In the spotlight – Jaflong
Jaflong is a natural tourist spot in the Division of Sylhet, Bangladesh. It is located in Gowainghat Upazila of Sylhet District and situated at the border between Bangladesh and the Indian state of Meghalaya.
It is just below the mountain range. Jaflong is famous for its stone collections and is home of the Khasi tribe.[ In early 2005, Laskar Muqsudur Rahman, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Sylhet Forest Division, observed that Jaflong that he heard in his boyhood as the ‘lungs’ of Greater Sylhet was at stake due to on going encroachments and establishment of unauthorized stone crushing mills. He took initiatives to recover the land and establish a recreation-cum-botanical park named as ‘Jaflong Green Park’.
The first foundation stone for the thematic Green Park at Jaflong was laid by Laskar Muqsudur Rahman, Deputy Conservator of Forests in 2005 with the cooperation of local forest staffs led by Forest Ranger Mohammad Ali. Nonetheless, at the inception it was a challenging task due to local conflicts and procedural constraints. The forestation program in Jaflong Green Park has been started under supervision of the joint forces, Jaflong Foundation and Forest Department. They have jointly taken up the forestation program with about 100 hectares of grabbed land. Under the forestation program, various types of trees, including hybrid Akash-moni, are being planted in the park to maintain ecological balance.
However, that is not always the case. On our recent visit to Jaflong, we found out that being left unnoticed and due to no development at all, Jaflong has lost it’s beauty. It is now more of a stone crushing site than any tourist spot.
First of all, the road is in a very bad situation. Mainly when you get near to Jaflong, the road is so bad and specially if you are going there around summer there is so much of dust, it’s unbearable. As much as we would love to encourage you to visit, we would rather be straight and tell you not to, specially if you have any asthema problems / dust issues.
However, if you could get past the stone crushing site and go little near to the border across the river, you will experiece amazing views to be honest, but it is quite risky to take kids. We would strongly encourage you to visit Jaflong in winter season if you had to…
So why has Jaflong lost it’s beauty? Definitely being left to rot in a corner by the local authorities and obviously the government of Bangladesh never took it seriously as a tourist spot. Just like most of Greater Sylhet, we have hardly seen any noticeable development in Sylhet.