Aiming to focus public attention on the exquisite natural beauty of the country’s second largest wetland and the immense tourism potential it holds, the local administration is going to organise a two-day ‘Haor Festival’ at Tanguar Haor in Tahirpur upazila on September 16-17. The orgnisers expect that the event will be turned into a get-together for several thousand visitors where they could raise the demand for constructing tourism infrastructures in the world heritage Ramsar site, Tanguar Haor, stretching over 10,000 hectares of marshy area in Dharmapasha and Tahirpur upazilas of Sunamganj district.In close touch with the hills of the Indian state of Meghalaya, the designated wetland of international importance is also called “Second Sundarbans” for its cology, biodiversity, flora and fauna, birds habitat of both resident and migratory, natural wetland, bird sanctuary, mother-fisheries and tourism aspects.
UNESCO declared Tanguar Haor as one of the Ramsar sites in 2000 and considered this wetland world heritage on account of its international significance in terms of ecology, botany, zoology, limnology or hydrology for civilisation.Its transparent water and live fish species make this water body a natural aquarium as well as its surrounding landscape of Shillong massif and Garo-Khasia hills make a beautiful site to dissolve in nature to forget tiredness of busy life.The wetland comprises 53 water bodies which are home to 141 species of fish, 200 species of aquatic plants, 340 local and foreign species of birds, 98 types of migratory birds, 121 types of ducks, 19 types of mammals, 29 types of reptiles and many amphibians.Nothing has followed so far the promises of different quarters from the government to change ‘Tanguer Haor’ into an attractive tourist spot. People from different districts come to enjoy pleasure trips in Takerghat, Barek Tila and Zadu Kata River in Tanguer Haor but they often have to experience harassments in different ways due to lack of secure tourism settings. AB Razzak, director general of Environment and Human Rights Development Society, said visitors can be drawn here in a larger number through setting up tourist-friendly infrastructures, which will fetch the government a substantial revenue income. Kamruzzaman Kamrul, chairman of Tahirpur upazila and the main organiser of the festival, said the place remains abuzz with a large number of visitors all the year round, “But there has not been developed any tourism infrastructure so far despite our repeated pleas.”So the local upazila administration has taken the initiative to highlight the tradition and culture of Tanguer Haor, he added. Ten separate committees and sub-committees have been formed to make the festival a success, he said.Besides, an additional number of law enforcers will remain deployed in and around the festival venue to ensure security to the visitors, said Kamruzzaman Kamrul while talking to reporters after a preparatory meeting for the festival, held at the Upazila Parishad on Thursday.Registration free per person for the festival has been set at Tk2,500, he added. Moazzem Hassain Ratan MP of Sunamganj-1 constituency, Deputy Commissioner Sheikh Mohammad Rafiqul Isalm and Sunamganj-28 BGB Commanding officer Colonel Nasir Uddin will be present at the inaugural session.