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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Coastal areas have immense potential for ‘Golpata’

Sabbir Alam Babu, Bhola

The salinity of rivers and seas and tolerance to adverse climates have contributed to the natural beautification of the coastal areas of the country, including the traditional golpata bhola bhola, as well as environmental balance and river erosion prevention but with the connivance of some tree smugglers and unscrupulous forest workers, golpata is being cut freely along with other trees in the forest.

As a result, the government is losing huge amount of revenue as well as much needed trees tolerant to adverse climate.

This golpata tree, which is useful in the coastal areas including the southern part of the country, is becoming extinct due to various reasons like necessary maintenance, filling of other water bodies including canals, lack of cultivation, violence of tree smugglers etc. At one time on the banks of the canals, beels and rivers in the entire southern part of the country, one could see the natural ornamental, eye-catching scenery of many golpata trees.

In the course of time, they are no longer observed. According to the research, the name of the tree is Golpata but its shape is very similar to that of a coconut tree. The height is about 15 to 20 feet. They usually grow well with low salinity sediments. The use of golpata as a shelter in the houses of low-income families, even the Rakhine tribes, was popular everywhere in the coastal towns.

Golpata tree sap also produces delicious edible molasses, people of coastal tribes make distilled wine from golpata juice and use it in various cultures and festivals. Newsprint, hardboard, iodized salt can be produced from the lower part of the tree.

Golpata cultivation is very profitable, easy to grow at low cost, it is free from viral diseases and it does not require fertilizers and pesticides, nor does it require much care. Golpata seeds are collected and put on low ground and seedlings grow from it. But the forest department has not taken any initiative to plant or cultivate new golpata trees even today.

The wise people think that keeping the thousands of lands in the coastal areas uncultivated, meeting the demand of the country for molasses, making newsprint, hardboard, above all preventing river erosion and maintaining the natural balance will be very helpful.

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