Protect Chunati sanctuary
The government must protect Chunati, a sanctuary for wild animals in Chattogram, taking integrated short, mid and long-term plans along with proper implementation, demanded Dhoritri Rokhhay Amra (DHORA) yesterday.
DHORA also demanded punishment for those involved in selling thousands of acres of forest land.
In a media release, DHORA said the natural balance of Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary, an area of Bashkhali, Lohagora and Satkania upazilas of Chattogram and Chakoria in Cox's Bazar, is at risk due to mindless hill cutting, killing wildlife and activities of unapproved brick fields.
Meanwhile, a team of DHORA led by Sultana Kamal, president of its advisory committee, visited different areas of the sanctuary and talked to locals and planted Hartaki saplings on January 26.
After the visit, they observed that this forest has turned into a safe haven for robbers, and drug traders.
Miscreants cut hills and trees, and illegally lift sand from evening to dawn. The areas do not have proper protection. The artificial lake called "Hatimara Krittim Rad", was cut on February 4 after DHORA's visit, the press release added.
Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a sanctuary on March of 1986. It encompasses 7,764 hectares.
Once this sanctuary held extensive tropical mixed evergreen forest, but most of this has been cleared since the 1980s. This forest is the breeding grounds for a rare variety of Asian elephant and is home to a variety of animals and rare trees, DHORA said.