Jagatsinghpur, Dec 17 (LocalWire) People of Balikuda, under the banner of Talamal Bikash Manch, on Monday conducted a rally and Jana Samabesh demanding development of Marichpur Bandar (port) as tourist spot.
Sources said the Odisha government and department of tourism have taken several steps for promotion of tourist spots but nothing has been done for development of the Marichpur Bandar (port) in Balikuda.
Hundreds of people, led by president of Manch Sasank Sekhar Sahani, conducted mass rallies and congregated to submit a memorandum to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik though local legislator demanding development of this Bandar and to take immediate steps to make it a tourist spot.
Local people have threatened to boycott the coming election and vowed to restrictentryof electedrepresentatives, including ministers, if their demands are not met.
Marichpur Bandar is surrounded by mangrove forests that provides a formidable natural barrier against cyclones. However, of late, the shoreline is gradually dwindling due to lack of protection.
The small forest island at Bandar attracts thousands of migratory birds from Siberia from December to February every year.
Rise of prawn ghery and other cultivation by encroaching the land have lost thousands of traditional plants like Sundari, Bani, Karanjia, Kerua, Mendhi, Rai and Pitambari in coastal villages.
The reminder of a colonial past, it was Marichpur Bandar (port) through which the first of the British merchants entered Odisha.
There are several evidences on the arrival of British merchants at Marichpur Bandar in a book ‘How the English came to Orissa by W.R.Wilson.
The book records the movements of Britishers during the early 17th century.
In 1633, eight groups of merchants, led by Kart Wright and Bruton, started their journey from Machilipatanam of Andhra Pradesh and had reached Harishpur port in Erasama and another Marichpur port of Balikuda in a vessel named ‘Snan’ on April 21,1937 to set up a factory and a cotton mill in this area to streamline commercial activities.
In 2013, the district administration had sought intervention of state government and department of tourism for development of this British period port and also sent proposal for development of pathway, jetty repairing, boating facilities, drinking water, electricity facilities, boundary wall and plantation of this port.