About 835 families living in the foothills of Chattogram are going to be evacuated by May 15 to avert landslide-related casulties. The utility connections to vulnerable hills will be disconnected on April 30. The announcement was made at the 19th Hill Management Committee meeting at circuit house in the port city yesterday.
Chattogram Divisional Commissioner Abdul Manan presided over the meeting while Additional Divisional Commissioner (Development) Nurul Alam Nizami, Director of Local Government Division Dipak Chakrabarty, Deputy Commissioner Elius Hossain were present among others.
According to Chattogram District Administration, there are 17 hills in the district which are vulnerable to landslides. The district administration has so far listed 835 families who are living in these foothills.
Divisional Commissioner Abdul Manan requested city corporation to arrange temporary accommodation for these people during rainy season.
It is alleged that influential people are involved in cutting hills and constructing houses on the foothills to rent them out to lower-income people.
Some 835 families live on the hills situated in Lalkhan Bazar, Tankir Pahar, Batali Hill, Motizarna Pora Pahar, Amin Colony, Miar Pahar, Khulsi Pahar, Akbarshah Pahar and its adjoining risky areas.
Abul Hasem, a rickshaw puller who lives in Batali Hill, said, “We live from hand to mouth. We don"t have the money to rent a house at other places. We are staying here because the house rent is reasonable for us.”
Dipak Chakrabarty, director of Local Government Division, Chattogram told The Independent, “We will evict the hill slopes houses soon. We requested the city corporation authorities to arrange safe shelters for the marginal people.”
Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) has built a seven-storey building in Tiger Pass area of the port city to rehabilitate the people living on the risky hilly slopes, said he.
Available statistics reveal that 127 people died in landslides in 2007, 11 in 2008, 15 in 2009 and 2010, 17 in 2011, 23 in 2012, five in 2013, six in 2015, 17 in 2016 and 29 in 2017.