Various types of animals, including dogs, were seen bathing, playing in the blue waters at Patenga beach. Snails and oysters are roaming the seashore.
Nature has woken up on the barren Patenga beach in Chattogram. Plants have begun to sprout. Flowers are blooming on the plants. Snails and oysters are roaming the seashore. A group of dogs have also been seen playing in the blue waters of the sea.
Environmentalists describe such a healthy ecology on the beach in positive terms. But all credit goes to the nationwide shutdown put in force to stem the Covid-19 outbreak.
The beach, once jam-packed with thousands of people, is now quiet and still, barring the sounds of waves breaking on the shore. New leaves are coming out in the trees on the beach.
At other times, thousands of people would throng the spot every day. Hundreds of cars from the city and different areas of the district used to be lined on the beach, leaving it polluted.
Milon Sarkar, a local resident who goes to the beach for morning walk, has told The Business Standard that the beach has got a new look after the shutdown due to spread of the virus infection. Beasts, birds, snails, oysters and plants now occupied the beach. There are flowers on the trees.
Though public life has been stagnant due to coronavirus, it has been positive for the environment, environmentalists say.
Marine scientists say there are numerous aquatic plants that survive in the saline waters of the beach. They also protect the environment and prevent the beach from erosion. These plants now grow on the seashore.
Chittagong University Marine Science Department Professor Shahadat Hossain says some plants such as Sagorlota or the Beach Morning Glory act as natural barriers against sea waves and protect the beach from erosion. These plants are disappearing due to unbridled movement of tourists and unplanned development. Sagorlota is no longer visible on Patenga beach.
Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) vice-president Idris Ali says that after Cox's Bazar, many tourists come to Patenga beach to enjoy the beauty of the sea. There were many stones, trees, plants all over the beach. The beach lost its previous form due to pollution. After the renovation, the beach lost its beauty also.
But the form in which the beach used to be a decade ago is now returning, he adds.
Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) has already constructed walkways and beautified a five-kilometer stretch in the 10-km beach.
CDA Chief Engineer Kazi Hasan Bin Shams told The Business Standard, "We have evicted about 300 shops adjacent to the beach to protect it from pollution. Though many unaware tourists pollute the beach, we are trying to prevent the pollution. "
Patenga is a sea beach of the Bay of Bengal, located on the estuary of the Karnaphuli River and 14 kilometres south from the Chattogram city.