Development not at cost of environment: Demo against tree felling at Ruet
Paribesh Andolon Oikya Parishad today held a human chain in front of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology, protesting the felling of 50-year-old trees.
Almost 50 environmental activists participated in the programme around 12:30pm.
"We all want development, but not at the cost of environment. It is necessary to take consent of those for whom development is taking place," Nazmul Hossain Raju, member secretary of the organisation, said at the programme.
The mayor of Rajshahi, members of parliament, senior journalists, and eminent citizens, including those concerned about the environment, should also be consulted before making outline of such development, Nazmul Hasan also opined.
"Then we will not have to see such destructive development," he said.
Speaking at the human chain, Tanvir Apu, a travel enthusiast, said that Ruet is not such a small place that it is necessary to cut down old trees indiscriminately to make space for a few buildings. There are many more places where buildings can be built.
AHM Mahbubur Rahman, professor of Botany of Rajshahi University said, "It is not possible to compensate for cutting down such old trees by planting new ones."
The government has recently approved Tk 600 crore for the development project of Ruet. Under the project, ten 10-storey buildings will be built, for which a total of 50 trees will be cut down. Fifteen have already been felled. However, the forest department said it did not know anything about the matter.
Ruet Registrar Professor Selim Hossain said, "Like everyone else, we also care about the environment of Rajshahi."
However, this development project aims to solve the crisis of housing and classrooms of Ruet students.
"Most of the buildings that will be constructed under this project do not require any felling of trees. However, we have to cut down some trees for a few buildings," he added.
The authorities have also planted around a thousand trees on campus during the past one year to compensate. If necessary, one thousand more trees will be planted, he added.