H M Lijon, Gournadi
The naturally emerged shoal and char area of Chailarchar on the bed of Bishkhali River at Kanthalia of Jhalokati is likely to turn to an attractive tourist spot.
The chirping of birds, howling of waves of the river and the rustling sounds of millions of Chaila mangrove tree leaves in the air beside the river herald a unique scenario of natural beauty all around the area.
The place has been named Chailarchar due to its characteristics. Deep mangrove forest consists of enormous Chaila trees. This naturally emerged Chaila tree char is situated on the river bed of Bishkhali, some 100 kilometres away from the Bay of Bengal.
Some several thousands of tourists visit the spot every day. Despite having a great potential to turn Chailarchar a popular tourists' destination, a number of problems including communication, lack of infrastructure and enough security are yet to be addressed.
Upazila administration sources said several steps are underway to make Chailarchar more attractive. Development works are being continued to turn the spot to make it tourists' friendly.
Chailarchar has been included under development projects of Parjatan Corporation. But, no fund has so far sanctioned for the development of the char. Development works of Chailarchar are being conducted from the fund managed by local Member of Parliament, district and the Upazila administrations and the Upazila Parishad.
According to the Botanists, Chaila is a salt-resistant, wild species of plant. It grows and regenerates naturally without any care at the coastal areas, sea-shore and riverside. As a nature-friendly tree, Chaila is declared a preserved species of tree by the department of forestry. This tree is not only useful in accumulating and retaining soil but also for its valuable wood. As a result, felling of this tree is banned in the coastal areas.
Journalist Mosaddeque Howlader of Kanthalia Press Club said the Chailarchar bears a huge potential for the tourist industry. Easy communication and adequate safety for the tourists can draw the attention of adventure and nature lovers.
“However, braving all these odds Chailarchar is turning to a hub of tourists day by day. Specially during the dry season, the char experiences a huge presence of tourists. Many people arrange picnic parties there. Proper monitoring from the government would turn Chailarchar as a popular tourist spot in the southern region of the country,” he added.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Sufol Chandra Goldar said, “Chailarchar was identified as a tourist spot in 2015. Various development projects have been taken by the district administration for increasing facilities of the tourists. Upazila administration has already set up deep tubewells, washrooms and boats for the betterment of the tourists.”