After winning the first of the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe, Tigers are now eying to wrap up the series on Tuesday when they will take on the visitors in the second match at Sylhet International Stadium.
The match will kick off at 1pm and Gtv will telecast it live. The third and final match of the series will be played on March 6 in Sylhet.
After the ODI series, both teams will lock horns in a two-match T20I series in Dhaka on March 9 and 11.
In the first ODI, Bangladesh had an easy victory, riding on the superb batting by Liton Das and Mohammad Mithun. Liton came up with his second ODI hundred while Mithun smashed a fifty.
After an aggressive batting display, Bangladesh put more pressure on Zimbabwe when the latter went to chase a big total of 321 runs.
Pacer Mohammad Saifuddin, who returned to international cricket after five months due to injury, took three wickets. Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam and captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza also did well to guide the Tigers to a record win by 169 runs.
Despite a big win, Bangladesh’s top-order batting woes remained as Tamim Iqbal failed to come out of his slough. He scored 24 runs playing 43 balls with two fours. Tamim’s batting was something that did not suit Bangladesh’s style in the first game.
Ahead of the series, talks about the possible retirement of ODI captain Mashrafe took precedence over any cricketing discussion. If Bangladesh can win the second game, it might be Bangladesh’s last series win under the captaincy of Mashrafe.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hassan told the media several times that they are looking for a new captain in the 50-over format to replace Mashrafe. However, neither the BCB nor Mashrafe has confirmed anything to end the drama over Mashrafe’s retirement.
While Bangladesh are looking to pocket the series in the second game, Zimbabwe are also eying to bounce back. Their confidence was boosted by the presence of regular captain Sean Williams, who joined the team during the first ODI.
In the absence of Williams, Craig Ervine led Zimbabwe in the one-off Test of the series. He was supposed to lead the team in the first ODI as well. But due to a sudden illness, he missed the first game that forced Zimbabwe to include batting-coach Stuart Matsikenyeri into the squad.
However, as per the latest update from Sylhet, both Williams and Ervine are now set to play the next game.
Including the first game of this series, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe faced each other in 73 ODIs with Bangladesh winning 45 of them while Zimbabwe came up victorious in 28 games so far.
Bangladesh playing XI (probable): Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Taijul Islam and Mustafizur Rahman
Zimbabwe playing XI (probable): Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine, Wesley Madhevere, Brendan Taylor (wk), Sean Williams (capt), Sikandar Raza, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Donald Tiripano, Ainsley Ndlovu, Chris Mpofu and Carl Mumba
Wildlife Rescue Centre of Lawachhara National Park in Kamalganj of Srimangal upazila is plagued with various problems, including the shortage of skilled manpower for providing services to injured and sick wild animals.
The government declared approximately a1,250-hectare area in Kamalganj upazlia as a national park on July 7, 1996 under the Wildlife Act, 1974.
Wildlife at the Lawachara National Park includes 460 species -- 167 species plants, four amphibian species, six reptile species, 246 bird species, 20 mammal species, and 17 insect species, according to sources at the national park.
The wildlife rescue centre was established at Jankichra camp under the Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Department to protect biodiversity.
Visiting the rescue centre, the UNB correspondent found that the rescue centre has taken a haunted look with bushes in the surrounding area for lack of proper maintenance.
Alhough it requires at least four to five trained and skilled workers to take care of wild animals at the centre but now it has only two staff-- one is a trained junior wildlife scout and another is his assistant forest guard.
The guard, Ibrahim, takes care of the rescued wild animals in absence of the wildlife scout.
At present, there are two fishing cats, five monkeys and three Burmese pythons which were rescued from different parts of the forest.
“The sick and injured animals will be released later in the forest after their treatment. As there is no veterinary surgeon, the treatment of the animals is being hampered,” said district livestock officer Masudur Rahman Sarker.
He also said a veterinary surgeon for the treatment and nursing of wild animal is needed but the rescue centre is running without any surgeon for the last three years.
Sajal Das, director of Wild Animal Service Foundation, said for lack of manpower and surgeon in the centre, workers of his foundation rescue wild animals and provide treatment to them.
Monayem Hosssain, ranger of Lawachara Forest Beat, said the activities of the centre are being hampered for manpower shortage.
Md AhadMiah, general secretary of biodiversity protection committee, said when wild animals enter the locality in search of food, they get trapped by locals. After their rescue, forest department brings the animals to the rescue centre but the animals do not get proper treatment as there is no veterinary surgeon, he said.
