Ignoring the objections of environmentalists, the Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. A master plan has been approved to set up Bangabandhu Safari Park in Lathitila Reserve Forest in Juri Upazila of Moulvibazar constituency of Shahab Uddin.
Minister Md. Shahab Uddin approved it at a function at Bon Bhaban in the capital on Sunday. The forest department finalized the master plan of the park with a possible cost of Tk 747.25 crore. A summary of the master plan was presented at the event.
Highlighting the rationale of the project, the Minister said that Moulvibazar is one of the natural beauty areas of the country. It has the largest Hakaluki haor, tea gardens, forests, hills and waterfalls in Asia. If you want to retain this beauty, you have to build a safari park there. To that end, the government will build a safari park in the name of Bangabandhu in Lathitila forest to protect the biodiversity there.
Foreign animals have been brought to Bangabandhu Safari Park in Gazipur, and they are dying recently. Then again why another safari park is being built in the protected forest in Moulvibazar. Wildlife experts and media workers raised this question at the event. In his speech, the Minister said, “We are shocked and saddened by the death of wild animals at Gazipur Safari Park. A committee has been formed to investigate the incident. I hope the cause of death of the animals will be known soon.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Habibun Nahar said, “We made many mistakes while constructing the first safari park. In the case of the second, even if they are corrected, some mistakes remain. As a result, many animals are dying. So using these experiences, we have to build the third one in such a way that no mistake is made. For that, we have to see if it is possible to park a safari with our native wild animals.
Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Mostafa Kamal said some animals could die when winter comes. But if the number of dead animals is high, it is unusual. As a result, this safari park will be built with the cooperation and opinion of all. So that the protection of animals is given the highest priority there.
Chief Conservator of Forests Amir Hossain Chowdhury addressed the function while top officials of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and Forest Department spoke. The original master plan was presented by Ishtiaq Zaheer, director of the architectural firm ‘Foundation’.
Ishtiaq Zaheer said, “While planning to build the safari park, there have been various opinions in different media of the country. In addition to environmentalists, many have criticized it. We have made the plan considering all these criticisms and fears.
Earlier, Bangabandhu Safari Park was constructed at Dulahazara in Cox’s Bazar in 1999 and another Bangabandhu Safari Park was constructed at Gazipur in 2013. Of these, 11 zebras, 1 tiger and 1 lioness have recently died at Bangabandhu Safari Park in Gazipur. This has created discussion and criticism all over the country. The cause of death is not yet known.