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HomeBangladeshSundarbans Burned 25 times in 22 years

Sundarbans Burned 25 times in 22 years

The mangrove Sundarbans are burning again and again. The Sundarbans have suffered massive damage due to these fires. The fire that started last Saturday (May 4) has spread over an area of more than four acres till Sunday (May 5) evening. In the last 22 years, Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest, has caught fire 25 times.

Meanwhile, the environmentalist organization made a human chain by blaming the forest department for the fire incident. Bangladesh Navy said that it will be possible to extinguish the fire in two to three days.

Every time after the fire, the forest department’s inquiry blames fire coils used by mowalis, fishermen’s cigarettes, smoldering, lack of rain, drought, vindictive behavior of convicts for forest crimes, forest fires by miscreants. The investigation committee also blamed the thick layer of leaves on various trees as a reason for the persistence of the fire.

According to Sundarban East Forest Department sources, in 2002, once in Cuttack in the Chandpai range of the eastern division of Sundarbans, twice in Nangli and Mandarbaria of the same range, twice in 2005 in Pachakodalia, Sutar Khal area of Ghutabaria, five times in 2006 in Terabeka, Amurbunia, Khurabaria, Pachakodalia and Dhansagar areas. , three times in Pachakodalia, Nangli and Dumuria in 2007, once in Gulishakhali in 2010, twice in Nangli in 2011, once in Gulishakhali in 2014, three times in Nangli, Pachakodalia and Tulatla in 2016, once in Madrasarchali in 2017 and once in Dhansagar area on February 8, 2021. On May 3, 2021, two fires broke out in the Bharani area of Das in the Sarankhola range. Last May 4 this year, there was a fire incident in Amarbunia area of Chandpai range which has not yet been brought under control. All fire incidents in the Sundarbans occur during the dry season. About 100 acres of forest resources (various vines and shrubs including beautiful trees) were burnt in the previous 24 fires.

Chairman of the Save the Sundarbans Foundation regarding repeated fires in the Sundarbans. Sheikh Faridul Islam said that there can be no fire in the Sundarbans. There are many reasons behind this. Maybe fish hunters, honey collectors may catch fire from beedi-cigarettes.

He mentioned that it is important to implement the recommendations of the investigation committee formed in the case of fire at different times. It will be possible to reduce the amount of damage caused by Sundaban fire.

Noor Alam Sheikh, central joint secretary of Bangladesh Environment Movement (Bapa) and coordinator of Sundarban protection, Pasur river waterkeeper, said that some dishonest fish traders with the help of forest workers set fire to clear the field for net leaves during the monsoon season in the hope of more profit. Also fire for unskilled workers. The Forest Department cannot escape its responsibility in any way. The government and the forest department are not sincere in protecting the Sundarbans. If we were sincere, there would not have been repeated fires in the Sundarbans.

He also said that unscrupulous people have constructed roads in the area of Sundarbans where the latest fire incident took place. There is constant movement from here to cut the trees of the Sundarbans and destroy the environment. This suggests that there is a syndicate of dishonest traders. The Forest Department should not be unaware of this.

Meanwhile, to find out the cause of the fire and the extent of damage, a 3-member investigation committee headed by Rana Dev, Assistant Conservator of Forests of Chandpai Range has been formed. Other members of the committee are – Dhansagar Station Officer of Chadpai Range of Sundarban East Division. Rabiul Islam and Jhiudhara Station Officer Obaidur Rahman.

The committee has been asked to submit its report within the next 7 working days. The forest official said that if the inquiry committee’s report finds the cause of the fire to be ‘man-made’, then legal action will be taken against the accused.( Source RTV News)