Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to inaugurate the Agargaon-Motijheel part of Dhaka Metro Rail on October 20, 2023, Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader told UNB. On that day, the PM will inaugurate the Farmgate, Secretariat and Motijheel stations of metro rail. There are seven stations on the Agargaon to Motijheel part of Dhaka Metro Rail. These are: Bijoy Sarani, Farmgate, Karwan Bazar, Shahbagh, TSC, Press Club and Motijheel. Read: Dhaka Metro Rail a symbol of Japan’s contributions to Bangladesh’s fast development: Nishimura Yasutoshi Once the Agargaon-Motijheel part of Metro Rail opens, commuters will be able to travel from Uttara to Motijheel in just 38 minutes — a miracle by Dhaka standards. Initially, five trains will run from Agargaon to Motijheel every 15 minutes and the number of trains will be increased gradually by reducing the time interval, the minister informed. MAN Siddique, managing director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), said that Farmgate, Secretariat and Motijheel stations are being opened on October 20. All work involving the stations have been completed. Now, work on the passenger walkways at the station is going on and it will be finished by October 15, Siddique hoped. Read: Metro Rail and Padma Bridge prove AL believes in deeds, not words: Quader Initially all trains will not go up to Motijheel. Trains will have numbers assigned to them. According to the number, which train will go to Agargaon and which will go to Motijheel, can be identified. According to the DMTCL MD, a three-step test run is conducted on the line before a train runs commercially. The first step in the trial run is the proficiency test or performance test. The second step will be the 'System Integration Test'. The final stage will be 'trial run' or experimental movement.
Awards are the marks of recognition and encouragement given in honour of any special achievement in certain categories, which also signify the credibility and speciality of a person or any organization. Among all the prestigious awards recognizing deserving individuals and entities across the world, the Ramon Magsaysay Award, often referred to as the "Nobel Prize of Asia" stands in today's world as a very special, exclusive and significant one. The award was initiated as an annual badge of honour created to commemorate former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay's example of honesty in administration, fearless service to the people, and realistic idealism within a democratic society. Established in 1957 by the New York-based Rockefeller Brothers Fund in cooperation with the Filippino Government, the Ramon Magsaysay Award celebrates the value of integrity, courage, and selfless service of Asian individuals impacting Asian landscapes. There is a reason behind elaborating on awards in this write-up, especially the Ramon Magsaysay Award in particular, as Korvi Rakshand, revered for his social activities as the founder of JAAGO Foundation, has been nominated for the 2023 Ramon Magsaysay Award in the Emergent Leadership category. With this year's award, Korvi Rakshand joins the distinguished list of 344 outstanding individuals and organisations whose selfless service has offered their societies, Asia, and the world, by offering successful solutions to some of the most intractable problems of human development. JAAGO Foundation Founder Korvi Rakshand wins Ramon Magsaysay Award for dedication to education, social change Through achieving this badge of honour, he also joined the prestigious Hall of Fame of 13 Bangladeshis who won the award in the past. The list includes prominent scientist Firdausi Qadri (2021), environmentalist and social activist Syeda Rizwana Hasan (2012), Founder and Executive Director of Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) AHM Noman Khan (2010), eminent journalist and Prothom Alo Editor Matiur Rahman (2005), eminent educationist Abdullah Abu Sayeed (2004), prominent social worker Angela Gomes (1999), revered village society reformer Mohammad Yeasin (1988), Co-Founder of the Notre Dame College in Dhaka Father Richard William Timm (1987), legendary pharmacist and Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury (1985), Nobel Laureate and founder of Grameen Bank Dr Mohammad Yunus (1984), Brac founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed (1980) and Tahrunnesa Abdullah in 1978, recognized for her pioneering role as a social reformer for Muslim women in society. From educating a little group of children at the capital's Rayer Bazaar slum to being nominated for the 2023 Ramon Magsaysay Award, Korvi Rakshand has been leading a revolutionary social transformation all over Bangladesh. For an afternoon chat to deep dive into Korvi Rakshan's role as a journeyman, Dhaka Courier recently visited his office at JAAGO's Banani headquarters in the capital. The entire office setting in the complex redirects as a memory lane of JAAGO's monumental journey for the past 16 years in the country, and within the short office tour and an exclusive interview with DC, Korvi Rakshand elaborated on the eventual past, present and future state of his esteemed organization. "The journey of JAAGO Foundation began in 2007 at the Rayer Bazaar slum in the capital, with the initial goal of teaching English to underprivileged children totally free of cost - because we thought this would help them conquer the language barriers in their next career steps, be it inside or outside the country. We were amazed to see the response of those 17 children as they asked about