Narayanganj, June 17 (UNB)- At first sight, it looks like a gorgeous imported sports car. At most, some may think it was assembled in the country after importing foreign materials.
But a youth named Akash, a resident of Narayanganj, actually built the car from scratch at a workshop here using completely domestic technology. This is a battery-driven car which can carry a passenger along with the driver at a maximum speed of 45 km per hour.
That may not say much for its prowess, but in a country lacking a domestic automobile industry, it is still a laudable achievement on the part of Akash, son of Nabi Hossain from Fatullah’s Lama Para.
From childhood, Akash had dreamt of building a car by himself.
The project of making the car was initiated one and a half years back when Akash’s father allowed him to proceed. He drew a design inspired by Italy’s famed Lamborghini sports car and started working as planned.
He purchased steering and wheels from the market. Apart from these, all the materials - including suspension, lights and gear - were prepared by cutting steel plates in his father’s auto-rickshaw workshop. YouTube tutorials helped him in some cases.
Five batteries have been installed in the car which can last up to 10 hours. These batteriesare fully charged within only5 hours.
The cost of building the car wasTK 3.5 lakhs. If carbon fiber is used in the body, the cost will be reduced to TK 3 lakhs, Akash said.
Having no experience, he faced numerous problems while building the vehicle. But he was determined to fulfill his mission.
Eventually, when he brought the car out of the workshop during Eid, he received an unexpectedly positive response from the people.
"My son built this car. But people are reluctant to believe it. That is up to them. But I request them not to be harmful to my son,’’ said Akash’s father.
Asked about the next step, Akash said he does not want to sell the blueprint to anyone. “I would like to request the government to allow me to sell the car in market,” he said.
He has already got more than 25 orders for the environmentally-friendly electric cars. If the vehicle is marketed, people can buy it at only Tk 4-4.5 lakhs, he added.
Jashore, June 17 (UNB) – The two buildings of Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD) station in the district town lie in a dilapidated state for lack of renovation for over 50 years since its establishment, putting the lives of the officials and firefighters themselves at risk.
There are cracks in different parts of the buildings, including walls and beams, while plaster has come off the ceiling in many places.
The officials fear that the two buildings comprising the fire station might come down crashing anytime, unless they are renovated.
The fire station was set up on two acres of land on Bhola Tank Road in the district town in 1964.
There are station officer’s office and parking lot for keeping the two vehicles used during rescue operations – themselves very old - on the ground floor of a two-storey building while senior officials reside on its first floor.
The other one-storey building is used as the barracks for other officials and employees. A total of 35 employees, including station officer, team leaders, firemen, drivers, cooks and conservancy workers, live in different rooms of the barracks.
Cracks have developed on different parts of the rooms as well as beams and parking lot of both buildings while the plaster has come off the ceiling in many places, exposing iron rods.
Besides, the bathrooms are in a worse condition as their doors are broken while commodes are unfit for use.
The electric lines are also in a shabby condition as the wiring was done a long ago.
Besides, the tower of the fire station is also very old.
Talking to this correspondent, a number of officials and employees said they are passing their time inside the buildings amid anxiety while they work outside taking risk.
They are compelled to use the buildings as there is no alternative, they said, adding that it becomes impossible to reach the spot hurriedly with the old vehicles in case of any fire incident.
The fire station also lacks the equipment to douse fires in high-rise buildings, said assistant director of the fire station Matiar Rahman.
He said they are capable of dealing with a fire upto maximum 2nd floor with the ladders they currently have.
Matiar said officials and employees have to use the risky buildings amid fear of accident as there is no alternative.
He said the station should be upgraded into a modern one through construction of new buildings and procuring modern equipment and vehicles so that they can be confident of dealing with any fire they are called in to fight effectively.
Dhaka, June 17 (UNB)- State run Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) has taken an initiative to induct 32 different types of vessels in its fleet by 2041, aiming to make it more profitable side by side improving the service standard for bringing back its past glory.
According to an official document obtained by UNB, the government has to pay Tk 2400 crore yearly for renting foreign vessels. For this reason, the government has taken the move to increase the number of Bangladeshi vessels aiming to save the hard-earned foreign exchange.
The 32 vessels include two Chemical/Crude oil tanker of capacity 30,000-35,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT), two Mother tanker of capacity 100,000-125,000 DWT, ten Bulk carriers with 10,000-15,000 DWT capacity and four Container vessels of capacity 1,200-1,500 TEUs.
Besides, two Mother product oil tankers (for carrying Diesel) with capacity of minimum 80,000 DWT each, two Mother Bulk carriers (for carrying coal) of capacity minimum 80,000 DWT each and two LNG carrier having capacity of about 140,000 CBM.
Currently, the Shipping Corporation has eight different kinds of vessels in its fleet.
According to the official document, BSC’s ship acquisition plan includes acquirement of a number of vessels of different types and sizes in addition to replacement of the existing ones with a view to increase carrying capacity of export-import of the country in government sector following the 7th Five-year plan, Vision-2021 & 2041.
Recently BSC has undertaken a number of development projects in line with the overall development activities of the country.
Several ship acquisition projects have been undertaken by BSC in consistent with Single Point Mooring (SPM) project of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).
Besides, considering the government and private initiatives to set up coal-based power plants in various regions of the country, the BSC has taken a number of ship acquisition projects to carry cargoes.
The BSC has also launched a project for acquisition of LNG carriers in line with the government’s decision of importing LNG for uninterrupted supply to household and industries.
