Own protector –
Millionaires, big government officials and even sixth graders are on the list of plot allottees. Plots have also been given to people of other upazilas in violation of the rules. A contemporary investigation has revealed various inconsistencies in the allotment of plots. This information has been found in the investigation conducted by the list of only 50 people who received a bit plot created in the 2018-19 financial year.
In Ghatail, Tangail, there have been allegations of massive irregularities in allotment of plots to beneficiaries under the social forestry program. Although these plots were supposed to be allotted to landless, destitute women, backward groups, poor tribals and indigent freedom fighters, the forest department officials have allotted them in the name of minors, government officials and millionaires with unethical benefits.
About half of the area of Ghatail is hilly. According to the Dhalapara Range Office of the upazila, new gardens were created in the 2016-17, 2018-19 and 2019-20 fiscal years after the expiration of the earlier social forestry gardens. The size of each plot is 72 percent. As part of social forestry, the forest department created gardens for a period of 10 years. According to the policy, the poor are allotted plots. People who get plots are called beneficiaries. By taking care of the allotted plots, the beneficiaries will get 80 percent of the total sale price of the trees at auction at the end of the term. The forest department will get the remaining 40 percent.
On 11 January 2010, the Ministry of Forests and Environment issued a circular amending the Social Forestry Rules of 2004. There, sub-rule (b) of Rule 8 states that the beneficiaries of a social forestry area will be selected from among the local residents living within one square kilometer of the area. The class of people to be elected are: landless, owners of less than 50 per cent land, destitute women, backward groups, poor tribals, indigent freedom fighters or indigent children of freedom fighters.
But in Ghatail, some of the plots in that list were allotted to that class of people, but most of them were given to the rich. There are 6 bit offices under Dhalapara range. In the 2018-19 financial year, the name of the beneficiary of the storm beet garden is 219. Sabur Uddin. It is learned that he has retired from the post of GM of Sonali Bank. Sabur Uddin’s wife Khandaker Samsun Nahar is at number 220 in the same list. She is working as a mathematics teacher in Tejgaon Government Girls High School. Both live in Dhaka.
Sabur Uddin said he and his wife had applied. Heard of getting the plot. A copy of the allotment is with his brother-in-law. Due to being in Dhaka, he has not been able to do any work on the plot yet.
Fardina Rahman Urmila is at number 209 in the list of allotments of plots of the same financial year and the same bit. In the sixth grade. Urmila has plots in the names of her parents, uncles, aunts, cousins and even aunts and uncles. His uncles have five or six storey buildings. Fupa-Fupu also works. Urmila’s father Farhad Rahman and mother Samima Nasrin both work at Ghatail Upazila Health Complex. Another uncle of Urmila, Mohammad Farid Rahman is working as an assistant director of Bangladesh Ansar Battalion in Kalihati upazila of Tangail. His name is also at number 18 in the list. Farid Rahman’s wife Kohinoor was not left out either. He is working at Ratanpur Government Primary School in Ghatail.
Farid Rahman said, ‘My wife and brothers applied. Since I work in the government, I can’t get a plot according to the law. However, the one who has allotted the plot, his crime. If illegal plots are allotted, I will apply for cancellation.
Anwar Hossain is at number 198 in the list. It is known that he is the station master of Bangladesh Railway. Besides, 197 Rozina and 17th Jahidul Islam are in the list. Their homes are in Madhupur and Kalihati upazilas. None of the big businessmen and politicians were left out of the list.
Dhalapara Range Officer Sirajul Islam said, “I have joined for about 20 days.” The previous officer can tell about these things. SM Habibullah, a former Dhalapara Range officer currently working in Madhupur, said those who have been occupying the allotment for a long time have been re-allocated.
The afforestation program will not be successful if the poor, helpless and indigent people are allotted by evicting them. Apart from this, the plot was allotted by the bit officer. They check and sort the application form of the applicant. If there is any problem, it is their responsibility.
Tangail Divisional Forest Officer Mohammad Zahirul Haque said plots should be allotted within the law. If a plot is allotted to someone outside the rules, appropriate action will be taken after investigation.