promotions to the next class, which made us realise that they envisioned our initiative as a school, and that led us to begin our first school in the Rayer Bazaar slum. Our efforts began to get recognized by society through several of our activities, but we realised the need to expand our efforts beyond Dhaka. We modelled a curriculum integration of both classroom-based and remote education that tremendously brought success in terms of educating children, especially in the difficult times during the pandemic, and now we are focusing on mainstream quality education and bridging the learning gaps with skill-based education to students who are unable to complete traditional studies. At present, JAAGO works with five focus areas - Education, Youth, Women, Climate Change and Governance, operated by more than 600 employees and more than fifty thousand volunteers across the country." JAAGO schools showcase 22 projects at Annual Science Fair The reason behind selecting the name: "In Bengali, the name 'Jaago' redirects to make someone wake up from sleep. Education is the light beam for society to get up and shine bright, and we consider it our responsibility to initiate the much-needed wake-up call with education. The bold, capitalised wording of JAAGO redirects as an invitation to everyone, to join our movement with love, support and contributions. The vibrant yellow colour is most commonly recognised as the colour of friendship, and that is what we do. We bridge the gap in society as its dedicated friend." On 'Volunteer for Bangladesh': Under Rakshand's visionary leadership, the JAAGO Foundation also initiated the Volunteer for Bangladesh (VBD) program in 2011. VBD has become a youth movement involving more than 50,000 leaders actively working for social betterment. "Although the initial aim and vision of the JAAGO Foundation was to focus on children and education, our responsibility increased upon witnessing the enthusiasm of the youth. We diversified our efforts, addressing various other issues including youth development and women's empowerment and eventually established the 'Volunteers for Bangladesh' (VBD) to bring together proactive individuals who could collaborate and contribute their energy and dedication to our activities. In VBD, our volunteers elect their local leaders and the power is completely decentralised to ensure the desired performances at the grassroots level." Winning the award: "I was travelling and was at an airport when I received a WhatsApp text from an unknown number. The person introduced herself as Susan Afan, President of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, and wanted to initiate a video call. Initially, I assumed that she was going to discuss someone else, and it was really surprising to know when they informed me that I got selected for this year's Ramon Magsaysay Award. Turned out that they have been following the activities of JAAGO for the last five years, and knowing all these has been pretty surreal to me." The present and future: "In 2020, we obtained NGO licensing, enabling us to collaborate with various international organizations. Currently, we partner with organizations such as UNICEF, USAID, and FCDO, and many donors prefer to remain anonymous. At Jaago, anyone can sponsor a child's schooling by contributing BDT 2,000 each month. We introduced an exclusive scholarship program for women students in public universities, to ease their daily lives and economic conditions. Launched last year, we managed to help 100 students and have enlisted 160 students for 2023." "Accolades are obviously inspiring, but personally I think this award will help us thrive with more accountability. I would really consider myself successful when I see that our work motivates the youth to believe in their capacity to bring about change, and I firmly believe that our youths are that capable," Korvi Rakshand told DC, ending the conversation with gratitude. Read more: When local communities unite to co-create a better city: Jhenaidah shows the way
People in Jhenaidah district are demonstrating the power of unity in their efforts to co-create their city. Award-winning architect couple Khondakar Hasibul Kabir and Suhailey Farzana, who are based in Jhenaidah, are motivating local communities to get engaged. Both the current and former mayors of the district town are also supporting them. Through consistent community participation and appropriation, extensive involvement of women, marginalised groups, and a local workforce, the seemingly simple undertaking of cleaning up the access to the Nabaganga river in Jhenaidah led to a thoughtful and minimal landscaping project with local materials and construction techniques. Thus, came about the transformation of a derelict informal dump site into an attractive and accessible multifunctional space that is valued by Jhenaidah’s diverse communities. The project managed to reverse the ecological degradation of the river and its banks and health hazards. Future phases focus on public use of the river area with walkways, gardens, cultural facilities and environmental efforts to enhance biodiversity in the river. Read: Bangladesh has a bright future if it chooses right development path: Dan Negrea The Urban River Spaces project in Jhenaidah, created by the local architect couple was the winner of 2022 Aga Khan Award for Architecture. “I will be helping you in your future plan for Jhenaidah. Rivers are the best resources for any city and it is a blessing for us that we have a river in the city,” said Jhenaidah Municipality Mayor Md. Quayum Shahrear Zahedee Hizawl.
