Holidaymakers of Chandpur and far-flung areas are rushing every day to Chandpur Mini Cox's Bazar beside the district town with a view to making enjoyment and having the touch of Cox's Bazar in the backdrop of long time lockdown.
Besides, many men, women, and children of the town come to the Molehead and Parjaton Kendra to have fresh air and feel refreshed in the cool air beside the river during these sweltering days of summer.
Mini Cox's Bazar is a newly emerged big char(shoal) on the west bank of the Meghna river. This char is sandy. It is about half a kilometre long from south to north and located about 1.5 kilometres west from Chandpur Molehead and Parjaton Kendra adjacent to Chandpur Railway Boro Station.
One has to go to this char in 20 minutes by steel body country boat driven by engines across the Meghna river. Then everyone has to pay Tk 100 up and down as fare. Holidaymakers say, 'We can enjoy a river tour and also feel here a touch of that Cox's Bazar,'.
Locals and boatmen say that this char has emerged for the last five/six years giving an opportunity for the pleasure seekers/ tourists/ travel -lovers to come and enjoy here at the river bank. Here all men, women, and children can feel the joys and pleasures of Cox's Bazar and so it is regarded as Mini Cox's Bazar.
During this correspondent's visit recently, it was observed that several thousand men, women, and children are making enjoyment and having fun bath with life buoys at the knee-deep, waist-deep, and throat-deep waters at the river bank.
Vendors Hajrat Ali,(40), youths-Sakib and Babu say, ignoring lockdown, in the afternoon and on holidays, people rush here for enjoyments. They feel the touch of Cox's Bazar and so they do come here on holidays and on the occasion of Enid, they have added.
But most people had no care to wear mouth-masks.
Talking to this correspondent, a mouth mask vendor Bazlur Rahman(60), and mobile Shonpapri vendor Solaiman Mia(16) have said, people are rushing to Parjaton Kendra and then come to Mini Cox's Bazar by country boats for making fun, enjoyment, etc. So we are earning some money, as though most people are not wearing masks.
A group of teachers from Cumilla Victoria Got College have told this correspondent that hearing about this Mini Cox's Bazar, they have come over here to have the touch of that Cox's Bazar. A lady teacher has regretted for wearing sari for which she could not wade in the river water despite her tremendous desirenor could she make fun, frolic, and enjoyment standing at knee-deep water in the river bank.
Lovely Begum(40), a housewife of Upadhi South area in Matlab South Upazila has told the FE that she along with her children, old father, elder sister, and a few other close kins had come and had fun- bath at their sweet- will in the river water and made much enjoyment.
Another lady of Hajiganj Municipal area Nazmun Nahar Jumu (Hajiganj Paura Councillor) along with her close relative came to make enjoyment here. SSC Exam passed two students of Borkul Ramkanai High School in Hajiganj Upazila have expressed the same feelings.
Yet another housewife( 35) along with her younger brother Arif (22), an HSC student of Kochua Bangabandhu Govt College came here from their home at Shohodevpur South area of Kochua Upazila to enjoy and have the feelings and joys of that Cox's Bazar sea beach.
Tarek Khan along with his wife, small son, sister-in-laws from Hapania village in Ashikati union under Chandpur Sadar also came to see the Mini Cox's Bazar.
A SSC student Khadiza (15), along with Bristi(14) and Aruna (14) from Dalalbazar in Roypur Upazila of Luxmipur district, (beside Faridganj) came to enjoy at the Mini Cox's Bazar.
Many many others are seen to swim and dive for a long time with the help of lifebuoys in the river bank here. Chandpur Paurasva's Panel Mayor Farida Elias along with her friends was also seen enjoying swimming in the river bank.
Mohammad Jashimuddin (50), a govt employee, and a few others have told this correspondent at the river bank at Mini Cox's Bazar.
'As due to long time holiday and lockdown, children have become fed up for staying a long time at home, we have become compelled to come out and come here to have the feelings, joys, and pleasures of Cox's Bazar'.
Last year, a student (20) of Cumilla town drowned in this riverbank in Mini Cox's Bazar while having fun bath here for long. The deceased youth came here along with two other friends by motorbike.
Local shopkeepers at the Mini Cox's Bazar - Sakib, Babu, both teenagers, and Hazrat Ali (40) have told the FE that the sale of blackberry, cold drinks, tea and coffee, cigarettes, biscuits are brisk due to the rush of holidaymakers.
The same views were ventilated by Fusca and Chotpoti vendor Ismail Hossain, Ice Cream vendors, and others.
Auto drivers Rajiv Gazi and Soleman Mia have told this correspondent, 'We are earning much these days due to the arrival of travel lovers'.
But there are some practical problems the people have to face here at the Mini Cox's Bazar. They are absence of any Washroom, absence of tubewell's drinking water, no place to offer prayer, no waiting sheds, and benches to sit on and take shelter in case of sudden stormy wind and rainfall, and thunderbolts.
Contacted to know about these problems at Mini Cox's Bazar, Local Government's Deputy Director and Additional Deputy Commissioner(General)Abdullah Al Mahmud Jaman has told the FE that 'District Administration is not at all concerned about this Mini Cox's Bazar as it is a 'great threat and danger for Chandpur town. The emergence of this char is already diverting the flow of the current of the Meghna river and so, the town may be eroded any time. To keep Chandpur safe and protected from any erosion by the Meghna is a very crying and urgent need and so, we need not bother at all for this Mini Cox's Bazar.'
However, in collaboration with Chandpur Paurasava, we are trying to enhance the amenities for travel- lovers at Parjaton Kendra at the town's Molehead beside the Meghna-Dakatia and Padma's confluence.
'For this, we have already evicted some 10 illegal shops and acquired 50 decimals of Rly land allegedly grabbed by a few bigwigs'.