Tourist travel is prohibited in St. Martin, 144 hotel resorts are lying empty
Despite millions of tourists flocking to the world’s longest Cox’s Bazar beach to spend the Eid-ul-Azhar holiday, Prabaldwip St. Martin is completely empty. No one can travel there due to restrictions. Similarly, the residents of Teknaf, Ukhia and Cox’s Bazar districts are also unable to set foot on the island. Residents of St. Martin are required to show national ID when traveling to Teknaf headquarters. The entire beach of the island is empty as there are no tourists. 144 hotels, resort-cottages made for tourists are lying empty.
Saint Martin Island Union Parishad (UP) Chairman and Union Awami League President Mujibur Rahman told Prothom Alo that the movement of passenger wooden trawlers in the Teknaf-Saint Martin waterway has been stopped for the last six days due to the rough Bay of Bengal and bad weather conditions. Because of this, the people of the island have to spend their lives in captivity on the island. Just as no one from outside St. Martin could come to the island during the Eid holidays, similarly people from St. Martin could not go to Teknaf-Cox’s Bazar.
10,500 inhabitants of this 7 square kilometer floating island in the Bay of Bengal. The UP chairman said that most of the people are not enjoying Eid, the people of the island are in financial crisis. Many families are living inhumane life. Due to the stoppage of trawler movement, daily necessities including rice, dal, oil, potato, onion, garlic, curry cannot be brought to the island from Teknaf. As a result, there has been a shortage of goods and a rise in prices. Last year more than hundred cows and buffaloes were sacrificed in the island. About 50 people have been sacrificed this time.
It was decided in the meeting that 900 tourists will be allowed to travel to St. Martin daily through online registration. Those who visit the island will have to pay a revenue of Rs 1,000 per head to the government. And those who will spend the night in the island hotel, they will have to pay two thousand taka. Although this directive is supposed to be effective from the next tourist season i.e. November, no one can go to St. Martin now.