Chief Economist and Director for Economics and Evaluation Directorate in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Professor Adnan Khan has said they consider Bangladesh as a major "unsung" development success story with "miraculous" growth that is often not told around the world. "It's a major unsung development success story. It's a miracle story. But it's also a story that is often not told around the world. I've also been telling the story of the miraculous growth wherever I have been in my career," he told UNB in an interview at the residence of the British High Commissioner on Wednesday. Prof Adnan, who has focused his career on advancing the understanding of development economics, political economy, entrepreneurship, and public sector reform, said they hold Bangladesh’s accomplishments as a great example for other developing countries. "From extremely challenging circumstances, Bangladesh has grown to be a miracle story. And the miracle is not just in terms of economic growth, we all know the story, but also reflected in other dimensions - human development and access to education help other dimensions," he said. The chief economist said in some areas Bangladesh has done extremely well compared to all of South Asia and most developing countries like access to education and female labor force participation and marginalised sections. Prof Adnan who has taught at Harvard Kennedy School and has also been an Academic Director at the School of Public Policy, said big success brings its own challenges to future success. "It brings huge opportunities, not just challenges. So, to make further prprogress, it requires meeting new development challenges," he mentioned. To make further progress, Prof Adnan laid emphasis on having quality education and quality healthcare services. He said future growth will require highly skilled population, not just educated population, future progress requires identifying a targeted social protection programme that efficiently identifies who is in poverty and who needs what kind of support. "To efficiently deliver this is the next stage of challenge. Similarly, readymade garments, we all know the story. There are still potential to make further progress with scaling up value chain," said the economist. "So, if Bangladesh has the potential to become either a Malaysia or a Vietnam, it needs to do a little more to meet these challenges," he added. Prof Adnan said domestic revenue mobilisation is one of the major challenges that needs to be addressed. "It is also about spending that money on the right type of public projects, what we call public investment," he said. Prof Adnan said the average tax to GDP ratio of developing countries around the world is 10 to 15% of GDP. The average tax to GDP ratio of developed countries is 30 to 35% of GDP. The tax to GDP ratio in Bangladesh is around 7.6% which is below the average of 10.7% for middle-income countries. As Bangladesh is going to be an upper-middle income country, it will need high levels of revenues to deliver high-quality public services, he said. Read: With strong political commitment, Bangladesh’s graduation would be a joyous occasion: OECD The British economist said the key to improving taxation lies in the effectiveness of the state in providing public services. He said countries that do well on domestic revenue mobilisation, do not face fiscal deficit, or budgetary deficits and do not then have to go to for external support "So it's good for fiscal macro balance. It is also important for making high quality public investments, roads, bridges, infrastructure, health, education," said the economist. Prof Adnan believes that Bangladesh has huge potential rght now though it is also hit by global shocks. "So the circumstances are also tougher outside. However, in my opinion, the opportunities far outweigh the risks," he added. The economist said the government realizes the nature of the challenges and it remains very open. "They're also keen to also learn from other countries through knowledge sharing." Responding to a question on development partners' role, he said the emphasis is shifting because the needs of Bangladesh growth are also changing. Read: LDC graduation: Economic diversification is among top challenges, said Abdoulaye Seck "For a country that is graduating has done so well. What it needs is less direct financial support, the more in terms of policy and technical support, because with the right policies, right institutions, Bangladesh is one of those countries, one of the few countries in the developing world that can attract a lot of international investment," Prof Adnan said. He was also part of the UK delegation that held 5th Strategic Dialogue with Bangladesh in Dhaka this week. Bangladesh and the United Kingdom are considering signing a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) on economic cooperation. He, however, did not elaborate on it. Expressing satisfaction at the record-breaking bilateral trade of $6.4 billion in 2022-23 and $561 million FDI from the UK, the highest from any country in 2022, Bangladesh and the UK agreed to create new institutional cooperation to promote business, trade and investments. Read more: Bangladesh should be rewarded with facilities for graduation: Momen
