The Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism designated seven tourist spots of Bandarban as “restricted” to make the areas more accessible to tourism and allow for “environment-friendly” development activities in these areas.
The restriction was declared through a public notice issued by the ministry recently, and at least 272 acres of land of the seven spots were surrounded with barbed wire fences following the order.
The spots are: Meghla Parjatan Complex, Prantik Lake, Mirinja Parjatan Complex, Shorno Mondir, Shoilopropat, and certain areas of Chimbuk Hill and Nilachol. However, Nilgiri, another popular tourist attraction located about 47km southeast of Bandarban town, was not included in the restricted areas.
The authorities think the move would be of benefit to tourists and ecology. “We are trying to make these spots eco-friendly,” said Shamim Hossain, nezarat deputy collector of the district.
“Tourists often land in trouble while visiting the spots because of poor communication means and lack of proper sanitation facilities.”
According to a source at the district administration, Nilgiri, which is under direct control of the army, wasn’t declared restricted because of unavailability of necessary documents of ownership. The Prime Minister’s Office had instructed the administration to produce land records of Nilgiri.
Besides, the land ministry has sent a letter to the Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Ministry regarding property rights to the land.