After over seven-month of restrictions amid global novel coronavirus pandemic, the world largest mangrove forest and a Unesco World Heritage Site - Sundarbans – has been reopened for visitors from today.
However, the tourists will be allowed following proper hygiene rules, according to officials of forest department.
On the first day of reopening, some 36 tourists entered the Sundarbans till 12pm through Kalagacchi area in Shyamnagar upazila of Satkhira district.
Aminur Rahman Bulbul, official of Shyamnagar food warehouse who went to Sundarbans with a group of officials, said that though he had wished to visit Sundarbans, they could not come here for long coronavirus restriction.
"However, I came to visit today with the family of the district officer… feeling very good as it seems that nature has worn a new look. The crowd of tourists is also increasing," he said.
Abul Hasan, forest officer of Sundarbans West Satkhira range, said that tourists were barred from entering the Sundarbans since 25 March following the government instructions due to the coronavirus situation. Now, Sundarbans has been reopened under new direction.
Some 36 tourists entered the Sundarbans through the Kalagachhi area riding on three trawlers after taking passes from the forest department till 12 noon, said the official.
Dobeki is another point of entry into the Sundarbans, he said.
During the cyclone Bulbul, the jetty for tourists was broken down and the entry of tourists to the Sundarbans was halted. Now the jetty has been fixed.
Divisional forest officer (DFO) will allow entry through there. No one has yet applied to enter the Sundarbans through the entry point of Deboki. DFO will give permission after application, said Abul Hasan.
At present, tourists are entering the Sundarbans through the Kalagachhi area. The precondition for entering the Sundarbans is to enter the Sundarbans in accordance with the health rules announced by the government.
Wearing mask has been made mandatory. Besides, the rest of the hygiene rules have to be followed, further added the official.