Dhaka, July 13 (UNB) – President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Rubana Huq has planned to write the biography of her late husband Annisul Huq alongside putting in efforts to materialise his dream to make Dhaka a clean city.
She is, however, still undecided whether she will join politics following the footsteps of her husband, the former mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) who passed away on November 30, 2017 at the age of 65.
In a recent interview with UNB, Rubana said she is focusing on the development of the readymade garment sector and restoration of its image in her two-year tenure.
“I’m not sure what I’ll do in the future. But one thing I know is that I’ll take a new project on completion of my tenure as the BGMEA president. The project is to write the biography of Annis. I’m very eager about it,” she said.
Rubana said she is still undecided whether she will join politics. “There comes a time when some unexpected incidents take place that change the course of life. So, I can’t say what will happen in the future, but I want to move forward with transparency and determination.”
But, she said, if any other responsibility is bestowed upon her, she will then think of it. “So, I’m not willing to say yes or no about joining politics right now.”
The BGMEA president said her husband dreamt of turning Dhaka into a beautiful city. “His simple dream was that no wall of Dhaka would remain dirty while many walls would have visible beautiful graffiti.”
She said Annisul had spoken to some artists before falling sick to make it happen, but could not implement it. “I urge the current mayor to take an initiative for implementing it.”
Rubana said various social messages can be highlighted with artworks on the walls. “We can also give some messages on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) alongside social ones. It’ll help [authorities] beautify Dhaka.”
She said people used to gather at some places for chatting and having quality time in the past, but this community concept has now disappeared. “So, Annisul had another dream of restoring this community concept and increase social interaction among the city dwellers.”
The BGMEA president said her husband wanted to take such a project to create a scope for a weekly social gathering by blocking some roads. “He had a plan to first block off the Gulshan-2 circle on Friday without hampering traffic flow. Popup shops can be set up there with traditional fair like Meena Bazar and concert so that people can enjoy and interact there.”
Rubana said she talked to some architects who suggested making such a weekly social gathering on road No 103 near Pink City. “I’ll propose the mayor for creating a scope for popup gathering every Friday there. If we can initiate it, then the community concept will be brought back. It’ll help increase social connection and intimacy among people.”
She said the community concept is very important for a city like Dhaka where fields are disappearing along with social bonding and contact among people. “Now, we don’t know our neighbours and don’t have contact with people living next to our houses. Scopes for moral degradation are created when social contacts are diminished. Drug abuse and frustration have marked a sharp rise for the lack of social contact.”
“That’s why Annis had a plan to increase social contact and intimacy among people through popup gatherings in the city. So, I call upon the current mayor to take measures to make it happen,” the BGMEA president said.
Rubana said she is making her best her efforts to successfully discharge her responsibilities as the BGMEA president. “I’ve a plan both for enhancing the image of the sector and the welfare of garment workers.”
She also said the BGMEA will take some visible steps for the wellbeing of female garment workers and their children. “The buyers need to extend their cooperation in this regard.”
Khulna, July 14 (UNB) – Kohinoor Begum came to the community clinic adjacent to her home to get treatment for various complications including constipation.
Her husband Munsur Dhali died long back, and ever since she has had to bear the responsibility of raising their children. In this task, she remains grateful to the treatment dispensed at the Durjoni Mohol Community Clinic of Rupsha upazila in Khulna district which is close to her home.
Otherwise she would have been compelled to go to the Khulna General Hospital, a 5-km journey that would involve crossing a river. Which is why Durjoni Mohol has become the principal, almost only source of primary healthcare for people in her neighborhood.
A total of 203 community clinics are being run currently in Khulna district. For this, the patients have demanded not only preliminary treatment at the clinic but also expansion of the services offered the community clinic by appointing one medical officer.
Sufia Begum told UNB that she often came to the clinic seeking treatment for eye problem, diabetes, waist pain and general physical weakness.
Another woman named Roshni Begum along with her daughter also came to the doctor at the clinic for treatment.
Assistant Health Inspector of Aichgati union Syed Mizanur Rahman said that the people can be cured if they are aware. According to him, most of the patients who visit the clinic, are women. The standard of service could be enhanced further if physicians at medical officer- or assistant medical officer-level are appointed at the clinic.
