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225 sawmills running illegally in Kishoreganj

  • Our Correspondent
  • 3 December, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
225 sawmills running illegally in Kishoreganj

KISHOREGANJ: As many as 225 illegal sawmills have been set up in different places of the district in the last three and a half years thanks to alleged corruption by ruling party men.

A huge number of trees like gajari, shal, segun and akashmoni worth crores of taka are felled and sliced in these sawmills every day before being trafficked to different places.

The sawmill owners are running their operations allegedly in exchange of hefty monthly payment to the officials concerned, local sources say. Besides, most of the owners are influential local leaders of the ruling party who intervene if the Divisional Forest Officer (DoF) tries to take any action.

They do not have the approval of the concerned office. Wherever there is such an illegal sawmill, the forest resources are losing huge amounts of revenue every year.

According to forest department sources, the number of licenses received in the district near about 60. On the other hand, 225 unlicensed illegal sawmills. Near about 15 are applying for a license.

Various trees that are stolen from conservation forests in different districts are freely grazed and sold. It is reported that the thieves and the illegal timber traders are freely carrying out the mischief in these illegal calls.

As a result, nature and environment are being destroyed. Wildlife is being lost. The natural environment is under threat.

At least 200 meters from the boundary of the public forest and at least 10 km from the site of any public office or court, educational institute, hospital, health center, religious institution, amusement park, garden and public health or environment cannot set the sawmill. But no one is following this direction.

Sawmill owners who are unwilling to reveal the name said that the sawmill business is based on the cutting of timber. Sawmill Traders get licenses from the local union porished and municipalities. When someone comes from above, they are managed.

The owners of the legal sawmill owners complain that their business are not going well because the illegal sawmills traders.

Locals allege that the owners illegal sawmill traders are grabbing wood and stealing timber day and night. With the direct cooperation of the officers and the forest guards, the day-to-day operations are ongoing.

Acting officer of the Kishoreganj Social Forest Extension and Nursery Training Department, Md Harunur Rashid said, the illegal sawmill traders were reported to senior authorities.

Those who are running illegally have already been given notice. Many are applying for licenses. Action will be taken against the rest.

The list of illegal and unauthorized sawmills has been given to the district and upazila administration. They need the assistance of the administration to remove them.