April 19, 2024, 2:04 am

Tourists buzz in Sundarbans as govt withdraw ban

  • Update Time : Monday, November 2, 2020
  • 281 Time View

FBD Desk:

Tourists have started to visit Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest, from today (November 1) after a seven-month-long closure because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

Earlier, the Forest Department announced that tourists will be able to enter every tourist spot inside the forest from November 1.

The Forest Department made the decision after holding a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Forests and Environment on October 19 in a view to gear up Sundarbans-centric tourism industry as well as feeling a sense of relief ahead of the upcoming tourist season.

According to the Forest Department, to prevent the spread of Covid-19, a temporary shutdown was imposed from March 19 over the entire Sundarbans for tourists, boats and villagers, adjacent to Sundarbans, who are dependent on the forest.

Talking to BSS, General Secretary of Tour Operator Association of Sundarbans Nazmul Azam Devid said tourists have started to visit Sunderbans from this morning.

Tour operators have already completed the necessary preparations and many of them have already opened tour pre-bookings after banning closure, he said, adding that some vessels (Launch) and Ships will begin towards Sundarbans tourist spots on November 3 and 6.

Deputy Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Begum Habibun Nahar told BSS today the government has reopened Sundarbans thinking about the well-being of tour operators and stakeholders who are dependent on the forest.

“Tour Operators have been asked to board not over 50 tourists of each vessel and maintain social distance and health guidelines, set up by the government,” she said.

Security measures will be taken during Sundarban visit ahead of ‘Rash Puja’, and Hindu devotees have been asked to maintain health guidelines, she said, adding that Raas Fair has been prohibited this year due to Covid-19.

During the peak season – from November to March every year – more than 50,000 tourists stay in the nine tourist spots of the mangrove forest.

However, the sudden ban on visiting the Sundarbans, without any prior announcement, caused trouble for the visitors of various tourist centres inside the forest.

Sundarbans (West) Divisional Forest Officer Md Abu Naser said today “We have received instructions in this regard.”(Source: Online)

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