Photo: Moshiur Rahman [ I know this picture hurts. And exactly that is what I want]
All babies look kind of similar when they sleep. If you look at the picture, you will notice that overwhelming all the mud and dirt, a peaceful sleep glows all over the face of the baby. The baby was probably sleeping while the whole family were buried alive during the landslide. Now the baby has slipped into another sleep never to wake up from.
This little child was supposed to live a full life. Very unfortunately the life has been shortened. And it happened all because… because what?
Is it because the bay was born in a poor family? Or because the parents could not afford a crib, let alone brick house in a residential area or an apartment in a bay view high rise?
Or it is because the lord has decided to cause unprecedented downpour?
Or because some quarters with sinister intention of hill grabbing facilitated slums along the foot of the hills?
Or it happened because some politicians/officials like Col Oli, Abdullah Al Noman, Mohouddin Chowdhury, Mosharraf Hossain, Salahuddun Quader chowdhury, Akhteruzzaman Babu or that chief conservator of forest osman Gani helped destroy the tree lined hilly nature of chittagong by rampant destruction of hills and logging of trees?
A Daily star report has put it this way,
Indiscriminate hill cutting during the last three decades has led to the disappearance of over one hundred hills and partial destruction of hundreds others in Chittagong city, causing environmental hazards and raising the incidence of landslide, experts said.
Landslides in last two days killed at least 70 people in the port city, raising such death toll during the last three decades to over 200.
Experts attribute such landslides mainly to the hill cutting, said persons working in the field.
“We warned several times that the places where landslide occurred had become vulnerable due to hill cutting. But proper measures were never taken to stop the practice,” Dr Shahidul Islam, Geography professor of Chittagong University, told The Daily Star over telephone yesterday.
Dr Shahidul conducted a survey that came up with the findings that over one hundred hills have disappeared due to hill cutting during the last 30 years.
In fact, the natural integrity/beauty of the city of chittagong has been systematically destroyed over the last twenty years. I lived in Chittagong city from 1986 to 1992. I had a courtside seat to witness the cruel destruction of hills to make housing plots or logging of trees to supply wood for the newly developed husing complexes. I witnessed how green tree lined hills turned into yellow flat lands ready to be turned into concrete slums. The people who led the destruction are all the political, economic high ups of the city. And today, I’ll blame them for the cold blooded murder of this innocent baby.