Historic Ramsagar, an ecological park maintained by the forest department at Tajpur village under Dinajpur Sadar upazila, has become a safe haven for drug addicts and gamblers, much to the nuisance of visitors especially ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr.
Eight kilometres from Dinajpur town, the well known tourist spot comprises 146.44 acres of land, including a 68.54-acre water body.
Forest department built a rest house and a mini zoo there, but the presence of a large number of drug peddlers and addicts spoils the environment there.
“I felt embarrassed to see the movement of delinquents when I visited at Ramsagar with my family a few days ago. People, especially women feel insecure in absence of police patrol inside the tourist spot," said Ruhul Amin, a local resident.
“Some people engage in anti-social activities, including drug taking and gambling, sitting amid dense trees and bushes. Women do not feel safe to visit the place in absence of any security guards," said Amanur Rashid, a resident of Dinajpur town.
Mugging is a common incident there, locals said.
Even a few incidents of stalking and molestation took place in the complex area recently.
Drug peddlers and addicts often harass visitors in the name of toll collection at the entrance while the anti-social elements have to be allowed inside, said an employee of Ramsagar seeking anonymity.
Usually a large number of people visit the spot during holidays and big festivals like Eid but they will lose interest if the nuisance continues, said Golam Mostafa, a local.
Ali Kabir, divisional forest officer of Dinajpur, could not be contacted as his cell phone remained off.
Md Ruhul Amin, superintendent of police of Dinajpur, said, "Teams of police and DB visit Ramsagar regularly. But responsibility of providing security there does not rest with the police alone. The forest department has role to play in this regard."