Dhaka, Apr 29 (UNB) – Though the party has got its representative to parliament 27 years after its formation, Gonoforum is likely to face a split due to internal feud among its leaders over party leadership and oath taking by its MP Mokabbir Khan.
Gonoforum’s internal conflict came to the spotlight as a group of party leaders, including its general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu, boycotted the party’s special council held in the city on Friday while some others voiced their resentment at the council session as Mokabbir joined it.
Due to the infighting, no fresh committee of the party was formed in the council held after eight years while the party delegates entrusted Dr Kamal with the responsibility to form a committee and run the party and reorganise it in consultation with senior leaders.
A leader, close to Dr Kamal Hossain, told UNB that their president may form an ad-hoc committee in the early next month instead of making a full-fledged committee to run the party and prepare it for another council within a year overhauling it at the grassroots.
In the face of the growing anger, Mokabbir was also served with a show-cause notice on Saturday, signed by Montu, for taking oath violating the party decision.
Party insiders said a misunderstanding developed between party president Dr Kamal Hossain and its general secretary and some other leaders over taking oath by its two MPs --Sultan Mohammad Mansur and Mokabbir Khan.
They said a group of party leaders, led by Montu and Gonoforum executive president Subrata Chowdhury, was deadly against taking oath by the two MPs while others loyal to Dr Kamal were in favour of sending their MPs to parliament.
A party presidium member said the Montu-led group believes that Mansur and Mokabbir took oath as Dr Kamal gave them the green signal to do that.
The problem first brewed when Mansur took oath on March 7 claiming that Dr Kamal gave him consent to be sworn in. However, the tension got defused after Mansur was sacked from the party. But it remerged when Mokabbir took oath on April 2 as Dr Kamal was neither making his position clear nor taking action against him.
A number of Gonoforum leaders said there is a conflict between Montu and a group of party leaders, lea by party another executive committee member Mofizur Rahman Kamal, over the party leadership and organisational issues.
Talking to UNB, a leader of the Mofizur-led group said Montu created a division in the party as he always gives priority to the leaders loyal to him.
Contacted, Mofizur Rahman said many party leaders are not happy with Montu over some internal issues. “Party men are unhappy with him as he used BNP chief Khaleda Zia’s photo in his poster during the national election.”
Another party leader said they are not with Mofizur, but they want a change in the party general secretary post.
He said a group of party leaders are in favour of making Subrata Chowdhury its new general secretary.
However, another leader, close to Dr Kamal, said their president wants to make Reza Kibria, who joined Gonoforum before the last national election, its general secretary.
He also wared that the division in the party will deepen if Reza Kibria is made general secretary.
Contacted, Subrata Chowdhury claimed that there is no conflict among their party leaders, except some misunderstanding over the Mokabbir Khan issue. “We’ve sent a show-cause letter to Mokabbir and action will be taken against him based on his reply. I hope the misunderstanding will be over soon.”
Mokabbir said he received the show-cause letter on Sunday afternoon. “I haven’t gone through it yet.”
He said party men should not be angry over his participation in the council as he is a presidium and founding member of it.
Mokabbir said he does not have any misunderstanding with Montu. “I’ve a very close relation with him and there’s no reason to involve in any conflict with him. I think he’s my close friend and will remain so.”
Jubo Gonoforum president Kazi Habib said they boycotted the council as Mokabbir joined it. “Montu Bhai and we have no conflict with Dr Kamal. But we want Dr Kamal to make his position over Mokabbir clear. Mokabbir needs to be sacked as per the aspiration of the party’s 99 percent leaders and activists.”
He also said 80 percent party leaders and activists will become either inactive or think otherwise if Mokabbir is not expelled from the party.
Talking to UNB, party training affairs secretary Rafiqul Islam Pathik said it is painful that Kamal Hossain is doing ‘dual politics’ over Mokabbir’s issue. “I came out of the council and boycotted it in protest against Mokabbir’s presence at the council.”
He said the party may face a split if Dr Kamal does not expel Mokabbir and form a new committee with competent and dedicated leaders. “Dr Kamal also should sit with the aggrieved party leaders to resolve the misunderstanding.”
Dhaka, Apr 27 (UNB) - Lightning arresters, a low-cost technology, can be adopted all over the country to save lives and stop undue human damages from lightning strikes, says the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
“Its use in different parts of the country can save human lives. It’s a low-cost technology,” ADB Country Director Manmohan Parkash told UNB after handing over seven types of completed subprojects for use under the Emergency Assistance Project.
The ADB Country Director handed over the facilities to LGRD Senior Secretary SM Ghulam Farooque on Friday, which were completed with grant assistance from the ADB.
