Recently I had an opportunity of visiting the Ratargul swamp forest. Prior to this trip I had been there for several times. But this was for the first time during rainy season. The tranquillity the place offers is invaluable. Birds chirping, submerged trees, boat ride through the forest – all these things will turn any gloomy day into a cheerful one.
But this time the scenario was completely different. The weather was fine, water level had risen significantly, but there was something new which was not supposed to be in the midst of such a unique forest: a six storied watch tower has been erected. Many development projects like this are also currently underway. By the end of this year, the whole development project is expected to be completed. In the very middle of a marshy land, blessed with amazingly beautiful flora, a concrete structure is certainly a thing I never expected.
Previously, the local people seemed to be very optimistic about the tourism boom which might change their fate. But this time they seemed worried. Our boatman informed us that birds already started to flee. Some of the locals accused that the authorities were trying to camouflage their evil intention of forest grabbing by undertaking completely unnecessary projects. We will be very happy if their accusation is proved wrong.