The BBC published a story today bringing this issue into the spotlight. But I had predicted it over two years ago.
I paid a visit to what is probably Bangladesh’s most attractive tourist attraction, Cox’s Bazar twice. Last time, it was 2010. Like everyone else, I took a lot of photos of the area. But one photo particularly caught attention of all my Facebook and blogger friends. I posted about my travel to Cox’s Bazar on a high-traffic Bangla blog and it was read many times. Some people expressed their concerns over the issue. We general people (who matter the least in Bangladesh) are always concerned about these things. But what good can our concerns do when authorities seem asleep all the time!
As you can see in the photo above that was taken on March 5, 2010, there are constructions over the Beach area in Cox’s Bazar. Of course, it’s not in the middle of the sea. But this photo was taken on Kalatali road; the road that leads straight to the Cox’s Bazar main beach. While Cox’s Bazar became my second girlfriend, I did feel that all those constructions could kill the very natural feeling of Cox’s Bazar. And it all has happened over the past two years.
What I liked most was definitely the sea beach. I also liked the feeling of that area. You know, most of the people you’ll come across in that area are not local. They are either from Dhaka or any other city and they have come to visit the world’s longest sea beach. It’s a smell of holiday all over the year. A smell mixed of vacation and natural beauty.
But these days, you rarely see the natural beauty around the beach area. The beach is free; but the surrounding areas are full of under-constructions or fully-developed high-rise buildings, most of which are three to five star hotels. No wonder real estate companies are onto multi-million dollar business over that area. But are they aware that these buildings at the very edge of the beach are killing the very attraction of this tourist spot?
The BBC report quotes officials saying that the government has a series of steps taken to prevent the natural beauty of Cox’s Bazar being killed. However, as a concerned citizen, I doubt so. I believe it was said so because the report was going to be featured on an International media. Of course, the government needs to show that they are doing everything they can. But we Bangladeshis have rarely seen anything from “any” government of Bangladesh being concerned over our natural assets.
Cox’s Bazar is my most favorite place. I prefer to go there whenever I get a chance and have some money to spend. Like I already wrote, it’s not just the beach that attracts me, it’s also the environment of the place that makes me go dreamy and want to stay longer. But with all these junks being built in the surrounding area, I highly doubt whether I’ll be attracted to the beach as much as I am right now.
I am a citizen of Bangladesh and what I wrote above is my honest statement. You can only imagine what a tourist could feel who is not a Bangladeshi. Will they be coming back again to visit Cox’s Bazar? Will they recommend their friends to visit this place? I guess you all know the answers.