For proper care of the rescued wild animals, it is urgent to appoint trained and adequate manpower at the centre, he added.
Despite its repeated bids, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) has failed to select a partner for implementing its mega tourism project in Cox’s Bazar.
Official sources said BPC invited tender thrice for the project – ‘Establishment of International Standard Tourism Complex’ in public-private partnership (PPP) at the existing Motel Upol Compound of BPC at Cox’s Bazar – but found no suitable partner in the last six years.
It has again moved for fresh tender in compliance with the decision of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) which recently rejected its proposal to allow Parjatan Corporation to implement the project with government fund.
The CCEA’s latest decision came at a meeting on February 19. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told reporters that the BPC has to invite tender again as the government has plans to implement many such projects in PPP model.
“That’s why BPC has withdrawn its proposal to implement the project in public sector instead in PPP,” he said, adding that the government is trying to develop a PPP model to implement many more projects like this one.
Official sources said BPC undertook the project in 2014 to implement it in PPP model. The Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism (MCAT) placed the BPC proposal to the CCEA and received its approval on August in 2014.
Sources said that as per the advice of the Public Private Partnership Authority, Indian consultancy firm Feedback Infrastructure Advisory Services Pvt Ltd was appointed to conduct a feasibility study for the project.
According to advice of the consultancy firm, the BPC invited the first bid on February 22, 2017 setting the upfront premium for the project at Tk 12 crore, and project development fee at Tk 5 crore and annual contract fee at Tk 2 crore with provision for five percent increase per year.
The contract period of the project was set at 50 years. The last date of bid submission was May 1, 2017. But despite deferring the deadline twice, only one bidder showed interest.
According to the sources, Orion Power Meghnaghat Limited was the lone bidder but the tender evaluation committee did not consider it a qualified one.
In such a situation, the PPP Authority advised the BPC to ease the conditions of the tender to make the project commercially viable and lucrative one for private investors.
Complying with the advice, the sources said, tender was invited for the second time on September 28, 2018 where the upfront premium was reduced to Tk 6 crore, project development fee was set at Tk 4 crore and annual contract fee at Tk 2 crore with three percent increase per year and tenure of contract at 25 years with provision of 15-year extension.
This time, the deadline was extended twice but no bidder submitted proposal.
The ministry finally decided to withdraw the Upol Motel project from the PPP list and implement it on its own with fund from annual development programme (ADP).
A proposal in this regard was sent to CCEA but it was rejected outright. MCAT was asked to make further efforts.
MCAT officials said BPC again floated tender in May last year and by the September-12 deadline, only one bidder submitted proposal, but it was treated as non-responsive.
Finally, MCAT again placed the proposal to delist the project from PPP list and allow them to implement it through ADP fund. But the CCEA did not agree with the proposal and finally MCAT withdrew it and decided to make further effort, said the sources.
Official sources said the BPC will now float tender for the fourth time to get a partner.
The prices of onion have marked a substantial fall in Dhaka’s kitchen markets after India decided to lift the ban on its export after about six months.
According to traders, the prices fell by as much as Tk30 per kg in the last three days.
They said the local variety of onion has started hitting the market and the prices will fall further once the import of the bulb from India resumes.
Indian media on Wednesday reported that Delhi had decided to lift the ban on onion export following bumper Rabi crop.
In Dhaka’s kitchen markets, each kg local onion cost Tk 100-130 and imported ones Tk80-120 on Saturday. Their prices were Tk130-160 and Tk100-140 respectively on Wednesday.
Hasibul Islam, a shopkeeper in Shantinagar, said they were selling one kg local onion at Tk 130 and the imported bulb at Tk100. “Onion prices fell by Tk 30 in the last three days thanks to buoyant supply. Locally grown onions are available now and Indian onion will come in the market soon. That’s why the prices are falling,” he added.
Aysha Siddiqua, a resident of Bangshal, said she bought one kg local onion at Tk 120 on Saturday. “Sadly, we had to purchase one kg onion at Tk280 in November. The government should take steps to bring down the prices ahead of Ramadan,” she said.
Onion prices jumped by 557.8 percent in Bangladesh only two months after India had banned its export on September 29 last year. Each kg of the bulb cost about Tk 30 before the ban.
Mohammad Hafiz Uddin, an importer of Shyambazar market, said onion price saw a substantial fall in wholesale market since local onions are coming in huge quantities. Imported onions are also available.
