Dhaka, Sept 3 (UNB) – As part of its Power System Master Plan (PSMP) 2016, the government is going to implement 10 mega projects of about 15,000 MW of capacity by 2030.
Director General of Power Cell Mohammad Hossain who is involved in chalking out the plan said the government has already initiated a move to implement the plan as per its vision to raise electricity production to 40,000 MW by 2030 and 60,000 MW by 2041.
However, the government’s main focus in the existing plan is on raising the electricity production to 24,000 MW by 2021 when the country will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee at 50th year of independence, said the Power Cell chief.
Power Cell, a technical wing of the Power Division, has been entrusted with the responsibility to prepare the PSMP and other power-related plans to ensure coordination among power sector entities.
Of the 15,000 MW of power, officials said, 11,000 MW will come from nine projects of Power and Energy Ministry while 4,000 MW from nuclear power plant under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
They said implementation of three of nine mega projects under the Power and Energy Ministry have already started while the first phase of 2,400 MW of the 4,000MW nuclear power started by the Ministry of Science and Technology.
These are 1320 MW Moittri Super Thermal Power Project taken by Bangladesh-India Joint Venture with a target to implement it by 2019 in Rampal, 1200 MW Materbari Coal-based Power Plant of Coal Power General Company Bangladesh Ltd (CPGCBL) in Cox’s Bazar being financed by JICA with a targeted implementation time of 2021 and the 1320 MW Paira Coal-based Power Pant taken by Bangladesh-China JV.
According to the officials, the remaining seven mega projects are now at different stages of implementation although their physical works could not yet be started because of non-settlement of funding and some other technical issues.
These are 1320 MW Pekua power plant of EGCB-MITSUI joint venture (Targeted implementation time 2023), PDB’s 1200 MW Moheshkhali coal-fired power (2024), 1320 MW Moheshkhali coal-fired power plant with an implementation target of 2022, 1320 MW Ashuganj power plant (2021), 1200 MW coal-fired power plant of CPGCL-SEMCROP (2023) and LNG-based combined cycle power plant of Reliance Group of India (2023).
The remaining 1600 MW nuclear power plant has been targeted by the Ministry of Science and Technology to implement by 2030.
Dhaka, Sept 2 (UNB) – Though Bangladesh’s diplomatic efforts yielded success to evoke global support over Rohingya crisis, former Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni MP thinks Myanmar’s traditional character suggests it may not easily succumb to international pressure to pave the way for quick repatriation of its forcibly displaced people.
In an interview with UNB at her office in Parliament, she also said Bangladesh has to continue its bilateral, regional and multi-lateral efforts to overcome the crisis without hampering the bilateral ties with close neighbour Myanmar.
Dipu, also the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said, “We aren’t lagging behind in diplomacy to resolve the Rohingya crisis.”
“It’s important to understand the character of Myanmar first. This is such a country which brutally attacked its own minority population. So, it can’t be expected that the country will change its character within one year facing pressure from different countries,” she observed.
Mentioning that the displaced Rohingyas are not the victims of any natural disaster, the former Foreign Minister also said the Rohingyas may not want to go back home unless a suitable environment, security and basic rights are ensured in Myanmar as they have horrific experience of oppression in their own country.
“So, it’s not logical to think that such a crisis can be resolved only in one year,” she observed.
As Myanmar is a neighbouring country, Bangladesh cannot shut the door of bilateral discussions and compromise, said Dipu said adding, “We can change history, but we can’t change our geography. So, we must try to overcome this crisis keeping our bilateral ties unhurt.”
She lauded the role of the government so far it has played in getting a way out for resolving the crisis with support from the global community. “It’s a diplomatic success of Bangladesh that the entire world is supporting it.”
“Due to Bangladesh’s strong diplomatic efforts, different global organisations, including the United Nations and its human rights organisations, identified the persecution on the Rohingyas as ‘genocide’, ‘ethnic cleansing and a serious violation of human rights,” Dipu viewed.