At least 600,000 “displaced people” sheltered in Cox’s Bazar Rohingya camps and the host community will be benefited under the Emergency Assistance Project, says the Bank.
Parkash said lightning arresters are used in many countries to make sure when lightning strikes it goes down to earth so that people do not lose their lives. “So, we’ve included it as part of our project here (camps).”
The ADB Country Director said they will be more than happy to take it up for the country if they are requested.
According to reports carried by different national dailies on lightning incidents, over 200 people were killed and scores of others injured in lightning strikes at different parts of the country, mainly in central and northern parts, over the last two and a half months from March to May 17 in 2018, showing an increased frequency in lightning strikes.
Responding to a question, Parkash said the needs in Cox’s Bazar camps are “enormous” and the ADB is trying to help to the extent it is possible for them.
“We should be working together with all the development partners. The government of Bangladesh has contributed quite a lot. This is a team effort and we work together with our partners as well as the government of Bangladesh,” he said adding that their efforts will benefit both the displaced people and host community equally.
Secretary Ghulam Farooque, on behalf of LGRD Minister Md Tazul Islam MP, inaugurated the subprojects, which include 100 bathing facilities; one piped-water supply system; and 200 lightning arrestors.
He also inaugurated the groundbreaking of seven food distribution centers, and 10 cyclone shelters in and around the Cox’s Bazar camps.
While inaugurating the facilities, Ghulam Farooque appreciated ADB’s grant assistance and speedy completion of the projects.
“I’m happy to see the rapid and impressive implementation progress of the project in less than one year after its approval,” said Country Director Parkash.
“The inauguration of subprojects reflects a high-level of government commitment in implementing the project,” he added.
After a request by the government of Bangladesh, the ADB approved a grant of $100 million in July 2018 as the first phase of a total possible support of $200 million to develop basic infrastructures and services for displaced persons in the camps in Cox’s Bazar.
The grant project is focusing on water supply and sanitation, disaster risk management, energy, and roads in and around the camps, says the ADB mentioning that it is being implemented in close coordination with several development partners.
The water supply and sanitation component ($35 million) will develop 40 mini-piped water supply systems, 500 community bathing facilities, 7 emergency mobile water carriers, 4 drilling rigs for installation of production wells, 3 surface water treatment plants, 3 integrated waste management systems, and 30 waste management vehicles.
The disaster risk management component ($30 million) will construct 10 multipurpose cyclone shelters, seven food distribution centres, 5-km hill-slope protection and 15-km storm water drainage.
The energy component ($8 million) will install 2,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) street lights; 50 solar PV nano-grid systems; 200 lightning arresters; 33/11 KV and 10 MVA sub-stations; 50 km 11 KV distribution line; 2,000 new mini-grid connected street lights and 2,000 new standalone solar LED lights.
Under the road component ($27 million), 50 km road from Cox’s Bazar to Teknaf will be resurfaced, 30 km internal and rural roads will be constructed, and 30 km access and link roads will be developed.
The Country Director said 30 kilometres of road will be constructed within the camps so that people can roam around in addition to improving the drainage system.
A site office for the Emergency Assistance Project was inaugurated in the UNHCR premises in Cox’s Bazar on February 14 to expedite the ground-level project implementation activities.
Narayanganj, Apr 27 (UNB)-The incidents of murder have gone up sharply in the district as police recorded a total of 35 murders during the last three months of the current year.
District police sources said police recovered 115 bodies from different locations across the district within the first three months of the current year and they identified 35 incidents as murder.
In January, 12 people were murdered by miscreants. In February, six were victims of mass beating and feud among groups.
In March, a total of eight persons were killed including Chhatra League leader Sohel Mia (27) and an expatriate named Tofazzal Hossain Babul.
Police recovered 17 dead bodies from various locations in the district within 18 days of the month of April. Previously they recovered 29 bodies in January, 28 in February and 41 in March.
Superintendent of Narayanganj District Police Harun-ur-Rashid confirmed the increasing number of abnormal deaths and said police are investigating the murder cases to identify the culprits.
Apart from the murders, 35 cases of death in road crashes and 56 cases of suicide, drowning and fire accident were recorded during the period.
On April 12, Farid Ahmed (38), a Sub-inspector (SP) was crushed under a covered van on Dhaka-Chattogram highway.
On March 31, an engineer named Mahbub Hasan Jewel (43) drowned in Balu river at Rupganj. On the same night three people, including a presiding officer, drowned in the river while returning to Dhaka finishing Sonargaon Upazila Election process when a trawler carrying them capsized after hit by storm.
