TIB concerned over move to lease out forest land

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Transparency International Bangladesh on Saturday expressed its concern over a move to lease the land of a reserved forest to a private company for tea plantation in Moulvibazar.

In a statement, TIB said that a section of government officials were trying to lease out the forest land on the basis of a ‘controversial’ land survey.

Reportedly, several companies were trying to get the 2,174.35 acres of land, disputed between the local administration and the forest department, following a controversial survey and subsequent filing of a case with the Land Survey Tribunal.

TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman said that taking such move of leasing out the reserved forest land was motivated and alarming.

He said that a section of local administration officials showed the reserved forest land as ‘khas land’ and classified as ‘hillock’ in the digital land survey.

They did it intentionally to create the scope for leasing out the land, he alleged, adding that the matter needed to be investigated and the people responsible should be punished.

He said that the recommendation of Juri upazila assistant commission (land) to Prime Minister’s Office for disposing of the case in favour of a tea producing company created questions.

Reportedly, forest officials and green activists squarely put the blame on local offices concerned for misleading the highest office, warning that such a lease would lead to the destruction of the whole reserve forest.

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