35,000 families living in Khagrachhari hills amid landslide risk

35,000 families living in Khagrachhari hills amid landslide risk

Around 35,000 families have been living in Khagrachhari hill slopes amid danger of landslides due to heavy rains during the monsoon.

Locals have been passing days amid worry as torrential rains for the last several days have triggered risk of landslides in the district, reports UNB.

Despite knowing the risk, more than 3,000 families are living in the risk of landslides in the 30 risky areas under sadar municipal alone, according to information of deputy commissioner office.

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If the rain increases, the risk of landslides will increase, said locals.

Locals alleged that local administration remain indifferent about constructing makeshift settlements in hill slopes cutting hills round the year and they become active with the arrival of monsoon.

Now local administration is working to raise awareness among residents to move to safer places, they said

The district administration is adopting zero tolerance policy to stop cutting of hills to prevent landslides, said deputy commissioner Protap Chanda Biswas.

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In the last few days, continuous rains have triggered landslides in different areas of the district town including Sabujbagh, Shalbagan, Comilla Tila, Kalabagan, creating anxiety among families living on the foot of the hills.

Two mud houses have collapsed recently due to landslide, said locals. Besides, several houses were also damaged but no casualties were reported.

However, although miking is going on but the residents of the areas are not leaving the areas, said the deputy commissioner.

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On the other hand, people living in the areas said that they have no alternative place to move so they are being forced to live on the hill slopes risking their lives.

Pradeep Chowdhury, president of the Khagrachhari Environmental Protection Movement, said any big accident may take place anytime if the people living in hills are not rehabilitated.

Khagrachhari municipality mayor Rafiqul Alam said that the municipality and district administration are working to evacuate people living in the risky areas.

Besides, shelters have been prepared and district administration is working to raise awareness among local residents.

DC Pratap Chandra Biswas said the district administration has emphasized on stopping hill cutting as a permanent step to prevent landslides.

He said that action will be taken as per the existing law to stop hill cutting.