As many as 120 hills were destroyed in the Chattogram metropolis in the last four decades, according to a study.
From 1976 to 2008, 88 hills of the city were destroyed and 95 were partially cut.
Over the next 12 years, the destruction of the hills increased in tandem with the city's growing population, according to the study findings presented at a press conference organised at Chattogram Press Club on Saturday, demanding the protection of hills and rivers.
Bangladesh Environment Forum, Chattogram History Culture Research Centre, and River and Canal Protection Movement organised the press conference to demand the preservation of all hills of Chattogram, including Jungle Salimpur in Sitakunda, removal of dangerous illegal residents, and river protection.
In a written speech at the press conference, General Secretary of Bangladesh Environment Forum Aliur Rahman illustrated the current condition of the hills in Chattogram referring to the research conducted by Professor Khaled Mesbahuzzaman of Chattogram University and former professor of Forestry and Environment Institute SM Sirajul Haque.
Citing the research, Aliur Rahman said most of the hills were cut in Pahartali, Khulshi, Bayezid, Lalkhan Bazar, Motijharna, Sholashahar and Foy's Lake. In 1976, the total hill area in the city was 32.37 square kilometres, which decreased to 14.02 square kilometres in 2008.
Professor of Zoology Department of Chattogram University Manjurul Kibria said that authorities should list all the existing hills and their present condition, and monitor those regularly to save the hills for the sake of the environment.
Among others, former Vice-Chancellor of Chattogram University of Engineering and Technology Professor Mozammel Haque, President of Bangladesh Environment Forum and General Secretary of Chittagong Press Club Chowdhury Farid attended the press conference.