⏺ Power Cell appoints foreign consultant ⏺ It will play a vital role in saving foreign currency ⏺ It will reduce dependency on foreign testing laboratories The government has taken a move to set up an electrical testing laboratory, the first of its kind in the country, aiming to provide world-class testing, inspection and certification services required for a vibrant power system network. Despite tremendous growth in the Power Sector, Bangladesh does not have any accredited electrical testing laboratory (Low, Medium or High Voltage) for third party testing and certification.According to official sources, an Italian consultant, appointed by Power Cell, the technical wing of the Power Division, has already submitted its draft report on feasibility, technical and financial aspects of the laboratory. “We hope we can take the physical move on setting up the electrical testing lab if the report of the consultant is accepted as an impartial and independent one,” Mohammad Hossain, director general of the Power Cell, told UNB. He said this lab will not only ensure the quality and standard of equipment purchased by different authorities in the country, but will play a vital role in saving foreign currency as well. “Currently, we get some limited services from the lab of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet). But in most of the cases we have to spend thousands of dollars to get a typed test report from a bidder which pushes up the overall cost of a project”, he added. An official document in this regard reveals, the vision of the government is to provide quality electricity to all by 2041. Commendable achievement has been made in the power sector during the last decade in meeting the target. Electricity problem to end in 10-15 days: PM Hasina Power System Master Plan 2016 has been drawn up with a target to generate 60,000 MW by 2041. To achieve the Vision 2041, an enormous number of power plants need to be set up with huge expansion of transmission and distribution networks. The growth in the power sector encouraged many private sector companies to build manufacturing plants in Bangladesh to manufacture transformers, breakers, CT/PTs and switchgears.The growth in the power sector requires transmission and distribution utilities to procure hundreds and thousands of power and distribution transformers with associated switchgears, electrical apparatus/equipment and line items. In absence of accredited electrical testing laboratories electric utilities and private sector entities have to rely on certificates of foreign Electrical Testing Laboratory, which costs them a lot of foreign currency. 1500 MW of electricity from solar systems can be generated in next 1 year: Speakers To reduce the dependency on foreign testing laboratories, an accredited high voltage electrical testing laboratory is needed in the country. Official sources said the Power Cell is now conducting the feasibility through its Italian consultant under funding support from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA). The consultant's scopes of works include assessing the potential for setting up a world class electrical product testing lab and design the institutional certificating organization of high-voltage, as an independent medium-voltage authority of and the low-voltage proposed laboratory electrical for testing equipment. It will conduct a detailed feasibility study with cost estimates of goods, works and services and also environmental impacts; machinery and testing. 800,000 people without electricity in Canada as freezing rain hits Ontario and Quebec It will also prepare all administrative and legal documents necessary for setting up the laboratory and review the existing electrical equipment testing laboratory facilities by other utilities of the Power Division and make linkage with these existing laboratory facilities of technical, financial, management and HR aspects.