Khulna Civil Surgeon Dr ASM Abdur Razzak informed that the Community Clinic is one of the 10 initiatives of Prime Minister Shekh Hasina.
Health Engineering Department (HED) Khulna Information Officer and Assistant Engineer (Civil) Shebok Mondol said at present there are about 209 community clinics in Khulna district, while construction work of 17 completely new model clinics continues. Of them, four have already been completed.
Besides, work is on for re-construction of 15 community clinics and repair works of 31 others are going on. Meanwhile, renovation work of 20 more have already been completed, he added.
Deputy Chief Information Officer of Khulna Regional office M Zaved Iqbal said that these 203 community clinics are providing health services to almost 8,000 people in Khulna every day, thus performing a vital public health function.
Cox’s Bazar, July 13 (UNB) - Around 20,000 families have been living in hill slopes of the district town and other areas amid taking the risk of landslide.
Growing rains with the advent of monsoon and unabated hill cutting have intensified the risk of landslide, creating panic among the hill residents.
Azmul Huda, general secretary of Cox’s Bazar Forest and Environment Conservation Council, an environmental organisation, said, “The Rohingya people who have been living in Ukhiya and Tekhnaf areas after cutting over 6,000 acres of forest also brace for possible landslide.”
Besides, over 10,000 families in Badshaghona, Light House, Dakkhin Diggul, Dakkhin Hazipara, Pahartali, Sahikkika Palli, Ghonarpara, Moheshkhailla Para, Kalatali Adarshagram, Borachara, Boidyaghona, Mohajerpara, Link Road, Muhuri Para, Janarghora areas of Cox’s Bazar town are at the risk of landslide, he added.
Azmul Huda said 10,000 families are living amid danger in the hilly areas of Ramu, Moheshkhali, Teknaf, Ukhiya and Pekua upazilas. Most of the houses have been built on forest land and government (khas) lands.
Talking to UNB, some residents of the town said many illegal structures have been established by cutting forest land and hills owned by the district administration.
President of Cox’s Bazar Banchao Andolon advocate Ayachhur Rahman said it was necessary to evict the illegal structures from the vulnerable hills well before the monsoon set in.
“Now the list of casualties will be long if landslides occur in the area,” he said.
Nurul Amin, deputy director of Cox’s Bazar Environment Department, said at least 54 people, including six members of Bangladesh Army, were killed in landslides in different areas of the district in 2010.
The number of deaths in landslides was 200 from 2010 to 2017 in the district, he added.
“Eviction drives alone can’t solve the problem as it needs massive awareness needed to stop living on hill slopes,” he added.
Nurul Amin said miscreants are cutting hills secretly at nights despite regular drives against illegal hill cutting. “Manpower crisis hampers our drive,”
Sources at Cox’s Bazar Forest Department said 5,341 hectares of land of the South Forest department and 7,053 hectares under West Forest Department have been grabbed.
Hundreds of people are also living in khas land on hills of the district administration after capturing those, the sources said.
Deputy Commissioner of Cox’s Bazar Md Kamal Hossain told UNB that people living in hills will be shifted to safer places like previous years.
“There had been no serious accident last year due to the collective efforts of all. We’ve formed several committees to conduct eviction drives in the hills,” he added.
Dhaka, July 13 (UNB) - Lack of people’s awareness and poor maintenance of level-crossings and railway bridges by the authorities concerned contributed to the rise in railway accidents across the country that claimed 209 lives in six months, says a new report.
Shipping and Communication Reporters Forum (SCRF), a platform of journalists, prepared the report.
SCRF president Ashis Kumar Dey told UNB on Friday that they prepared the report based on news carried by 22 national dailies, 10 regional newspapers and eight online news portals and news agencies.
At least 209 people, including 47 women and 21 children, were killed and 146 others injured in 202 railway accidents between January 1 and June 30.
According to the report, 39 people, including 10 women and four children, lost their lives and eight others were injured in 39 accidents in January.
Forty-six accidents occurred in February alone, in which 43 people were killed and 22 others injured. Among the deceased, 10 were women and four were children.
