Tourists are flocking to Chattogram's Patengasea beach despite the government ban on gathering at recreational facilities to prevent the risk of spreading Covid-19.
Since the day of Eid on 14 May, millions of tourists have been visiting the beach every day. Despite monitoring from the Chattogram district administration, the influx of tourists has been uncontrollable and most of the visitors are not wearing face masks.
About the rush of the holidaymakers, Executive Magistrate of Chattogram District Administration Md Omar Faruk said that the visitors are gathering at the recreational centres of the port city in defiance and disregard of the government ban. The administration is continuing to monitor the situation, Faruk added.
Tourists are mostly gathering at Patenga beach, on the banks of the River Karnaphuli, Central Railway Building (CRB) area, Bayezid Link Road, and other open entertainment centres.
Shariful Islam, who was visiting the Patenga beach with his family, said that he chose the beach because all other entertainment venues were closed. He did not expect such huge crowds on the beach.
Many entertainment venues in the city including Chattogram zoo, Foy's Lake, KazirDewriShishu Park, Shadhinata Complex, Karnaphuli Shishu Park were closed following the government directives.
"Although we are incurring losses of Tk45 lakh per month, we have kept the park closed," Biswajit Ghosh, deputy manager (Marketing) of Concord, the company that manages the city's Foy's Lake Amusement Park, told The Business Standard.
According to Chattogram district administration sources, four executive magistrates conducted raids at different locations in Patenga and Export Processing Zone (EPZ) area on the day of Eid on 14 May and fined Tk1880 in 22 cases. A mobile court was also set up in the Foy's Lake area which fined Tk300 in three cases.
On 15 May, five executive magistrates fined Tk3800 in 16 cases in the Patenga and EPZ areas and Tk800 in eight cases in the CRB area of the port city. Four executive magistrates were conducting raids on Saturday as well, at the time of writing this report.