In her interview with UNB, Dipu, the country’s first female foreign minister, also talked about violence against women and identified it as one of the major obstacles to the way of women’s development.
She thinks patriarchy and patriarchal mentality of both men and women are behind the violence against women.
Violence against women is a widespread problem not only in Bangladesh, but also in the developed countries of the world where gender equality and women’s rights are ensured, she said urging for joint efforts from both men and women to fight against the patriarchy.
“Women are human being, and their human rights must be ensured,” Dipu added.
Appreciating the support of men for women’s progress in society, she focused on creating public awareness about violence against women and fight against such social menace.
Stating that Bangladesh has a strong legal structure to tackle violence against women, especially the domestic one, Dipu said proper implementation of laws are crucial to stop it.
Narayanganj, Sep 2 (UNB) – In rapidly urbanising, largely industrial Narayanganj, restoration work on the man-made Gymkhana Lake is proving literally to be a breath of fresh air for the city’s nearly 1.5 million dwellers.
Part of the larger Baburail Canal Restoration project undertaken by the Narayanganj City Corporation under mayor Selina Hayat Ivy, the lake named after the city’s historic Gymkhana Club is already a popular recreation spot, where residents flock to avail the opportunities it provides for play, enjoying some leisure time or just to hang out with friends in an outdoor setting without the feeling of choking yourself on smog.
Some of them call it the ‘Hatirjheel of Narayanganj’- after the sprawling, mid-town drainage and sanitation project that, with some choice beautifications, turned into something of an urban oasis for the besieged residents of capital Dhaka.
The much smaller, more compact Gymkhana Lake is bordered on its south side by the Morgan School in Deobhog, from where it stretches till the Mobarak Shah Road.
There is seating provided by the NCC at the north side of lake, while Sheikh Russel Park is an emerging east side development, currently featuring an open stage that gives it the feeling of the Rabindra Sarobar on Dhanmandi Lake. Though the park has no lighting system yet, illumination is not a problem thanks to the NCC’s recent shift to LED lighting
A pedestrian bridge in the middle of the lake is another beautiful spot on the Gymkhana Lake. Elevated and secluded, it is particularly attractive to young couples on moonlit nights.
A public toilet, a gymnasium and intriguingly a ladies’ swimming pool are in the pipeline of plans around the lake, under the Sheikh Russell Park development component, according to Mayor Ivy.
Already different cultural and political programmes have been held by the lake, including during the last Pohela Boishakh, the biggest such occasion.
The Baburail Canal Restoration project, claimed to represent ‘a revolutionary milestone’ in urban development by its supporters, is still nearing completion.
Yet the residents of Narayanganj already display a distinct affinity for one small component of the overall project, which once complete will do the important work of reestablishing the old link between the Shitalakkhya and Dhaleshwari rivers that cradle this important port city on the commercial route to Dhaka.
With important implications for commuting in the city, the two rivers’ navigability, and dealing with waterlogging for the city corporation, Narayanganjers are likely to love it even more still.
Manikganj, Aug 30 (UNB) – Many houses and establishments, especially a widely used bridge in the district town, stand threatened due to riverbank erosion caused by illegal sand lifting from the Kaliganga River.
During a recent visit to Beutha Bridge area, this UNB correspondent found that illegal sand lifting was going on relentlessly under the nose of the local administration, endangering the adjacent locality.
A huge water body was created along the Beutha Bridge following the illegal sand lifting as well as many houses, business establishments and a number of trees in Andharmanik, Joynagar and Nayakandi villages under the municipality area collapsed in recent times, according to locals.
Now the Beutha Bridge faces the risk of being eroded into the river due to the unabated sand lifting, they added.
Meanwhile, the villagers have placed bamboo sticks and logs on the river banks to check further erosion and urged the authorities concerned to take immediate measures to stop all the dredging activities in the area.