“Today, we’re selling each kg locally-grown onion at Tk60-65 and imported ones at Tk 70. The price of onion fell compared to Wednesday’s price and it’ll decline further if the Indian onions hit the markets,” he added.
He said a drastic fall in prices will deprive farmers of fair prices.
“The price may fall to Tk20-30 a kg when Indian onions arrive in the market,” he said, noting that they did not get any official word about the lifting of the export ban.
According to the Commerce Ministry, the annual demand for onions in Bangladesh ranges between 2.2 and 2.5 million tonnes. Although the country’s own annual production has risen, so has the imported amount over the last decade.
Commerce Ministry figures show the amount imported was hardly 0.4 million tonnes in FY' 09, but had touched upto 1.1 million tonnes in recent years.
Mentioning that strict action will be taken if air pollution is caused by construction works, Environment Minister Md Shahab Uddin said the final letter has been issued to the metro-rail project authorities in Dhaka, asking them to carry out their work protecting the environment fully.
“One of the main reasons behind the deteriorating air quality in Dhaka is the megaproject construction besides the smoke being emitted from brick kilns around the city,” the minister told UNB in an interview.
Md Shahab Uddin expressed his disappointment that the metro-rail authorities are not following the directives to reduce air pollution caused by the construction work even after being warned several times.
Recently, people involved in the metro-rail project were summoned to the Department of Environment (DoE) for a hearing but the level of air pollution caused by their work remained unchanged, the minister added.
Admitting that in countries like Bangladesh issues like environment protection are willfully neglected, Shahab Uddin said, “Small or large projects, whatever those are, must adhere to rules that are in place to protect the environment.”
Outlining the measures taken to reduce air pollution, the minister said more mobile court drives will be conducted as per the court directive.
However, he acknowledged that his ministry lacks the manpower to manage the mobile courts. “We’re increasing our manpower as there’s a court order and more mobile courts will be operated once we do so,” the minister added.
The government has given an approval to set up new divisional offices in Rangpur and Mymensingh as well as offices in 43 districts of DoE under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, aiming to expand the activities of DoE.
Mentioning that coordinated efforts are needed to control the unbearable level of air pollution in Dhaka, the minister said camps have been set up in Dhaka and in major district towns to assess air quality.
“DoE is constantly measuring the quality of air in divisional cities, industrial towns including Dhaka. After analyzing the quality of air, it has been observed that the level of air pollution rises during the dry season from September to March,” he explained.
“After reviewing the air quality data from 2002 to 2019, it was found that the air quality worsened during the three years from 2016 to 2019,” the minister added.
Apart from big infrastructural projects, smoke emitted from brick kilns, vehicles, and waste of the city corporations are the primary sources of air pollution in Dhaka.
“Brick kilns are responsible for 58 percent air pollution in the capital. Plans have been taken to shut [traditional] kilns currently in operation. We’re working to produce eco-friendly bricks,” the minister told UNB.
He said the government plans to stop burning bricks at kilns by 2025 and use block bricks to construct buildings under government projects.
Kiln owners have already been directed to produce 10 percent block bricks, the minister said, adding that it will be increased to 100 percent over the time and the use of block bricks will gradually be made mandatory in private projects, too.
Shahab Uddin said a survey conducted by DoE in 2018 showed that the number of brick kilns shot up to 7,902 in the country while 2,487 of them were set up inside Dhaka division alone.
According to that research, there were 3, 69,677 motor vehicles in the country in 2010 and the number rose to 6, 19,654 in 2018.
According to the minister, black smoke emitted from vehicles is one of the main reasons behind air pollution and it is increasing as more and more vehicles hit the streets. “We’re planning to curb emission of black smoke from vehicles at any cost. We’ll stop it with support from Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) and all law enforcement agencies.”
“We’ve asked the two city corporations to play a more effective role in preventing air pollution. Inside the two Dhaka city corporations, various construction companies dump construction materials like sand and earth on the streets which is contributing significantly to the growing air pollution,” Shahab Uddin explained.
He also blamed poor system of garbage management and transportation behind air pollution. “Vehicles often run over the garbage left carelessly on the streets causing air pollution.”
The minister said an amount of Tk 20.22 crore was realised in fine from 1,695 industrial enterprises/projects/individuals for polluting the environment from 2018-19 financial year till January 2020.
“During the period, mobile courts were conducted against environmental offences like (illegal polythene, brick kiln, hill cutting, filling up water-bodies, construction materials etc) and Tk 16.38 crore was realised in fine. A total of 459 brick kilns were also partially demolished,” he added.