Oct 07, 2016

Chittagong Hill Tracts: Cancellation of Special Tourism Zone Project

Photo Courtesy of the Daily Star

The Ministry of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs has announced the decision to cancel the Special Tourism Zone that was proposed in early September at Alutila in Khagrachari.  The proposed Special Tourism Zone threatened to displace approximately 300 indigenous families out of their ancestral Jhum land. The executive chairman of the Bangaldesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), Paban Chowdhury, stated that the project was completely scrapped due to the objections made by the various indigenous organisations of the region. 


Below is an article published by the Daily Star:

Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs has decided to cancel the proposed special tourism zone project at Alutila in Khagrachhari.

"We're not doing it [the proposed special tourism zone project at Alutila]," Naba Bikram Kishore Tripura, secretary to the ministry, told this correspondent following a programme in Bandarban yesterday.

"We already discussed the matter with high officials of the ministry as well as officials of the special tourism zone project at Alutila and we primarily decided to cancel the project since locals raised objection [to the project] over fear of losing their ancestral Jhum land," said Naba Bikram.

Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), also confirmed the development, saying, "We already scrapped the name of the project from our feasibility study report as the hill people and various indigenous organisations made objections to the decision [of establishing the special tourism zone at Alutila]."

Around 300 indigenous families fear that they would lose their Jhum land if the special tourism zone is established on their ancestral land at Alutila of Khagrachhari.

The Khagrachhari district administration recently proposed acquiring 699.98 acres of Jhum land in three mouzas under Sadar and Matiranga upazilas after the BEZA decided to set up a special zone in the area to promote tourism.