Dhaka, May 14 (UNB) - Zaheed Sabur, the first Bangladeshi principal engineer and only director at Google, wants to give back in whatever little way he can, especially by sharing his experiences and knowledge with young people in his motherland.
“So, I guess the plan ahead is to create a plan,” Zaheed who had not ever really planned or even thought of beyond what he just achieved told UNB in an interview.
The young professional says he wants to carve out time to spend on sharing his experiences on a weekly basis. “I receive messages, questions from many young people. I’ll start by preparing materials to cover them and also share on my Facebook for others to benefit.”
Zaheed, currently working at Google's Zurich office in Switzerland, said he always believed the best way he could contribute to his motherland is by becoming successful himself first.
“That has been my mission and now in my mid-30s I feel like achieving kind of that,” said the engineer who got addicted to electronics in the 4th grade and proudly sees himself a pure product of Bangladeshi education system.
Responding to a question, he said if Bangladesh’s education system can produce a principal engineer and director at the world’s top tech-giant then that itself speaks volumes about its competitive standards and strengths in the global context, especially in the area of science and technology.
Zaheed graduated from American International University – Bangladesh (AIUB) and joined Google. Out of over hundred thousand full-time employees at Google, there’re only about 250 Principal Engineers. “I can only imagine things are even better now after all these years.”
Responding to another question, he said he is not here to say government jobs are better or worse than what he does because that is all subjective.
“By no means, I’ll ever recommend that everyone should have the same goal in life. We aren’t robots, we shouldn’t act like one,” he said.
He believes the best thing about all is that they are all different, thus it should be up to each of the individual to decide what they would like to do in life.
“What’s really important though is that we make an informed decision. We shouldn’t blindly follow the future that others have painted for us. At this age of globalisation, the whole world is our playground. We should learn about all the amazing opportunities we’ve and then decide,” he said.
Zaheed completely disagrees with the perception that meritorious students go to public universities.
“I’ve friends who went to public universities and I can tell you many horror stories of how the teachers there act like god,” he said adding that he could focus on actually learning things instead of worrying about the mood of the faculty or the politics of pleasing anyone for a fair grade.
Zaheed, however, said there are of course many great things about public universities and not all faculty members are the same.
“In the end, it’s really about what’s more important to a student. Based on my best understanding, I would frame public vs private university experiences a bit like “arrogant greatness” vs “humble sincerity”, and I would pick the latter every single time,” he said.
Talking about his mother Lutfunnessa Begum who was the Principal of Patuakhali Government Women’s College until leaving the country to pursue her PhD in Economics, he said he would be a very different person today without the huge positive influence of his mother ever since he was a child.
He fondly recalls his mother bought soldering iron, multi-meter, etc for him and even took him to the stadium market many times to buy necessary parts like resistors, capacitors, transistors, ICs, relays, etc. “This was really the beginning of my journey towards engineering.”
As asked to know a bit about the persons who inspired him to think big and accomplish big in this short span of his life, Zaheed replied, “I prefer skipping this question to be respectful of the privacy of these people.”
Khulna, May 14 (UNB) – More than half of the infrastructural work of ‘Sheikh Russel Eco-Park’, the largest tourism centre in Bangladesh’s southern region, has been completed.
Located five-kilometer far from the city on the bank of Rupsha River, the eco-park is a project undertaken by the district administration.
It is being constructed on a 29.6-acre plot in Mathbhanga mouza of Batiaghata upazila and 13.69 acres in Jabusa mouza of Rupsha upazila.
District Administration, Water Development Board, Department of Public Health Engineering, and Sundarbans west zone are operating different projects of the park.
A January 8 views exchange on the project’s implementation, work design and master plan noted that the park will fulfill the recreational need of the city dwellers and create a wildlife sanctuary, among others.
In the March meeting of the district development committee, the executive engineer of Water Development Board said that 55 percent landfill work has been completed. A work order has been issued to build an embankment with Tk 2.26 crore.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Tourism Board has allocated Tk 1 crore to the deputy commissioner to set up the park’s mangrove cultural centre.
