmeriganj forest office said, "I wasn't informed about the cutting down of the 11 trees in the Upazila Health Complex. There was no discussion on this issue in any meeting."
Under the upgradation project of 31-bed Ajmeriganj Upazila Health Complex to 50-bed, a contractor named World Enterprise Construction Limited got the job of constructing the building. Work on this project worth about Tk 16 crore is at the final stage.
Mirajul Islam, the contractor's manager, said the contractor had asked him to cut down the trees to make the gate of the hospital bigger. Besides, he knows nothing.
When asked, contractor Moniruzzaman Mizan said, "The permission to cut down the trees is not mine, but of the health engineering department."
When the assistant engineer Monirul Islam of that department was contacted on his mobile, he did not receive the call.
Ajmeriganj Health Complex Officer Dr Md Iqbal Hossain said he is currently in Dhaka. He is not aware if any approval was given for cutting down the trees. Because he joined this hospital on May 20.
He added that if the trees need cutting down, the approval of the forest department is required. In that case, there is no documentation in our office that the health engineering department and the contractor have taken approval.
Mirajul Islam, an employee of the contractor, showed the reporters a paper. Former health officer Sudarshan Sen, who signed the agreement on May 5, said that if the guardroom and waiting area and part of the gate are enlarged, it will be better visible and more convenient. The layout has given keeping this in mind. For this, three trees need to be cut. In the interest of the hospital, the contractor will cut down the trees and hand them over to the hospital. For the time being, the trees did not seem valuable. Akashi, Pahari jam and arjuna trees. Whose circumference is 2 feet 6 inches. However, the height of the tree was not mentioned. The papers have the signatures of the contractor and the engineer in addition to the health officer.
Former Upazila Health Officer Dr Sudarshan Sen and said that the health engineer and the contractor had agreed to cut down the trees with the approval of the forest department.
"I don't know if they got approval," he said.