Although the government planned to restore 10,000 kilometres of navigable waterways by excavating rivers and removing silt, only about 7,000 km of waterways have been made operational since 2010 to last year. Out of this, 3,800 km were already operational. That means only 3,200 km of abandoned waterways have been restored, according to multiple sources of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority. According to sources, under a master plan to excavate 53 inland waterways, the first phase targeted restoration of 10,000 kilometres of 24 waterways by 2025. Many waterways abandoned due to irregularities in dredging However, various organisations of vessel owners using inland waterways say that 7000 km of waterways have been activated on paper. Many waterways are becoming abandoned due to lack of proper dredging and removal of silt. Rights activists and experts say that owing to unplanned digging and removal of silt, navigability development is not getting the expected results. According to the Ministry of Shipping, due to shortage of excavators and dredgers, river excavation and dredging work was disrupted earlier, but now there was no such crisis. Around 38 new dredgers including auxiliary vessels have been added to BIWTA's fleet in the last 14 years. The number of dredgers in its fleet is now 45. Besides, more than 50 dredgers of private companies have been involved in river excavation, said MoS sources. Graft, inefficiency behind BIWTA’s failure in river digging, excavation: SCRF On February 10, 2020, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, state minister for shipping, said in the Jatiyo Sangsad that a master plan for dredging had been taken up to protect navigability in waterways. About 10,000 km of navigable waterways will be restored by re-dredging 178 rivers through BIWTA. The state minister spoke about the same plan while inaugurating the Bhogai-Kangsa river excavation at Netrakona on May 25, 2019. Earlier on October 17, 2017, after the inauguration of the capital dredging of the Bhairab-Katiadi waterway at Kaliprasad Union Parishad ground in Bhairab, Kishoreganj, the then Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan said that the government has taken the initiative of dredging 53 waterways at a cost of Tk 11,500 crore. According to the sources concerned, a plan was taken in 2009 to restore 10,000 km of waterways by excavating 24 waterways and the project work started in 2010. However, an account signed by additional chief engineer of BIWTA Dredging Department Sayedur Rahman shows that 800 km of waterways’ navigability has been developed in six years from 2010 to 2016 under the development and revenue fund. On the other hand, the River Safety and Traffic Management Department of the same organisation said that during 2015-16 fiscal year, the vessels operated on 6,000 km waterways in the monsoon and 4,347 km in the dry season. Passengers paying extra toll at over 400 BIWTA ghat points Another letter of this department in 2017 said that the length of navigable waterways has increased by 547 km due to special attention of the government. A review of the above statistics shows that BIWTA had no success in restoring abandoned waterways in the first six years. Besides, the transparency and accountability of the organisation in river digging and removal of silt have come under question due to two types of information from the two departments. According to the sources concerned, from 2017 to June this year, around 2,400 km more of defunct waterways have been excavated. However, not all waterways have undergone necessary navigability development. It's impossible to fulfil the target by 2025 due to this slow pace of river digging. Bodiuzzaman Badal, senior vice president of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport (passenger carrier) Association told the UNB, “River digging and dredging have been done on paper. Actually waterways are not being restored.” Besides, many routes from Dhaka to several destinations have been abandoned during the last one decade, Badol alleged. He also said that they proposed to include a launch owner and a journalist for transparency and accountability in dredging activities. But BIWTA ignored it. Former director general of Water Resources Planning Organisation, also a renowned environmentalist, engineer M. Inamul Haque told the UNB that some mega projects of river digging failed to protect public interest as many rivers had been excavating unnecessary. The authorities concerned should exchange views with the people of river surrounding areas before finalising any project, he added. M Inamul also said that the process of river excavation and removal of silt were unplanned. Rokibul Islam Talukder, chief engineer of BIWTA’s dredging department claimed that river digging was properly done. He told UNB that around 3500 km waterways have been restored since 2010 in the first phase. Denying allegations of irregularities and lack of accountability regarding dredging of the first phase project, he said that any excavation or dredging work started according to third party’s hydrographic survey. The BIWTA maintains the routes regularly after completing the work, he added.
