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.
Dhaka, Aug 30 (UNB) -The government has taken a move to designate at least one school exclusively for children with disability in each upazila, aiming to bring them in the mainstream of society and involve them in economic activities.
A process to amend the 'Integrated Special Education Policy on Disabilities, 2009' through the Social Welfare Ministry is underway to make it more time-befitting one.
According to an official document, there is a scope to recognise at least one school in each upazila. For that, the particular school has to fulfill the conditions to be stated in the policy.
"After finalising the policy, the schools will be recognised by the Social Welfare Ministry," the document reads.
Talking to UNB over phone, Social Welfare Minister Rashed Khan Menon said the amended policy was sent to the Public Administration Ministry two months ago for its approval.
"Once we get back the file, our ministry will send it to the Cabinet Division for the final approval by the Cabinet,” he said.
Menon mentioned that the Social Welfare Ministry is trying to get the approval from the Cabinet as soon as possible.
According to the official document, the present government has formulated 'Rights and Security of the Disabled Persons Act, 2013' and 'Neuro-Developmental Security Trust Act, 2013' for improving the standard of life of the persons with disabilities.
As per rules of the two acts, formulation of a national work plan on disabilities is now at the final stage, the minister said.
As per the existing 'Integrated Special Education Policy on Disabilities, 2009' the National Foundation for the Development of the Disabled Persons under the Social Welfare Ministry is running 62 schools for the intellectually disabled persons at district and upazila levels.
The teachers and staff of these schools have been receiving salaries and allowances from the government since February 2010, official sources said.
A senior official at the Social Welfare Ministry said the government, especially the Prime Minister, is very much eager to develop the lifestyle of the persons with disabilities.
Kathmandu, Aug 30 (UNB) - Bangladesh and Nepal have agreed to enhance bilateral trade and investment between the two friendly countries as well as cooperate with each other for power sector development.
The consensus came at a bilateral meeting held between Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Thursday at Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plazza in Tahachal Marg here.
PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
He said both the leaders discussed the bilateral and regional cooperation as well.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh gives importance to the relations with Nepal and the cooperation between the two countries is very important.
She said the main aim of the countries in this region, especially Bangladesh, is to eradicate poverty. "We don't want our own development only, we also want our neighbours to develop."
Sheikh Hasina offered Nepal to use the seaports of Bangladesh and Syedpur Airport for their business and travel purposes.
Putting emphasis on strengthening the regional connectivity, Hasina said Bangladesh can share its experience in disaster management with Nepal.
She also recalled the Nepalese support towards Bangladesh during the Liberation War in 1971.
Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli also laid emphasis on exploring opportunities to enhance the cooperation between the two countries.
In this connection, he mentioned the export of 500 megawatts of electricity to Bangladesh and said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has already been signed in this regard.
He expressed his happiness as Sheikh Hasina came to attend the 4th Bimstec summit at his invitation.
Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and Nepalese Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi were, among others, present from their side.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman, Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque and Ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal Mashfee Binte Shams were present from the Bangladesh side.
Later, Chief Adviser (head of interim government) of Bhutan Dasho Tshering Wangchuk met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the same place.
During the meeting, the chief adviser informed Sheikh Hasina over the upcoming election in Bhutan.
"According to the constitution, our parliament has been dissolved and the new government will take oath by October 31," said the chief adviser.
The two leaders expressed satisfaction over the existing friendly ties between the two countries and hoped that the relationship will further be strengthened in the days to come.
The Bhutanese chief adviser recalled his visit to Bikramapur in Bangladesh.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM's Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman and Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque were present on the occasion.
Later, Sheikh Hasina along with other Bimstec leaders paid a joint call on Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari at Sheetal Nibash, the Presidential Palace, in the capital city.
They also attended a luncheon there hosted by the Nepalese President.