While talking to UNB, villagers said 10-12 houses of Hindupara at Andharmanik village have already got inundated and the whole area may go into the river if it is not protected immediately.
A resident of the area, wishing anonymity, said local influential people are behind the illegal sand lifting.
Badal Chandra Biswas, a resident of Hindupara, told UNB, “16 decimals of land of mine have already gone into gorge of the river following the sand lifting, and only my dwelling house is still left unaffected though it stands threatened.”
Some locals, including Jatin Biswas, Rupchan Biswas, Kiron Chandra Saha, Rajendra Biswas, said they are passing a horrific time in a fear of losing their houses as they have already lost most of their croplands.
They fear that they will lose everything if the authorities concerned do not take effective measures immediately.
Manikganj Municipality Mayor Gazi Kamrul Huda Selim said the local administration did not take any initiative yet for unknown reasons though they were informed repeatedly.
Contacted, Deputy Commissioner of the district SM Ferdous said, “Action will be taken against sand lifters if it’s found that the riverbank erosion is taking place because of that.”
He said the local UNO and officer-in-charge of Sadar Police Station have already been informed about it.
Dhaka, Aug 30 (UNB) – Eying at making more money the International Cricket Council (ICC) has offered established cinema chains, individual cineplexes and theatres an opportunity to submit proposals for regional or worldwide rights.
ICC made the offer through releasing an ‘Invitation to Tender’ (ITT) on August 27 for ‘Live Cinema Screening Rights’ to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
The highest body of the world cricket is going to do this after selling out the rights of screening cricket on television, online and social media and it may open up a new way of more income generation for ICC through cricket.
ICC’s Head of Media Rights, Broadcast and Digital Aarti Singh Dabas said: “The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is the pinnacle of ODI cricket and provides the ICC and the world of cricket with an opportunity to engage with existing and new fans across different platforms, ensuring greater access to the sport and one of its biggest events.”
Meanwhile, when ICC has searched out a new way of income through an world event, a Test playing nation’s cricket governing body ‘Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB)’ is looking for a new title sponsor for its team ahead of the Asia Cup, just three weeks away.
A title sponsor of Bangladesh team Robi Axiata, a telecom company, surprisingly withdrawn its title sponsorship deal with BCB, releasing a statement on August 26 saying, “The current deal falls short in upholding the spirit of the agreement.”
A problem arising out of individual players’ endorsements with rival brands has not been solved and that eventually led Robi’s pulling out of a second time two-year contract, which was due to be extended until the 2019 World Cup.
However, BCB is no stranger to face such an unexpected incident. It’s previous title sponsor Amby Valley, an affiliate of Sahara India Parivar, had also prematurely ended up their sponsorship contract before Robi signing a two-year contract with BCB first time in 2015.
“Robi has withdrawn their sponsorship deal of the Bangladesh national team,” said BCB’s Chief Executive Officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury, expressing surprise over Robi’s decision.
“Robi's decision has surprised us. Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal discontinued their individual deals with mobile companies. Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is also in the process of discontinuing his deal with Grameenphone. We were going through this process and they were informed about it.”
“They [Robi] have said that they took this decision since individual player endorsements with conflicting brands weren’t getting solved completely. But we felt that they had a different strategic reason,” Chowdhury added.
According to Chowdhury, such conflicts would not be allowed in the future as ‘players’ freedom’ and team sponsorship doesn’t really go hand in hand. Due to a player individual deal with a company, the company’s massive branding weakens the team sponsorship’s own branding. So the board has to stop players from going into these deals with conflicting brands.
The term ‘players’ freedom’ can create new dilemma between the board and the individual players in future as many cricketers of Bangladesh team does deal with different companies for extra money.
Hostility over monetary issue among the boards and players is not new in the world cricket arena as an ‘ugly pay dispute’ with Cricket Australia (CA) and players’ union Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) in July last year threatened Australia’s tour to Bangladesh for a Test in August in 2017.