Khulna, Mar 8 (UNB)– Some 42 kilometers of government-owned land in shoal areas of Dumuria Upazila have been encroached by a section of influential people, who are filling up rivers and installing brick fields.
Vessel movement has almost stopped in Thukra-Hamkura and Kharnia rivers as parts of the Thukra-Hamkura have been nearly filled up. Kharnia’s condition is no better, either.
The situation is threatening the environment of 54 unions surrounding Dumuria. Four polders and 18 sluice-gates have already been shut off due to excessive sedimentation.
Dumuria Land Office says about 4,500 acres of char area have already been occupied by illegal brick fields, hatchery, factories, households, poultry and dairy farms. Many land encroachers even sold or rented out the land.
Canals connected to the river are filled with hyacinths, and waterlogging has become a common feature in this area during monsoon.
Jamal Uddin, a farmer, and Bimal Chandra Boiragi, a teacher, said every year thousands of people of Dumuria, Fultola, Tala, Jashore and Keshabpur upazilas are left marooned. The people are forced to abandon their houses and move into emergency shelters.
The General Secretary of the upazila’s brick field association Abdul Latif Jamaddar turned down the claim that they were killing off the rivers.
“Brick fields are the reason for the rivers’ survival in Dumuria,” he claimed. “Sediments are dredged regularly which helps the rivers remain navigable.”
But Bangladesh Water Development Board Executive Engineer in Khulna Md Shariful Islam is not convinced. “The only way to restore the people’s regular lives is dredging the rivers,” he said.
“Polders and sluice-gates can be restored if we free the encroached land,” he said.
Local parliamentarian Narayan Chandra Chanda said a project has been taken to evict encroachers from char areas and dredge the rivers.
Dhaka, Mar 8 (UNB) – Amid concerns over the airport security after the alleged attempt to hijack a Biman aircraft, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (Caab) has taken measures at all airports in the country to ensure foolproof security of the passengers of both domestic and international flights.
The Caab authorities have taken necessary steps to reshape the overall security system at the airports for avoiding recurrence of such incidents.
Civil Aviation Secretary Mohibul Haque told UNB that from now on the persons responsible for security check will not be allowed to carry mobile phones while performing their duties.
The decision was taken to ensure hundred percent and flawless security at the airports. A letter in this regard has been sent to the airports, he added.
“Security persons won’t be allowed to carry mobile phone sets and we’ll implement the decision,” Mohibul Haque said.
Earlier, the security staff of the airports had been asked to keep their mobile phones switched off while performing duties but it was difficult to monitor whether the phones are actually on or off.
Now the security staff will have to deposit their mobile phones in a designated place ahead of joining their duties, said Mohibul.
In case of emergency, the authorities concerned will pick up the phones of the staff concerned and inform them.
Besides, the security staff will have to wear uniform designed and provided by the authorities.
Earlier, Caab gave an instruction that the passengers of domestic flights will have to show their photos and ID cards while travelling, he said.
The secretary said there is a rule to change staff responsible for scanning in every 20 minutes and from now it will be maintained strictly.
Besides, the authorities concerned will take necessary steps for counselling those staff involved in scanning to avoid illusion, he said.
Talking about the alleged attempt to hijack a Biman aircraft Mohibul, said after primary investigation it was found that the suspected hijacker was carrying a toy gun and there was no explosives in his possession.
Besides, negligence of duty by the staff was detected in the primary investigation, he added.
In the video footage, it was found that the five were not performing their duties with due attention while scanning luggage and frisking passengers at Shahjalal International Airport, Mohibul said.
Already, two supervisors of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (Caab) and three Ansar men have been suspended for negligence of duty in this connection.
After talking to the crewmembers of the aircraft, it was known that the suspect was mentally imbalanced and his intention was not to harm people, said Mohibul.
On March 6, a committee, investigating the ‘hijack bid’ of a Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane, was given five more days to complete its task. “The decision was taken considering the sensitivity and importance of the matter,” Mohibul Haque said on Wednesday.
A man boarded a Biman plane with a toy gun and tried to ‘hijack’ it on February 24 at Chattogram airport. But ‘hijacker’ Polash Ahmed was shot dead by joint forces.
The government formed a five-member committee, headed by Additional Secretary Md Mokabbir Hossain, to look into the incident the same day. The committee was given two more days on March 3 to finish investigation.
Talking about film star Ilias Kanchan’s passing security check point with a bag containing his revolver at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport here on March 5, the secretary said the authorities concerned have suspended one of its officials for negligence of duty on the following day.
Caab Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Naim Hassan told UNB that they have been investigating the incident and on-duty operator Fazlar Rahman was suspended over the issue.
Dhaka, Mar 7 (UNB) - An evening of thumping bass, soaring solos, flashy rhythmic lights, surrounded by thousands of young faces, all in sync with the songs that touch every Bangladeshi’s soul, performed by the top names of the country’s band music scene.
Come to think of it, what could work better to capture the spirit of March 7 than the inherently rebellious, almost subversive ethos of a rock concert?
But the electric performances and the wild youths are just a part of the gathering titled Joy Bangla Concert 2019, an endeavour of the Centre for Research and Information (CRI), the Awami League’s think-tank, and Young Bangla, a youth-centred initiative of the government.
The fifth edition of the concert was held Thursday at the Army Stadium with a view to spreading the spirit of independence and the lessons of Bangabandhu among the youth of the country.
