CHITTAGONG: People living at the risky hill slopes and pockets under five hilly districts of Chittagong division will be evacuated by May 15 to avert recurrence of casualty in landslide in the upcoming rainy season.
Action plan by the concerned organisations will be finalised in this regard soon.
The announcement came from a workshop on ‘Increasing Awareness regarding Hill-slide and Advance Preventive Activities’ organised by Chittagong district administration at Chittagong Circuit House on Sunday.
Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya was the chief guest at the workshop while the ministry Secretary Shah Kamal, Additional Secretary Md Mohsin, Chittagong Additional Divisional Commissioner Sankar Ranjan Saha, Additional Police Commissioner Masood Ul Hasan, Chittagong Deputy Commissioner Md Elius Hossain and Civil Surgeon Dr Azizur Rahman Siddiqi were present among others.
Addressing the workshop, the minister said Bangladesh is a disaster-prone country and many changes are being noticed due to effect of the climate change.
Referring data, he said some 648 families are living at very risky hill slopes and pockets in Chittagong city and its suburbs. “It is not so tough job to evacuate the small amount of people from the spots and provide them with food and other facilities,” said the minister.
Blaming lack of attentiveness among the responsible persons, Maya said activities will have to be carried out considering the situations before, during and after any disaster.
He emphasised the need for awareness among all and said the people will have to be evacuated anyhow to avert recurrence of the devastating hill-slides of last year that claimed 166 lives in Chittagong, Rangamati, Khagrachhari, Bandarban and Cox’s Bazar districts.
Putting up the government initiatives taken to save life and properties from the disasters like cyclone, the minister said some 800,000 people took shelter and were provided with food and other necessary items during the cyclone last year.
Regarding permanent step to keep the risky hill slopes free from encroachment again, he said they will discuss the matter in the ministry to take next course of action.
Secretary Shah Kamal said the influential people behind renting the houses to lower income people at the risky spots will have to be identified.Those who are leaders of the people will also have to be motivated to leave the risky spots, he said.