The Forest Department of Bangladesh will install nylon fence at critical locations in the Sundarbans and provide awareness training, aiming to resolve tiger-human conflicts, and increase the tiger population in the world’s largest mangrove forest. These initiatives are part of a special project of the Forest Department named 'Sundarbans Tiger Conservation Project'.The implementation of the project, with a budget of Tk 35.90 crores, began in April 2022 scheduled for completion in March 202, according to the project director’s office. Read: Govt measures boost hilsa production in Khulna Under this project, various activities were planned including a survey of the tigers and prey animals in the Sundarbans, the construction of high dunes and watchtowers, research on canine distemper virus in tigers, and awareness training for VTRT and CPG members, it said. To prevent tigers from entering nearby localities from the Sundarbans, nylon fence will be erected in 4 to 5 km critical locations initially. If this proves successful, 60 km area will be brought under fencing. The Forest Department expressed hopes that the successful implementation of this project will resolve tiger-human conflicts, reduce human-induced tiger killings, and increase the tiger population. Read: Khulna fuel traders start indefinite strike with 3-point demand The primary focus of the project is the survey of tigers and prey animals. So far, camera trapping surveys have been completed for tigers, prey animals, and canals in the Khulna and Satkhira ranges under Sundarbans West Forest Division. The survey in the Sharankhola and Chandpai ranges under East Forest Division is set to commence in November, with the report expected to be published in July 2024. Abu Nasser Mohsin Hossain, Divisional Forest Officer of Sundarbans West Forest Division and Project Director of the Sundarban Tiger Conservation Project, said camera trapping work for the tiger survey in Satkhira and Khulna ranges has been successfully completed. All officers and employees of the Sundarbans East and West Forest Divisions will undergo training to enhance their tiger conservation skills. Read: Rail link with Khulna restored after 7 hours “Training sessions for CPG and VTRT members will start soon. Additionally, several activities are planned for tiger conservation and increasing their numbers,” he said. “All project activities will be documented on video, and these recordings will be used to create documentary films. These films will later prove valuable to officials and volunteers dedicated to Sundarbans and tiger conservation,” he added. According to the project plan, 12 high dunes will be constructed inside the Sundarbans to offer shelter to tigers during floods, storms, and high tides. A tower will also be installed in the Dhansagar area of the Sarankhola range tiger sanctuary to monitor fires. From this tower, forest guards and volunteers will be able to swiftly manage fires in the Sundarbans in that region. As part of the project, research will be conducted on the canine distemper virus. Tiger feces will be collected from the Sundarbans, and domestic researchers will study the virus infection in the tigers' teeth through these fecal samples. Read: Onion prices soar in Khulna market after India slaps duty on export On the other hand, 340 members of the Village Tiger Response Team (VTRT) and 184 members of the Community Patrol Group (CPG) will receive training to resolve human-tiger conflicts in the Sundarbans. Additionally, two tigers that often enter the locality will be fitted with satellite trackers. Forest officers will provide apps to CPG and VTRT members for tracking tigers' movements, allowing them to monitor tiger activity on their mobile phones. Consequently, if a tiger approaches the locality, they will be able to quickly guide it back to the Sundarbans. Furthermore, for the project's implementation, various equipment such as drone cameras, satellite trackers, nylon fences, GPS devices, tranquilizing agents for tiger sedation, cameras, VTRT equipment, and various auxiliary materials, including clothing and training materials for CPG members, will be procured. Read more: Save Sundarbans, save Bangladesh: Environmentalists call for protecting largest mangrove forest
Preparations are underway for the inauguration of the third terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, or Terminal 3 - one of the most exciting and potentially transformative projects undertaken by the Awami League-led governments across three electoral cycles. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the first phase of the project on October 7. However, the full utilisation of the terminal by passengers is expected at the end of 2024. This is due to the necessary calibration and preparation of the equipment used in terminal operations, which is projected to take up most of 2024. The chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB), Air Vice Marshal Mafidur Rahman,confirmed to UNB that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will officially open the terminal with the usual fanfare associated with the inauguration of megaprojects under the present dispensation, on October 7. Govt will decide on ground handling at Dhaka airport’s third terminal and Biman is ready: CEO “The preparation for the inauguration is in its final stages. Structure of the terminal is ready, and now equipment is being installed,” said AVM Mofidur. He further stated that airlines will be able to use the new parking apron and taxiway . The old terminal's apron