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>JU to cut trees to stop illegal tree felling

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THE Jahangirnagar University (JU) authorities have initiated a move to bring down a few hundred trees on the campus in a bid to, what they said, stop illegal tree felling and remove age-old trees detrimental to health, that sparked protest by the students and environmentalists. (Full Report)
Environmentalists said it would damage ecosystem of the “green campus” which is home to about 150 species of birds and temporary abode to thousands of migratory birds.
The university staffs have primarily marked 480 trees — mostly teak, rain tree, mango and jackfruit to chop down, upsetting students of the university who formed a human chain in front of the vice chancellor’s office yesterday demanding a stop to the move.
The university authorities, however, said a total of around 200 trees would be cut down.
“We’re not going to fell so many trees. In fact, we are yet to identify which trees to fell. Staff of our Estate Office marked those for inspection by an expert body,” JU Treasurer Prof Syed Abdul Hye claimed who heads a committee formed by the university Syndicate to deal with the sale of the trees.
The move was initiated a few months ago after five trees had been stolen in January. “And since the aging trees cause health problems, the Syndicate decided to get rid of those and tasked me to head a committee to identify the dying trees and those which may be stolen,” the JU treasurer said.
A sub-committee formed later to mark the trees asked the university Estate Office to primarily identify the trees. “But without my knowledge, the staffs marked them”, he added.


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