Tuesday, 7 December, 2021

Heartily hail impeccable Sundarbans

Heartily hail impeccable Sundarbans

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It is pleasant to note that government efforts to free the Sundarbans from bandits and pirates have started bearing fruits. Tourists now feel free to visit the serene and pristine forest; fishermen and people dependent on forest resources no longer face any hindrance in their movement there in search of livelihood. The lead story of this daily suggests that a tranquil atmosphere prevails over the length and breadth of the mangrove forest.

The Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest and a UNESCO world heritage site, was ravaged by dozens of bandit gangs over a prolonged period. Forest dwellers and those who frequent the forest to earn their livelihood had a nightmarish experience because of the armed gang members who held fishermen and forest officials hostage and squeezed ransom from them or killed them in case they failed to meet the bandits’ demand. Poaching and trafficking of deer, tigers and crocodiles challenged the preservation of wildlife. Their savagery even threatened the life of the majestic Bengal Tigers. Out of fear for life, tourists and nature lovers refrained from visiting the forest, leading to a drastic fall in tourism industry there.

Such an unholy state of affairs not only led to the damage and destruction of the world heritage site and its flora and fauna but also tarnished the image of the country globally. With a view to freeing the Sundarbans from the savage criminals, the Awami League government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered the law enforcement agencies to conduct powerful combing campaigns against the robbers and kidnappers. This drive led to the surrender of all the criminals and establishment of peace and safety in the forest.

Much to the pleasure of the sensible persons, who earnestly craved for a safe and secure Sundarbans, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared the forest free from criminal gangs exactly three years ago. As a result of restoration of peace and security, tourists from home and abroad can now visit the forest without any fear for insecurity; fishermen and those who collected forest resources no longer face any hindrance and harassment in the forest. We are happy to note that hunting and trafficking of wild animals also seem to have come down drastically. The Sundarbans is again a safe sanctuary for wild animals; however, a lot of things still remain to be done to protect this dream forest and its unique ecology and environment. A peaceful Sundarbans is a priceless possession of the nation.