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Once remote Sajek, now thriving tourist spot

Published : Monday, 30 November, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 225

RANGAMATI, Nov 29: Booming tourism is driving overall economies in the Sajek valley. The lifestyle and livelihood of hill people changed after Sajek became popular as a tourism spot. Sajek valley is known as the Queen of Hills and Roof of Rangamati.
Sajek is a union located in the north of Chittagong Hill Tracts. It's under Baghaichori Upazila in Rangamati hill district, it is situated 67 kilometres (42 miles) north-east from Khagrachhari town and 95 kilometres (59 miles) north from Rangamati city.
Sajek valley is 1,476 feet (450 m) above sea level. Engineer Construction Brigade (ECB) of Bangladesh Army has constructed 67 kilometres (42 miles) north-east road from Khagrachhari through several hills and valleys on the way to the Sajek valley. Sajek road opened to public after 10 years. Vested quarters and interested groups were raising voice against the Sajek road work since the beginning of the construction in 2004.  Travel and tourism sector in Sajek registered a growth since the opening of the road.  
Sajek Valley is an emerging tourist spot in the country     situated among the hills of the Kasalong range of mountains in Sajek union of Baghaichhari Upazila in Rangamati district.
 Sajek Valley is known for its natural environment and is surrounded by mountains, dense forest and grassland hill tracks. Many small rivers flow through the mountains among which the Kachalong and the Machalong are notable. On the way to Sajek Valley, one has to cross the Mayni range and the Mayni river. The road to Sajek has high peaks and falls.
The hill people belonging to Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Pankua, Kaibarta, Lushai and other communities, are now very happy as their lifestyle and livelihood changed. Each and every family now earns Tk 50,000 to Tk 100,000 per month but before the Sajek Valley was connected by road the locals were in trouble to make ends meet.
They earn money as rent of their houses as resort for tourists. Tea stalls, food vending joints and roadside market places are all dominated by women. Picking fruits and vegetables early in the morning is a common trade here.
Pang Tribura, a native of Sajek, told the daily Observer that every day some 5,000 people visit the valley.
The international hotel project, titled Marriott Hotel and Amusement Park, is going to be built here. Vested quarters and interested groups are opposing the construction of the five-star hotel at Bandarban areas as they did during the Sajek road construction.
Local people would be benefited if the proposed five-star hotel is constructed, according to sources.
They will be able to sell their products at a high price once the five-star hotel becomes operational in the area.

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