Hotels an eyesore of Cox’s Bazar beach

Hotels an eyesore of Cox’s Bazar beach

The extent of recklessness with which a section of people has lately begun encroaching on the Bay of Bengal pales beside the menace of river grabbing in the country. In the case of river-bank filling, the sandy soil dug out from the river beds is mostly transported elsewhere. In the distant areas, the freshly collected sand is used chiefly for construction work. When it comes to the sea, collectingits sand from the seafloor sounds absurd. What is possible and is being widely practised in the country's Cox's Bazar beach is literally slow encroachment on the certain popular points on the beach. In some areas, the high-rise hotels appear to be abutting on the mainland beach. This spectacle is both unique and atrocious. Nowhere in the present-day world, the beach goers have ever been found confronting this spectacle. In order to build hotels, motels and rest houses the builders must have brought soil from elsewhere. They have apparently done their piling work there putting the non-commercial concrete set-up in the vicinity at risk. Few in the authorities appear to be bothered the least. Had they been so, the very thought of constructing tall hotels wouldn't have occurred to them.

The average people are happy finding the residential facilities so close to the beach. In the olden days, a posh British era hotel would cater to the residential and lunch-dinner-breakfast needs of the room occupants. The only problem that the boarders faced was the distance of nearly one mile between the hotel and the beach. As if with the waving of a magic wand, the sea nowadays seems so close by! Many genuine tourists love to cross the walking distance. Stunningly, many others prefer watching the sea from their balcony. Some of them say without mincing words that they do not want to dust their feet with sands. Also, the plebeians coming to the beach to watch the sea along with them earns their annoyance. These crowds, according to them, break their meditative peace and tranquility of nature, comprising the sea, the expanse of sands and the sudden cries of the marine birds. At this point one doesn't need to scratch their head to realise that these people belong a different class including many nouveaux riches.

However, there are none to tell the neo rich and the apparently educated people that it is mainly to cater their enjoyment needs that the hotel owners have felt the urgency to narrow the distance between the hotels and resorts and the sea-view as close as possible. The stark fact is by doing this the hoteliers are inflicting great harms to the Cox's Bazar beach. The share of the general sea-goers in polluting the sea's environment is almost equal. The pollutions mainly relate to the overall environment, the beach air, water and sound in particular. Yet according to the local environmentalists, it's the silently invasive encroachers who have been proving themselves to be the great hostile forces threatening the future of this beach, recognised indisputably as the world's longest unbroken beach.

The encroachment of the sea beaches is different from that seen in the cases of rivers. When it comes to the deltaic land's rivers, the grabbers literally swoop on the rivers. They begin their crime, first manually and then by using dredgers and other heavy machinery. In the case of a beach, they resort to an altogether different way. To achieve their final objective of encroaching on the very coastal belt, they construct these awe-inspiring hotels almost abutting the sea. This is being done under the very nose of the authorities; and also in broad daylight. If this practice continues unabated, the whole beach in both length and breadth is facing an existential threat. As time ticks away with the number of beach-goers rising, sea-goers and the plebeians, the beach can be portrayed as one headed for a natural catastrophe. It may not be immediately noticeable like seen with the ancient mountains; the havoc being wrought is set to emerge over a long period. Some natural objects do not strike like an earthquake, or cyclones and a volcanic eruption. They show their utmost patience while being exploited, disturbed or damaged. It's upon reaching the end of their tethers when they cannot take it anymore. And then the natural objects strike humans with their fury. Despite knowing this turn of things, the knowledgeable segments feel it convenient to remain indifferent. After years and ages, the cataclysmic moments appear with all their vengeance. It's called the point of no return.

The environmentally aware people who are habitual Cox's Bazar visitors are the direct witnesses to the ecological deterioration in the beach area. They would go to the beach to spend a few days in an idyllic atmosphere. Since the early 21st century, what they have been seeing is wide-scale destruction of the 'jhau' forests on the beach and the levelling of the lush green hills and hillocks just a few kilometres from the shore. With few vocal activists beside, they had few options to taking a nonchalant stance. They must have soliloquized that this couldn't go on. But in facing up to the syndicates of the sea, rivers and forest grabbers, what the fight requires the first and foremost is a broad-based camaraderie of the masses concerned. In the Cox's Bazar beach area, these platforms end up being fragmented, with few remaining committed to saving this pride of Bangladesh --- i.e. the world's longest unbroken beach.


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