Being nearest to Chattogram town, Parki beach might be the next tourist attraction of Bangladesh, which is situated in Anwara thana under southern Chattogram region.
The beach lies 16-17 km distance from Chattogram city. As the beach is situated at the Karnafuli river channel, visitors can view both the Karnafuli River and the sea together. Tourists enjoy the views of big ships anchored at the outer dock, fishermen catching fish in sea, sunset, various colored crabs at the beach and quiet environment.
Every day, 1,500 to 2,000 visitors come to Parki beach in Anwara upazila in the southern Chittagong region. The number, however, jumps to around 10,000 on weekends and holidays, said locals.
But the resources of this beautiful beach are mostly going untapped as the authorities concerned are oblivious to the fact that the surrounding area of the 2-km-long beach can be further developed into a tourist hotspot, they added.
During a recent visit to the beach, some 17km off the port city, all sorts of man-made waste including beverage bottles, food packaging and coconut shells were found scattered all around the beach.
There are around 70 makeshift shops that are set up on the beach without any visible restriction enforced by the authorities.
Due to the absence of residential accommodation and security measures, visitors have to leave the beach before the sundown. Moreover, there are only two public lavatories, of which one remains closed almost all the time, the locals said.
The beach offers a unique opportunity to view the Bay of Bengal and the river Karnaphuli at a time. While watching the sunset, visitors here can enjoy the view of large ships anchored at the outer dock of the port, fishermen catching fish in the sea, a Jhau forest and fish enclosures.
Moreover, portions of the serene beach are sometimes found blanketed by red crabs — an amazing sight to behold.
Sakhawat Hossain, employee of a private firm in Chittagong city, brought along his wife and two-year-old son to the beach.
“…it seems that it (the beach) is left uncared for. There’s garbage everywhere. There are no quality eateries either,” he said.
He also said that with fitting initiatives, the beach has all the potential to be a fantastic destination for holidaymakers.
Amenities like good eateries, hotels, tourist police and adequate public toilets can make the beach more attractive to the visitors, said Mozaffar Ahmed, a local.MA Quaium Shah, chairman of nearby Barshat union, claimed that he on his own initiative employs people to clean the beach every 15 to 20 days.
Quaium, also a member of Chittagong Beach Management Committee, put emphasis on the necessity of conservancy workers and tourist police at the beach.A process of acquiring about 13.36 acres of land, adjacent to the beach, is going on to construct a residential facility there.
Once residential facilities are ensured, other issues like deployment of tourist police will be addressed, he further said. The ministry had ensured him that it had a plan to build a four-star hotel there, among other facilities, he added.