can accommodate 29 aircraft, but after the soft opening, the third terminal's apron will be able to accommodate an additional 8 to 10 aircraft. What sets Terminal 3 apart The CAAB chairman said 37 aircraft can be parked at a time once the terminal – with an area of 5,42,000 square meters – is fully opened. There will be 26 boarding bridges. Of these, 12 boarding bridges will be opened in October. There will be a total of 115 check-in counters (including 15 self-service check-in counters) for exits, according to CAAB. In addition, there will be 10 self-service passport control counters for immigration, along with 66 external immigration counters. For arriving passengers, there will be 5 self-service check-in counters, making a total of 59 counters. Currently, the existing terminal has 8 baggage belts, while the Third Terminal will have 16 baggage belts for arriving passengers. There will be separate belts for oversized luggage. Soft opening of Dhaka airport’s 3rd terminal on Oct 7: CAAB Chief The chairman mentioned that a multilevel car parking building with 1,350 parking spaces will be constructed for car parking at Terminal 3. Below the new terminal, there will be a baggage handling system, and on the second floor, there will be an arrival lounge, a cantina, and boarding bridges, according to CAAB. Additionally, there will be a Duty-Free shop and an arrival lounge nearby. The total area of the third terminal building is going to be 230,000 square metres, with a capacity of handling 12 million passengers annually. The baggage handling area is 54,000 square metres, and the fire-fighting station with equipment covers 4,000 square metres. The import cargo terminal is 27,000 square metres, and the export cargo terminal is 36,000 square metres. The connecting taxiway is 66,500 square metres. 12 boarding bridges will be operational when Dhaka Airport’s 3rd Terminal partially opens this Oct: CAAB There are two rapid exit taxiways, covering 41,500 square metres. Furthermore, the airport will have associated road connections, an elevated expressway, and the necessary equipment (automated warehouses) for passenger and cargo handling. All these activities are currently underway. Additionally, there will be a hall and six channels for customs for passengers arriving from other countries. VIP services have been arranged for VIP passengers. In the southern part of the Third Terminal, there is a 3,650-square-metre area dedicated to VIP and VIP passenger services. A large lounge has been constructed for transit passengers in the new terminal. It will serve 40,00,000 passengers annually. However, there will be no direct connection with the old two terminals for now. A corridor will be constructed in the second phase of the project. According to the CAAB chairman, 120–130 aircraft from over 30 airlines takeoff and land at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport's first and second terminals every day. About 20,000 passengers use the airport's two terminals every day. As a result, the HSIA currently has the capacity to serve about 80 lakh passengers annually. Fakhrul returns from Singapore, complains of harassment at airport With the opening of the third terminal, it will be possible to serve another 12 million passengers, he said. Once Terminal 3 , passengers will be able to avail the following facilities: Self-immigration facilities The new terminal building will feature a total of 10 automatic passport control stations or e-gates at the departure area. This innovative system allows passengers to complete the immigration process independently, eliminating the need to interact with immigration authorities. Nevertheless, for those passengers who prefer not to handle immigration procedures independently, there will be 56 exit immigration counters staffed by immigration officials ready to assist them. Additionally, there will be 5 e-gates available for passengers arriving in Bangladesh from other countries, and 54 arrival immigration counters to ensure a smooth entry process. State-of-the-art scanning systems for security Currently, passengers undergo manual security checks at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. However, this practice is set to change. In the future, security checks will be entirely automated, eliminating the need for physical contact during the screening process right up until the passengers aboard the plane. As a part of this streamlined procedure, passengers will be required to raise both hands inside the body scanner machine. This advancement is expected to result in significant time savings for both passengers and airport security personnel. Less commuting hassles for passengers Once the terminal officially opens, passengers will experience seamless travel transitions to and from the airport. This is attributed to the on-going construction of underground tunnels and flyovers in conjunction with the third terminal building, which will significantly enhance travel convenience. Passengers will have effortless access to ground transportation, including convenient connections to the metro rail and Dhaka Elevated Expressway, facilitating swift departures and arrivals. Moreover, the terminal will be equipped with a state-of-the-art international-quality firefighting system to ensure passenger safety. GP customers to enjoy roaming services at Dhaka airport Other facilities include: To cater to passengers' needs during transit, a range of amenities is being introduced. These include movie lounges and food courts designed to enhance the passenger