An inter-ministerial meeting yesterday rejected a proposal to hand over two ecologically critical areas in Cox's Bazar to Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) for building exclusive tourist centres.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism made the proposal to hand over to the BPC the tiny Sonadia and Cheradia islands but the inter-ministerial meet turned it down to protect the bio-diversity and reserve forests of the two areas, meeting placed sources said.
Sonadia, an island of 2,965.37 acres of land located in Kutubjhum under Moheshkhali upazila of Cox's Bazar, has already been officially declared an ecologically critical area.
Some 2,122 acres of the total land have been given to Forest Department for developing reserve forest. The island already has natural forest on 1200 acres and another 400 acres have been brought under afforestation.
Cheradia comprising 18.70 acres of land is part of Saint Martin's Island. It is a coral sanctuary having 89 species of fish and no human habitation on it.