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No structure by destroying the environment

Taslima Jamal

No structure by destroying the environment

Sundarbans is not only a part of world heritage but also an important natural resource of Bangladesh. The forest that protects us from natural calamities, the recent Cyclone Rimal has shown us once again. Just as a mother protects her child from outside dangers with her bosom, Sundarbans also protects us from every cyclone.

But apart from indiscriminate cutting of trees, a class of resort businessmen have engaged in the destruction of the Sundarbans in the name of tourism. According to Prothom Alo news, resorts are being built one after another in the environmentally critical areas bordering the Sundarbans. 14 resorts (holiday centers) have been built in Khulna and Satkhira by cutting forest trees and filling canals. Another 8 are under construction. Generators are running loudly to run the resorts. Sound system is playing. Air conditioning (AC) is installed in most of the resorts.

According to the Environment Conservation Act, an area of ​​10 km around the Sundarbans has been declared an Environmentally Critical Area (ECA). Construction of any structure or any activity damaging the natural features of these areas is completely prohibited. But the owners of the resort continue to build one after another without ignoring these restrictions. Water, noise and soil pollution are increasing around the resorts. Forest animals are leaving the area.

Recently, two professors of Khulna University, while researching community-based eco-tourism around the Sundarbans, found that in 2018, there were only 3 eco-cottages around the Sundarbans in Dakop and Mongla areas of Bagerhat, Khulna. In 2023, the number of resorts will be 12. 260 tourists could stay in 74 rooms of 12 resorts in 2023. This year, 8 more cottages with 58 rooms are being constructed. Construction of 42 new rooms in 7 old cottages is in progress. By the end of 2024, the tourist capacity will be 560 in 20 cottages.

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