Initiative is on to develop facilities at the uncared for Parki Beach under Anwara upazila to promote ecotourism as well as to combat risks of climate change by creating an ecotourism centre-cum-field office.
Ministry of Environment and Forests is implementing a project worth over Tk 1.91 crore in this regard in cooperation with the Department of Environment, Chittagong divisional office.
The project, financed by the climate change trust fund of the ministry, is expected to be completed by March, 2012, said the sources.
Parki Beach, a potential tourist spot on around 17 kilometres to the south off the Chittagong city, remained untouched so far.
The beach 15-kilometre in length and 300 to 350 feet in width — has 20-kilometre coastal exotic green belt of ‘Jhau’ forest of the Forest Department to save the area from natural calamities.
The beach with the scenic beauty attracts the tourists to enjoy the river Karnaphuli, large- sized anchored vessels in the Outer Anchorage of Chittagong Maritime Port, fishing in the bay, sunset, crabs of different species and local and migratory birds moving en masse from the beach.
At present there is no facility for the visitors at the beach that could help expand tourism. The beach is insecure while lack of care posed a threat to biodiversity of the area.
The Jhau trees of the coastal green belt are being illegally felled by a section of dishonest people while rise of sea level is also destroying the trees as the mud from bottom of the field are being washed away during high-tides, locals said.
A memorandum of understanding will be signed with the stakeholders after selection of the project site to make the project a success, said the Project Director (PD) Mustafizur Rahman Akhand, also acting director of DoE, Chittagong.
When completed, ecotourism centre will help promote tourism apart from protecting the environment of the beach from degradation, he said.
The multipurpose ecotourism centre would have arrangement for multimedia presentation to let the tourists know about the affects of climate change, said Mustafizur, adding that seminar and discussion would also be held at the centre.
Sources said the ecotourism centre-cum-field office will be developed on 6,000 square-feet of land at a cost of Tk 1.2 crore while 500 dust bins of two categories and 100 rickshaw vans will also be procured at a cost of Tk 4 lakh to keep the beach clean.
While visiting the site recently, it was found that there were some visitors there without facility for food or entertainment of minimum standards.
Nurul Anwar, 36, a local, said after planting the Jhau forest back in 1993 the beach remained unused despite having huge potentials for tourism.
Some facilities and security for the visitors at the beach can boost the tourism here as the road communications with the beach from Chittagong city is good.