In March, 38 people, including six women and four children, died and seven others were injured in 35 accidents.
At least four people were killed and two others injured when a train hit a covered van at a level-crossing near Feni Railway Station on March 21, the report said.
Twenty-three accidents took place in April killing 26 people and injuring six. Among the deceased, four were women and three were children.
Three people died after they fell off the roofs of running trains at Dhirasram Rail Station in Gazipur city on April 23 and April 24.
In May, 30 people, including eight women and three children, were killed and three others injured in 30 accidents.
Twenty-nine accidents took place in June, in which 33 people died and 100 others were injured. Among the deceased, nine were women and three were children.
Five people were killed and 67 people injured when six coaches of Dhaka-bound 'Upaban Express' from Sylhet veered off the tracks at Baramchal in Kulaura upazila in Moulavi Bazar district on June 23.
Comparing railway accidents and road accidents, SCRF president Ashis Kumar Dey said railway accidents were fewer than of roads in the last six months.
At least 2,329 people, including 291 women and 381 children, were killed and 4,361 others injured in 2,159 road accidents during the same period till June 31 of the current year, he said.
The SCRF identified five major reasons behind the rise in railway accidents, he said.
The reasons are the use of mobile phones by pedestrians while crossing rail tracks, lack of pedestrians’ awareness, negligence of railway employees and poor maintenance of level-crossings, poor maintenance of rail tracks and rail bridges.
Quoting media reports, Ashis Kumar said at least 13 rail bridges with ‘Dead Stop’ signs are being used over 179 kilometres on Sylhet-Akhaura route, leaving thousands of passengers vulnerable to accidents.
Eight of these ‘Dead Stops’ are in an 18-km stretch from Sylhet to Mogla Bazar and five in 164-km area from Mogla Bazar to Akhaura Bridge.
The authorities concerned have already issued ‘Dead Stop’ signs at rail bridges instructing trains to stop first before crossing it and then run at a speed of only five kilometres per hour, he added.
Manikganj, July 12 (UNB) - Over 200 houses and other establishments went into the gorge of the Jamuna River in the last two weeks as erosion by the mighty river has taken a serious turn in Shibalaya and Daulatpur upazilas due to the onrush of water from the upstream.
Fifty dwelling houses in Shibalaya upazila, over 200 houses, including a mosque, a madrasha and a school, in four unions of Daultpur upazilas have already been washed away by the river.
Many more houses, croplands and 15 primary schools in Daulatpur upazila now stand threatened by the riverbank erosion.
Hundreds of families who have lost their homes have taken shelter at different places.
Officials at the Local Water Development Board said they are dumping sand bags in erosion-hit Charkatari and Bacamar areas on an emergency basis to check the erosion.
Besides, the district administration has distributed rice and corrugated iron-sheets amid erosion-affected families.
Local public representatives said erosion causes havoc on the areas during monsoon each year in absence of any permanent solution to the problem.
Saidur Rahman, an assistant education officer in Daulatpur upazila, said every year many schools are washed away by the river during monsoon.
“This year, two schools have been engulfed by erosion, hampering the academic activities of over 200 students who are now attending classes under the open sky,” he said.
Belayet Hossain, chairman of Gionpur Union Parishad in Daulatpur upazila, stressed taking long-term measures to prevent erosion by the river.
Abdul Barek, chairman of Charkatari union parishad, said Kathaltoli village at this union went into the gorge of the river, rendering over a hundred of families homeless. “There’ll be no existence of the union if long-term measures are not taken to prevent the erosion.”
Daulatpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer Sabrina Sharmin said they are preparing a list of the affected people to give them government assistance.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of the district SM Ferdous visited the affected areas and told journalist they have already distributed 30 kgs of rice to each of the affected 200families, and instructed the Water Development Board (WDB) officials to take steps to control erosion.
WDB sub-divisional engineer of Manikganj WDB Mamun Hawlader said 6,000 sand bags have been dumped over 120-metere areas in Jionpur and Bachamara unions of Daulatpur on an emergency basis.
Besides, he said, a proposal has been sent to the ministry concerned for a permanent solution to the problem.