CHANDPUR, Apr 15 (UNB): 'Balu Char', popular for its sandy and scenic beauty here, could be turned into an attractive tourist spot by developing the site with modern facilities.
This char (shoal) has emerged barely six years back on the western bank of the Meghna river near the district town, said local boatmen at Railway river ghat.
The char area is nearly 5.0 kilometre long while its width is about one kilometre. The sandy char is becoming bigger and bigger day by day as another new char (shoal) is emerging just beside it.
It takes only 10 minutes for one to go to the char by engine-driven trawlers from Chandpur Boro Railway Station ghat.
Every day -- especially during holidays -- picnickers, hundreds of men, women and children of Chandpur town, and also from far-off places like Hajiganj, Shahrasti, Cumilla, Roypur, Ramganj, Faridganj and Matlab throng this sandy char to enjoy its sea beach-like beauty.
This has turned out to be very popular among children and youths.
Despite its natural beauty, the char still lacks basic facilities and necessary safety arrangements for tourists.
Visitors face problems here for the absence of good sitting arrangements and refreshment facilities.
Though a few chairs with umbrellas are found there under private arrangement on payment basis (Tk 50 per chair for an hour), those are not enough to fulfill the demand of visitors.
Mehdi Hasan, a resident of Tongi, Gazipur, said he came here after hearing about the beauty. "It's really nice, there's no doubt. But, it's to say the facilities are too inadequate to attract tourists," he said.
Many other visitors like Mahfuzur Rahman of Sonaimuri, Noakhali echoed the same sentiment.
They alleged that their journey to and from the tourist spot get riskier when trawler drivers overload their trawlers as there is no one to monitor plying of the vessels. They even charge fares whimsically, they further alleged.
Contacted, Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) Md Shawkat Osman said Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni has already directed the Public Health Engineering Department to set up 'wash block' and install tube-wells there.
He said the authorities concerned have also been directed to raise the Balu Char by dumping sands so that it can be turned into an attractive tourist spot in the near future.
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