But it also added 15 conditions such as the Tourism Board will not be responsible for financial irregularities in the project and that the work’s standard should be ensured. The money spent is auditable.
Dr Sirajul Karim, a professor of Khulna University’s architecture department, said tenders have already been floated for the development works.
“A portion of the park will be completed within 2021 where an artificial forest will be created which will have various species of trees,” he said.
The work on the eco-park stretching started in November 2017. Although it is far from ready, the park is already attracting many visitors. Once completed, visitors will also be able to enjoy the beauty of the Rupsha from the eco-park.
Fossils of different fish and animals will be preserved in the fish museum. Besides, a heritage museum will be set up to uphold the history of the Sundarbans, while a sanctuary will be created for preserving wildlife.
A map on the biodiversity of the Sundarbans, a Unesco world heritage site, will also be put on display in the park.
Dhaka, May 13 (UNB)- Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) is going to procure 55 dredgers in the coming days, aiming to increase navigability of the country's rivers and ensure smooth waterway communication.
According to an official document obtained by UNB, these 55 dredgers will be procured under two projects of the BIWTA-- Procurement of 20 dredgers and Ancillary machineries and Procurement of 35 dredgers and Ancillary Equipment and Accessories.
Ten dredgers under the project of 'Procurement of 20 dredgers and Ancillary machineries ' will be inducted into the fleet of BIWTA within a short time.
The government undertook the project in 2015 to procure 20 dredgers and necessary equipment at the cost of Tk 2,048 crore to enable Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) to dredge 232.5 lakh cubic meters annually to ensure smooth waterway communication.
The procurement decision came in response to the "Feasibility Study of Capital Dredging and Sustainable River Management in Bangladesh (FSCD & SRMB)." The study suggested collection of some 216 cutter suction dredgers for dredging some 23 big and medium rivers.
BIWTA under the Shipping Ministry is implementing the project which will be ended in December this year.
Currently, BIWTA has 35 various types of dredgers including four amphibian dredgers.
Under the 'Procurement of 35 dredgers and Ancillary Equipment and Accessories' project some 161 water vessels will also be inducted in the BIWTA fleet.
The project area will cover Dhaka, Narayanganj, Manikganj, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Barishal, Bagerhat, Gaibandha, Cox’s Bazar, Chandpur, Kishoreganj, Jamalpur and Sylhet districts.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) in October last year approved a project to procure the 35 dredgers at a cost of Tk 4,489.03 crore to maintain navigability of 100 major rivers.
The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) under the Shipping Ministry will implement the project by June 2023. The government will implement the entire project with its own fund.
According to the Shipping Ministry, at least 1,655.10 lakh cubic metres of river routes are required to be dredged annually, while the overall dredging capacity of the country is 846.50 lakh cubic metres.
Once the project is implemented, it will be possible to meet around 70.81 percent of the annual dredging requirement of the country.
The dredging would keep ferries, lunches, cargo vessels and other river vessels functional on domestic river routes round the year.
For dredging big rivers like Padma, Meghna and Jamuna dredger with 28 inch and 24 inch cutter suction is needed. For medium rivers 20 inch and 18 inch cutter suction dredge is required while for small rivers that have poor navigability need 12 inch cutter suction.
The dredging capacity of the BIWTA after procuring these dredgers and other water vessels will be increased by 325.60 lakh cubic meter per annum.
Besides, the BIWTA is establishing seven dredging unit offices in different places of the country to make the dredging process more developed and dynamic. These places are-- Shimulia, Barishal, Madaripur, Rampal (Khulna), Aricha, Jamalpur and Chandpur.
Dhaka, May 13 (UNB) - The government is setting up three power hubs to boost the country’s power generation capacity over the next two decades.
The hubs will be constructed at three locations as part of the Power System Master Plan 2016.