experience. Additionally, airline lounges and dayrooms will be available for travellers seeking comfort and relaxation. Furthermore, 14 duty-free shops will be strategically placed throughout the terminal, offering passengers opportunities for both leisurely strolls and shopping. Passengers can expect to find an array of amenities such as food courts, food galleries, Wi-Fi connectivity, and mobile charging facilities, both within and outside the terminal. To accommodate passengers' religious needs, separate prayer areas will be designated for men and women. The new terminal will also feature a dedicated "meeters and greeters plaza" to facilitate the welcoming of visitors. The lounge will provide a dedicated breastfeeding booth, diaper-changing facilities, and a spacious family bathroom. Additionally, a children's play area equipped with sleeper swings will be available for young travellers to enjoy. Passengers at the new terminal will have access to 24-hour medical care, including health inspection services staffed by doctors, first-aid rooms for immediate medical assistance, testing centres, and isolation areas for various diseases, including COVID-19. Back in 2017, the government initiated the Terminal 3 project for Dhaka’s main airport. However, work on the construction of the terminal commenced on December 28, 2019. This ambitious and visionary project has been estimated to cost approximately Tk 21,398 crore. Notably, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA, is providing Tk 16,141 crore in the form of a loan to support the project, while the Government of Bangladesh is coughing up the remaining Tk 5,257 crore. The highly coveted contract for construction of HSIA Terminal 3 was won by a consortium made up of 3 of Asia’s leading firms in the sector: Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, as well as Fujita Corporation, and South Korean behemoth Samsung C&T Corporation ("Construction & Trading Corporation”). Where was the CCTV camera? Investigators wonder about missing gold at Dhaka Airport customs
Describing Bangladesh-US relationship "multifaceted and comprehensive," US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Security in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Mira Resnick has said there is so much that the two countries can do together, including in the security relationship. "We don't want to see a situation that risks the growth that we have seen in this relationship," she told UNB in an interview during her visit to Bangladesh last week, expressing US' willingness to "strengthen and deepen" the ties. Responding to a question on diversification of defense relationship, the US diplomat said they welcome Bangladesh's diversification of procurement for their defense needs. Read: BSCIC passed to revive industrial capacity, modernise outlook "It's a wonderful opportunity for Bangladesh to make sure that they're interoperable with their partners, including the United States," she said, noting that it was one of the things that came up in the 9th security dialogue held between the two countries in Dhaka.
Dreams of some three lakh people in Kachua and Matlab Dakkhin upazilas of Chandpur district are finally coming true following the opening of a 42-meter long bridge over Boaljhuri canal. Socio-economic life in the locality will see a major change through the inauguration of the bridge. Read : 6-year-old girl dies as dengue cases rise in Kushtia The two upazilas — Matlab Dakkhin and Kachua — are separated by the Boaljhuri canal and people of the two upazilas had to cross the canal through boats. To mitigate the suffering of the people of two upazilas, local lawmakers took an initiative to build a bridge in an effort to ease communication. Once the bridge is opened, the social and economic lifestyle of Prashannacup, Banglabazar villages in Kachua bordering area and Kalikapur, Chartbhanga, Kashimpur villages under Matlab Dakkhin upazila will be changed. People can easily go to the district headquarters in a short period of time and at low cost. A Alim, upazila engineer of Local Government and Engineering Department (LGED), said they have completed the construction work of 42-meter concrete bridge over the Boaljhuri canal, at a cost of Tk 2.55 crore, financed by the government, and it will be opened on September 12. Read : Bodies of couple recovered in Chandpur Former minister and MP of Kachua constituency Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir will inaugurate the bridge, he said. The construction work of the bridge started in the 2020-21 fiscal year but it was delayed due to the pandemic. Approach roads have been built on both sides of the bridge, said A Alim. During a recent visit to the bridge area, the UNB correspondent saw that the painting of the bridge is underway. A number of stalls offering fuchka, coffee and tea were set up near the bridge while the construction of many shops is underway on both sides of the river. People were seen roaming around the bridge before the opening ceremony. Read : Bangladeshi cattle trader shot dead ‘by BSF ,along Panchagarh border Locals Abul Hossain, Shafique Patwari, said they had suffered a lot due to the absence of a bridge over the canal. The commute to the district headquarters used to be long. The bridge will help boost trade and income in the two upazilas, they believe. Teachers of Matlab Dakkhin Kalikapur High School said they had to cross the canal by boat to go to the school but now students and teachers can easily go to the school in a short time using the bridge.