Around 1,700 more Rohingyas have started the journey from Cox’s Bazar to Bhashan Char in the second phase, although the initial plan was to transfer 700 only.
Forty-three buses carrying the refugees left for the port city of Chattogram from Cox’s Bazar on Monday.
They stopped over at Chattogram at 8pm. And like the previous Rohingya batch, these refugees will also stay a night here and sail out to Bhasan Char island through the sea route.
On Tuesday they will start from Chattogram to Bhashan Char on a Bangladesh Navy vessel, Commodore Abdullah Al Mamun Chowdhury, director of the Bhasan Char Rohingya Camp Rehabilitation Project, said.
Jahed Hossain, a Rohingya refugee set to be relocated said, “No one forced us to leave. Those who went to Bhashan Char told me over the phone that they are living a much better life now. So I am going there in search of a new beginning.”
In the first phase on December 4, some 1,642 Rohingyas were transferred to Bhashan Char.
Bangladesh is hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingyas, most of whom came here from their homeland in Myanmar starting in Aug 2017. Bangladesh has been urging the global community to mount pressure on Myanmar for effective repatriation of the Rohingyas.
The government plans to shift some 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhasan Char in phases to provide them with a better living place. Located 34 kilometres from the mainland, the island surfaced 20 years ago and was never inhabited.
Contractors say its infrastructure is like a modern township, with multi-family concrete homes, schools, playgrounds and roads. It also has solar-power facilities, a water supply system and cyclone shelters.