Aiming to increase national flag carrying vessels the government has slashed 15 percent VAT for registration of vessels having capacity of 5000 DWT.
Currently, a total of 47 vessels (from public and private sector) in the country are plying carrying the national flag. As a result, for export and import activities Bangladesh depends on foreign vessels.
In the last five years, the BSC procured two new 100,000-125,000 DWT mother tankers, ten new 10,000-15,000 DWT bulk carriers, two new 80,000 DWT mother bulk carrier for coal carrying, two new 40,000 CBM capacity LNG carriers, four new 1200-1500 TUES cellular containers, two new 80,000 DWT mother product oil tankers for diesel carrying and two new 30,000-50,000 DWT chemical/crude oil tankers.
The BSC made a net profit of Tk 12.5 crore in 2018. Its board has recommended six percent cash dividend for the last year.
The government owned 52.10 percent shares of the corporation as of March 31, while institutional investors owned 13.09 and public 34.81 percent, according to the Dhaka Stock Exchange website.
Sylhet, June 16 (UNB) – Whenever it rains or the weather turns turbulent, students at eight government primary schools in Benibazar upazila do their usual drill – packing their bags and heading home.
“The teachers hastily tell us to leave whenever the sky turns cloudy,” said a fifth-grader of Maligram Government Primary School.
Maligram is one of the eight schools of the upazila whose buildings have been identified as ‘risky’ by the primary education office.
The others are – Neraudi Government Primary School, Kholagam Government Primary School, Panjipuri Government Primary School, Kismot Government Primary School, Pollishashon Government Primary School, Arengabad Government Primary School, and Paton-2 Government Primary School.
Titu Chanda Das, the upazila’s acting primary education officer, said they prepared the list recently after the ministry ordered them to identify risky primary school buildings.
“It’s possible to take classes at these schools when the weather is favourable,” he said. “But teachers have been discouraged to take classes in bad weather.”
He said they had already sent the list of risky buildings to the ministry. “They can now either repair the existing ones or build new buildings. It’s up to them,” Das said.
Some of these buildings are tin-shed. “They can collapse any moment,” said one Faruk Ahmed, the guardian of a student.
“Areas like ours are neglected. That’s why our schools are forced to suspend studies in bad weather or during rain,” said Shahjahan Ahmad, a guardian from Naraudi village.
Beanibazar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Kazi Arifur said the government is very sincere about the primary education system. “Necessary measures will be taken about the risky buildings according to government directives,” he said. “It’ll get top priority.”
Beanibazar, June 16 (UNB)— In recent times, youths in Sylhet have become desperate to migrate to European countries, even at great risk to their finances and personal safety. The tendency is particularly acute among the residents of Beanibazar upazila.
Recently, four young men of the area went missing while they were crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Italy via Libya. There are hundreds like them who started their trip to Europe using Libya and Turkey as transit points along their route. A good number of them went missing before they reached the destination.
Surprisingly, their family members are reluctant to cooperate with the authorities.
Abani Shankar Kar, officer-in-charge of Beanibazar Police Station, said a 28-year-old youth named Tuhin went missing on his way to Europe. He communicated with his family members for the last time on May 6.
Another youth, Abdul Halim Sujon, 32, went missing in the same way. He is the son of late Ahmad Ali of Maijkapon village in Muria union.
Sujon was an auto-rickshaw driver here. Being enticed by the fantasy of a luxurious life and good job in Europe, he contracted with a broker named Parvej Ahmed about a year back to get to Italy at a cost of nearly Tk 1 million (he paid Tk 983,000). He had started his journey to Italy soon after and reached Libya, said his elder brother Abdul Alim.
After waiting in war-torn Libya for a long time, he along with others boarded a trawler meant for Italy via the Mediterranean Sea on May 9. From then, Sujon is missing. The broker, who sent him on the trip, confirmed to Sujon’s family that he boarded an Italy-bound trawler.
Hearing news of the recent boat containing Bangladeshis capsizing in the Mediterranean, killing dozens of them, Abdul Alim expressed his fear that his brother might have drowned in the sea.
Earlier, two other people named Rafik Ahmed and Ripon Ahmed went missing in the same way.
Three people of Sylhet went missing in the Mediterranean Sea three years ago. They are Imon, 22, Faridul Alam, 24, and Imran, 30. But no case has been filed yet in this regard. The silences may have something to do with the fact that they embarked on their journey knowing full well that their route fell outside the law.
A source requesting to be unnamed said that at least 1,200 people of Sylhet are still waiting in Libya, where Bangladeshis cannot go legally since 2014, for migration to Italy, crossing the Mediterranean. Of them, around 150 people are said to be from Beanibazar, who reached Libya via several countries. Just to reach Libya, each of them had paid TK 6-7 lakhs to the traffickers already.
Abani Shankar Kar said those who lured them into such danger with the promise of a luxurious life won’t be spared, and law enforcers stand ready to take the necessary action if a case is filed.
In the last six months, more than 300 youths left Beanibazar hoping to migrate to Italy, France, Spain, Portugal using Libya and Turkey as transit points. Many of their fates remain unknown.
Nahid, one of those who survived the hazardous journey to Italy but is now back in Bangladesh, shared his experience of the voyage through the Mediterranean.
“A boat with 80 people, much more than its capacity, is floating on the stormy ocean, rollicking in the waves. Sharks are spotted around the boat. If you fall off the boat, they will pounce. The 80 souls are desperate to reach Europe, beckoning like a paradise where their fates will change. But in that moment, a hellish death is closer to them.”