This year’s liner-up brought together the top shelf of Bangla bands --- Bay of Bengal, Chirkutt, Shunno, Lalon, Nemesis, Arbovirus, Cryptic Fate, and Artcell, each taking the glimmering stage one after another. Besides their usual setlist, each act also included a rendition of a song from the legendary Shwadhin Bangla Betar Kendro’s famed back-catalogue, our ‘Songs of Freedom’.
Despite the throbbing performances, pride of place of course went to the playback of the all-important speech that marked this day in 1971, recently restored to a colour version. And interspersed with them were promotional videos of several government-initiated welfare projects.
Upon entering the venue, UNB correspondent found it full to the brim with audience scattered around the gallery and the outfield. Many of them were sitting in small circles all with sweaty but glowing faces cheerful about the roaring music.
Most of the attendees UNB spoke to were of the view that through such events the young generation can connect more with the true spirit of the Liberation War. Some complained about the long queues to get in.
"We had to wait for a long time before entering the field. Once we were past the gate, the exciting atmosphere took over the tiredness," said Shaila, a student of Green University.
As time progressed, the audience kept growing, and by the end people of almost all classes and age groups filled the venue.
Wahid Rahman, a service holder along with his minor boy was found sitting in the eastern gallery. "I feel that in a way I am instilling the spirit of Liberation War in my child by introducing him to freedom-loving youth of ours," he said.
As the line up kept reaching down, from Shunno to Bay of Bengal; then Arbovirus, Cryptic Fate and Nemesis; lastly bringing Lalon and Chirkutt together. Finally leaving the crowd for Artcell.
Evening made way for a night where smartphones became stars among the crowd all connecting to the common theme: Bangabandhu's cry for independence and its commemoration.
If the spectacle of the fifth Joy Bangla Concert is anything to go by, most attendees would already be looking forward to the next one.
Dhaka, Mar 7 (UNB) - Bangladesh has been positioned 47th on a new global index that ranks countries in terms of their vulnerability, prevalence, and response to illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.
Consultancy firm Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime, a Geneva-based NGO network of experts, have developed the index for a detailed analysis of fishery countries’ vulnerability, exposure, and responses to IUU fishing.
The Norwegian Foreign Ministry has funded the index.
It has ranked all 152 countries that have a maritime coastline. Bangladesh’s score is 2.41, a little less than the global average of 2.29 (1 the best, 5 the worst).
Overall, the world IUU score is 2.29. Belgium ranks the most favorable on the Index, with a score of 1.43 for all indicators, followed by Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Poland.
China, Indonesia, Russian Federation and Cambodia are each among the 10 worst performing countries for two out of the three indicator types.
This position on the ‘IUU Fishing Index’ serves as a call to action, though it is better than many European countries such as Spain, Italy, Portugal and regional powers like Japan, China, and India.
This illegal fishing issue is one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Indicator 14.6.1 of SDGs, related to SDG 14 ‘Life Below Water’, is dedicated to measuring achievements made towards the ambitious target of eliminating IUU fishing by 2020.
Updated on a regular basis, this IUU index can serve as a useful addition to the monitoring the SDG indicator, according to its website.
It will also be beneficial to those with management responsibilities in governments and regional fisheries management organisations.
Those wishing to fund activities aimed at reducing IUU fishing, civil society, and consumers, and others, such as seafood buyers, looking to ensure that their sourcing of product responds to an impetus to buy from sustainable sources also use this index data.
Fish is a highly traded commodity and one of the most traded segments of the world food sector.
Bangladesh is one of the world’s leading fish producing countries with a total production of 4.13 million MT. The government’s target is to reach 4.55 million MT by 2020-21.
Bangladesh exports frozen shrimp, other fish and fisheries products to more than 50 countries, including Belgium, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, the USA, China, France, Russian Federation, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
In 2016-17, the country earned Tk 42876.40 million by exporting almost 68.31 thousand MT of fish and fisheries products, according to the government statistics.
More than 11 percent of total Bangladeshis are engaged with this sector in full time and part-time basis for their livelihoods.
Chandpur, Mar 5 (UNB) - Students of a government primary school in Kachua upazila have been attending classes under the open sky for the last few weeks as their school building has turned dilapidated and too risky for use.
There are 300 students and five teachers at Govindapur Govt Primary School situated at a remote village under Gohat union of the upazila.
The school building was constructed in 1993. However, it has now become dilapidated and too risky for taking classes.
Locals alleged that the building has turned derelict within a so short period of time due to poor quality of work.
They also said the matter was brought to the notice of the higher authorities concerned for several times but no initiative has been taken to either renovate the building or construct a new one.
Teachers had been taking classes in the risky building for the sake of students’ future, said Shahinur Akter, headmistress of the school.
However, the managing committee of the school a few weeks back asked them to abandon the school building, fearing that it might collapse anytime, she said. “This has forced the students to attend classes under the open sky by the dilapidated school building as no alternative could be arranged.”
She also said they will face a great difficulty in taking classes in the rainy season unless the school building is renovated or an alternative arrangement is in place for an interim period.
The headmistress said she informed the matter to Assistant Upazila Primary Education Officer Md Monir Hossain.
Mohammad Selim Miaji, guardian of a student, said they are worried about their children as they were attending classes under the open sky.
Upazila Primary Education Officer AHM Shahriar Rasul said work on constructing a new building for the school will begin soon as a tender process is underway to this end.
He along with Upazila Nirbahi Officer Nilima Afroze and other officials concerned visited the school building on Monday.
During the visit, the UNO assured school managing committee President Jahirul Islam and locals of taking steps soon to resolve the problem.