Staff Correspondent
The vast Khadimnagar National Park near the city of Sylhet is not getting as much tourist attraction it deserves due to dillydallying of the concerned authorities in carrying out infrastructural development works the more than half a century old reserve forest needed, said city dwellers.
People of the district since long are arguing that the eye soothing vast natural greenery of the park, previously known as Khadimnagar Reserve Forest, can be a popular destination for tourists in home and abroad if only the adequate state-of-the-art modern facilities are incorporated.
But even after 18 years of receiving national park status, infrastructural development needed to make the 1676.73-acre park more tourist-friendly has not been made.
But divisional forest officer RSM Monirul Islam of Sylhet, however, claimed that a project aiming to make the park more environment-friendly is being considered by the authorities. “We have a big plan to be introduced soon which will develop the forest and attract more tourists’.
Mentionable, the erstwhile Khadimnagar Reserve Forest was established in 1957 with more than one and a half thousand acres of land. The park is one of the most important protected areas of Bangladesh, because of its interesting biodiversity.
The park is about 8-9 km long but just about 0.5 km in width, pierced by three separate trekking trails for walking, cycling and sightseeing. The rectangular park is surrounded by tea states on both sides.
Pin drop silence is everywhere once you are inside the park, interfered only by the mixed sound of the continuous humming and buzzing of birds and unknown insects.
Since the Khadimnagar reserve forest renamed National Park in 2006, the Forest Department has been focusing on creating a tourist-friendly environment. Although not many, a number of tourists regularly visit this relaxed tranquil forest.
Visiting tourists said that the forest needs more infrastructural development especially inroads and accommodations for tourists adjacent to the park.
The national park is an exceptional centre of biodiversity; forest department is saying several steps have been taken to attract more tourists.
To enjoy with different types of rides including trail tracking and other exciting rides tourists have to travel around 14 kilometers from the main Sylhet town. Good accommodation facilities are also available for the tourist who wants to stay overnight.
The park is full of all natural ingredients. Tourism experts saying, if adequate infrastructural development can be ensured here, the park will once become the main tourism attraction of the Sylhet city.