Besides, bodies of 16 people who reportedly committed suicide in separate places were recovered and seven people died throughout 108 days being victims to fire incidents.
Dhaka, Apr 27 (UNB)- Students at Dhaka University’s residential halls say many of their house tutors, tasked with supervising them and ensuring their welfare, largely skirt their assigned duties and responsibilities.
Many students even said that the tutors, supposed to regularly visit the halls, are rarely seen. But these tutors do not shy away from enjoying the facilities provided by the university, and rejected the allegations raised against them.
The Dhaka University Ordinance 1973 specify that the role of a house tutor includes monitoring the arrival and departure of residential students, daily roll call, seeking explanations from absentees, vetting leave applications and looking after the dining rooms, canteens, furniture and other hall properties.
Currently, the university has around 150 house tutors and 112 assistant house tutors, apart from 19 provosts for as many residential halls. The university allocated Tk 69.5 lakh (almost Tk 7 million) to cover their allowances during the 2018-19 fiscal.
Nine house tutors and three assistant house tutors are being appointed against 2,564 students at Surja Sen Hall. Provost Dr ASM Maksud Kamal said the number is meager.
“It’s impossible to properly maintain a dorm and its environment with such a small manpower,” he told UNB. “The administration must increase manpower if it wants to run the dorms properly.”
He admitted that pressure from political parties’ student wings did hamper their work at times. “Sometimes, the hall administration and especially house tutors are forced to avoid some of their duties in the face of pressure from the student wings,” he said.
The university pays Tk 2,100 allowance to a house tutor and Tk 1,400 to an assistant house tutor per month. Besides, they get points for promotion, and residential accommodation near the hall they are assigned to, on condition of completing duties in timely fashion.
A number of residential students of Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall complained that their house tutors rarely visit the dining rooms to ensure the food quality or the kitchen’s environment.
Simul Shahriyar, a residential student of Bijoy Ekattor Hall, echoed others. He pointed out that regular visit by house tutors can solve issues such as seat allocation and help ensure that students are served standard meals.
But an assistant house tutor of the hall, Md Juel Mia, rejected the allegations, saying that they try to visit the students regularly and provide their best services.
However, Tanvir Hasan, a residential student of Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall, said he does not even know who his house tutor is.
“I haven’t seen any house tutor in the last one month in his block,” he said.
Rangamati, Apr 25 (UNB) – The fall of water level in the Kaptai Lake, the largest manmade lake in Bangladesh, and emergence of shoals in it are creating various problems, including the suspension of transportation and decline in production in the hydroelectric project.
The movement of launches in the lake remained suspended for the last several days due to its poor navigability, causing indescribable sufferings to two lakhs people of the district, officials said.
They said the Kaptai Lake was built over the Karnaphuli River as part of the Kaprai Hydroelectric power plant project in 1960. After its opening, it became the source of livelihood of local people through fish farming, river communication, irrigation, tourism and others.
Locals said no step was taken to dredge the lake in the last 59 years for improving its navigability despite their repeated demands.
During a recent visit to the Kaptai lake area, the UNB correspondent found a number of hidden shoals emerged in different parts in Naniarchar, Baghaichhari, Longdu, Barkal, Jurachhari and Bilaichhari upazilas of the district.
The drastic fall of water level in the lake is disrupting communication between the district headquarters and its upazilas. However, Rangamati Launch Owners Association have been providing services through engine-run small boats.
Besides, the production in Kaptai Hydroelectric plant has declined due to the fall in water level.
The authorities concerned of the power plant have been producing 110 MW of power through a rationing system from the 230-MW capacity power plant.
ATM Abjjur Zaher, project manager of Kaptai Water Power Plant, said the water level in the lake has dropped sharply. “Currently, there has been 80.16 points of water in the lake instead of 83.80 MSL (Mean sea level) and 110 MW power of is being produced through three units from the existing five units by rationing system.”
He said this situation will remain unchanged until there is adequate rainfall.
Moin Uddin Selim, president of Rangamati River Transport Owners Association, said launch movement in the Kaptai Lake remained suspended since Monday, causing immense sufferings to local people.
Commodore Mahabubul Islam, chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), said the disruption in the movement of launches in the lake is unfortunate.
He stressed the need for dredging in the lake for improving its navigability saying that no dredging work was carried out in it since its construction in 1960.
AKM Mamunur Rashid, deputy commissioner of Rangamati district, said, “We’ve sent a letter to the high officials concerned demanding capital dredging of the lake. Already, a BIWTA delegation has conducted a survey in this regard.”