Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board.
Bangladesh the Ganges delta is also endowed by the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs), covering an area of 13,295 Sq km of Himalayan range hills and hillocks measuring one tenth of Bangladesh (between 21°25’N to 23°45’N latitude and 91°25’E to 92°50’E longitude). The vast hilly tracts with net works of challenging tracts, high hills soaring above the horizon with panoramic views, valleys with luxuriant crops and creepers and thick forest containing timber trees, bamboos, canes and shans (a kind of grass), through which meandering rivers and rivulets flow throughout the year, serene lakes, scenic beauty of the landscape having spots for painting and background of motion pictures, the wilderness, the wildlife that includes monkey, elephant, fox, jungle cat, fishing cat, wild boar, hedge hogs , rabbits, land turtle, king cobra, reticulated python, rattle snake and other non-poisonous snakes together with large number of species of lizards and amphibians like frog and toad, and tree frogs ,more than sixty families of birds – all are there to see and enjoy.
Chittagong Hill Tracts is the Home of 11(eleven) tribes, the most beautiful indigenous people of Bangladesh.Ethnic groups of Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Tanchangya, Lushai, Pankhua, Bawm, Mro, Kheyang, Khumi and Chak lives in the land of immense beauty in harmony with nature.Their appearance, language and calture traditions are markedly different from those Bangali speaking people living in the plains of Bangladesh.
A good number of mainstream “Bangali” also live in this area.
Chittagong Hill Tracts lies in the southeastern part of Bangladesh adjoining international boundaries with Myanmar on the southeast, the Indian state of Tripura on the north, Mizoram on the east. The Chittagong Hill Tracts, formally a single unified district was divided into three separate districts: Khagrachari, Rangamati and Bandarban during the administrative reorganization in 1984. The CHTs has a low population density, 100 people per sq km., compared to the high nation average of 800. The population of currently estimated at 1.4 million, making up 1.1% of the country’s total.
The Board appoints such officers and employees it considers necessary for the performance of its functions on such terms and conditions, as it deems fit. The Board has its own Fund, largely in the form of a non-taxable revolving fund granted by the Government, details of which could not be ascertained, Annually the Board submits to the Government a budget for the financial year showing the estimated receipts and expenditure and the sums that are likely to be required from the Government in the financial year. The Board is further required to submit to the Government, as soon as possible after the end of the financial year, a report on the conduct of its affairs during that year. The Board is also required to submit the Government returns, accounts, statements, estimates and statistics as may be required by the Government as well as copies of documents required by the Government.
The Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board (CHTDB ) was established as an autonomous body by an Ordinance (Ordinance No. LXXVII of 1976) of the President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in 1976 to undertake the responsibility of socio- economic and infrastructural development of this hilly region in the background of inefficient road network, poor literacy rate, absence of necessary infrastructure paucity of safe drinking water, inadequate health care and sanitation and many other draw backs of the region. CHTDB’s tireless endeavor for last couple of decades to address all those issues brought a significant change in the socio economic condition and infrastructural development in this region.
The functions of the Board are to:
- A Chairman and a Vice-Chairman appointed by the government.
- Four Full-time members appointed by the government (for Administration, Finance, Planning and Implementation respectively).
- Deputy Commissioners of Rangamati, Khagrachari & Bandarban are the part time members of the Board.
Linkage between the people of CHTs and the board is ensured through a Consultative Committee comprising of
- The Chairman of the Board as Chairman
- Three Circle chiefs as member
- Three representatives of UP Chairmen of three hill districts as member
- Three representatives of Headmen of three Circles as member
- Chief executive officers of three Hill District Councils as nominated members
Population Size and Growth:
Out of total population, 35-40 percent lives in municipalities and small towns, 35-40 percent occupies sedentary valley farms, and 20-30 percent is living in the hills, occupied in semi-sedentary shifting cultivation. Tables below show population estimation for 2001 and projection for 2011 based on growth rate 1.6% per year.