It looks as if the elements habitually intruding on lands and rivers have completed their act for now. These are always on the hunt for newer territories still left unscathed. Upon a survey of the country's vulnerable spots, it is the outlying beaches that turn out to be mostly at risk. Cox's Bazar has long lost its tourist charm. In the last few decades, it has emerged as a site exuding literal frenzy and the urge to litter.
The surf-laced water that splashes on the sand goes back leaving behind all kinds of trash and refuse. The sources of pollution are everywhere. Eateries and snacks joints, set up at the place by early encroachers, announce their presence boldly. The tentacles of beach encroachment and the resulting pollution continue to spread, with newer swathes of the shore being gobbled up to turn them into beach extensions. Beyond the sandy area, spectacular hotels beckon the moneyed sea-goers. The structures are fanning out further to all three sides.
Kuakata, the emerging resort town, and its beach, has for the last couple of decades been trying to keep pollution and encroachment at bay. Due to its being largely out of the national focus, it's hard put to launch a successful campaign. Kuakata still risks being overrun by the formidably strong syndicates of land grabbers and encroachers. Given the extent of vulnerability that haunts Kuakata, the fate of the country's officially untapped beaches could easily be understood.
One such site is the Parki beach in the Anwara upazila in Chittagong. Tourists here can enjoy the views of both the Bay of Bengal and the Karnaphuli as the beach stands on the river's channel. Making out the silhouettes of large ships and fishing boats far away adds to the visual pleasure offered by the beach.
Tourists with a penchant for enjoying a different kind of seashore beauty are expected to make a dash for the beach. The impressively quiet Parki beach is 17 kilometres from the port city. Lying on a 2- kilometre stretch, its scenic beauty has been enhanced by 'Jhau' trees standing in rows. It is yet to be formally declared a public beach. The tourism department and the local administration have, however, begun taking initial steps for its development.
With the basic development work set to be in place, the spectre of encroachmrnt stalks the Parki beach. It has many weak points, through which bands of local people with ulterior motive may enter the scene. The beach area lacks the basic prerequisites like accommodation, security measures and a lot of emergency facilities. The local syndicates will cater to the typical tourist demands as seen in the other beaches. It will be slowly followed by their final plan: encroaching on public land by constructing star-marked hotels, motels etc. Pollution will follow as a corollary. Steps to prevent such malpractices should be taken in time.