Official sources said they will be located in Cox’s Bazar’s Maheshkhali and Matarbari in south-east, and Patuakhali’s Payra in the south-west.
These hubs will house 21 mega power plants with a total generation capacity of 28,600MW.
Port facilities were considered when choosing the locations as the power plants on the card will use imported coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Of the proposed hubs, Maheshkhali will have eight mega power projects with a generation capacity of about 12,200MW while Matarbari will house seven plants with 6,200MW capacity.
The Payra hub will have six power plants with a generation capacity of 10,200MW.
Power Division officials said the government has already signed a number of deals to set up power plants in these hubs between 2025 and 2038.
They said most of the power plant projects will be implemented either in public sector or in joint venture with reputed foreign companies.
“The government is building the power hubs to fulfill its electoral pledge to bring everyone under electricity coverage,” said Power Cell Director General Mohammad Hossain.
Currently, Bangladesh has a generation capacity of about 21,000MW and the country regularly generates between 9,000-11,000MW.
At present, the government claims that there is no gap between demand and supply. It blames reports of power outage on inadequate transmission and distribution capacity.
The Power System Master Plan reveals that about 44,275MW electricity generation capacity will be added to the existing system by 2030. Of this, 37,271MW will come from public sector while 4,008MW from the private sector and some 3,000MW will be imported.
Power plants in Maheshkhali hub, for which the government signed initial contracts, include Maheshkhali 1,200-1,320MW (JV of BPDB & CHDHK, China), Maheshkhali 1,200-1,320MW (JV of BPDB and TNB-PTB, Malaysia), Maheshkhali 1,200-1,320MW (JV of BPDB and SEPCO, China), Maheshkhali 1,200-1,320MW (JV of BPDB and KEPCO, South Korea) and 3,600MW (1200X3) LNG-based power plant (GE and BPDB).
The power plants in Matarbari hub, for which contracts were signed, are 1,200MW coal-based plant, 1,200MW Matarbari (JV of CPGCBL and Sumitomo, Japan), Matarbari 700MW coal-fired (JV of Symcorp and CPGCBL) and Matarbari 500-600MW LNG-based power plant (CPGCBL-Mitsui).
In Payra, the Patuakhali Hub, contracts were signed for power plants including 1,320MW coal-fired plant (JV of NWPGCL-CMC, China), 1,320MW phase-1 (JV of RPCL and Norinco, China), 1,320MW phase -2 (JV of RPCL and Norinco, China) and 3,600MW (1200X3) LNG-based power plant (JDA of NWPGCL and Siemens).
Rajshahi, May 12 (UNB) - Mango growers in the district are expecting a bumper yield this year as they said the rains caused by recent cyclone Fani have brought an extra advantage for them.
Dr Alim Uddin, a scientific officer at Rajshahi Fruits Research Institute, said, “The rains caused by Fani have prompted the growth of mangoes. Growers will be able to harvest mangoes 7 to 10 days earlier which will help them get better prices.”
Mangoes will also be tastier this time for the unexpected and untimely rains, he added.
Abu Bakar, a mango farmer of Charghat upazila, said, “We were worried about the output for Fani in the beginning but it has ultimately brought blessings as the heavy rains accelerated the growth of mangoes.”
The mango growers of Bagha, Charghat, Puthia, Godagari upazilas said now they do not need to spray any harmful insecticides in mango orchards as the rains protected the fruit from insect attacks.
Earlier, they could not spray insecticides as magistrates and police were patrolling the orchards following a High Court order.
The local administration also declared a ban on mango harvest before May 20, said the farmers.
Deputy Commissioner of the district Md Ruhul Amin told the UNB correspondent that they will fix dates for harvesting mangoes according to their varieties after a meeting soon.
Sources at Rajshahi Fruits Research Institute said they have set a target to produce some 213,426 tonnes of mangoes from 17,465 hectares of land this year. At least 208,664 tonnes were produced from 17,420 hectares in 2017-2018.