Sanmar Properties Limited, one of the leading developer companies in Chattogram, has been constructing multi-storied buildings by cutting down hills and trees without the required clearance from the environment department, thereby posing a threat to the environment.
After 24 residents of Summer Hill complained about the construction of a multi-storied building at the hill under Bayazid Bostami Police Station on 29 September, the Department of Environment investigated the matter and found that 100 trees had been felled in the area.
Consequently, the Chittagong Metropolitan Office of the environment department has instructed Sanmar Properties to stop its activities until the permission of the environment department is obtained.
Besides, Sanmar Properties has been directed to appear at a hearing on Sunday (18 October) at the environment office.
According to the complaint, Sanmar Properties has been constructing a residential building in the Summer Hill area for some time. The company has been removing soil from the hill at night with the help of dredgers and excavators. As a result, soil and vegetation as well as biodiversity and the environment as a whole are being destroyed.
"Sanmar Properties is going to construct two multi-storied buildings, one at the top and another at the bottom of the hill. For that purpose, they have felled about 100 big trees on the hill and its slope. They have also demolished an old building on the hill," said Mia Mahmudul Haque, deputy director of the Chittagong Metropolitan Office of the environment department.
If trees are cut down on the slopes or top of the hill, there is a possibility of landslide caused by heavy rains. Moreover, if you want to construct a building on a hill, you must get permission from the Department of Environment, but they did not even apply for permission, he added.
When contacted on Saturday, Mahfuzul Bari, general manager of Sanmar Properties, said, "I can't go into details [regarding the construction]. Your mobile number will be given to the branch concerned to talk about this. They will contact you."
However, no one contacted this correspondent.
Selim bin Saleh, executive director of Sanmar Properties, was contacted but declined to comment on the issue. Though he said the admin branch would contact this correspondent soon, no official of the company has done so.