The trial run of a train on Dohazari-Cox's Bazar route is expected to be conducted on October 15 as 92 percent work on the railway route has been completed, said the project director. The trial run of the train will be conducted in presence of Railway Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujon, Mafizur Rahman, director of Dohazari--Cox's Bazar rail project told UNB on Thursday. The construction work of an iconic rail station, culvert, level crossing and highway crossing is almost finished, he said. The 102 kilometer Dohazari-Cox's Bazar rail project is almost finished and now it is ready for train movement, said Mafizur Rahman. “Already all preparations have been taken to conduct a trial run on the route and a locomotive with six bogies will run on the route first. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the rail route at the end of October. Later, the residents of Dhaka will enjoy the Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar rail route later,” he said. Read more: After 10 years of delay, Mongla-Khulna rail line likely to open in October According to the project officials, under the project a 102-km new dual gauge single railway line from Dohazari to Cox's Bazar has been built at a cost of Tk 18,000 crore. Already an Oyster-shaped international standard railway station has been built in Cox’s Bazar town and seven more stations from Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar were built while an overpass was also constructed to facilitate the movement of elephants and other wild animals as the rail line crosses a reserved forest area, said the project director. Besides, the repair work of the 450 meters of the trail tracks which was damaged due to the recent floods was done, he said. Rezaul Karim, president of Cox’s Bazar Tourist Traders Association, said the number of tourists could increase by three times with the launching of the rail route. Zahidul Islam, a resident of Cox’s Bazar, said the residents of the district have been deprived of the train services for long but the Dohazari-Cox's Bazar project will make their dream come true. Read more: Uttara to Motijheel in 38 mins once part of Metro Rail from Agargaon opens on Oct 20 Mohammad Shaheen Imran, deputy commissioner of Cox’s Bazar, said the project work is almost finished and if everything remains okay the trail run of train on the rail route will be conducted on October 15. 8 rail stations According to the project officials, there are eight stations along the 102-km railway including at Satkania, Lohagara, Chakaria, Dulahazara, Eidgaon, Ramu and Cox's Bazar Sadar. To facilitate this, three big bridges have been constructed on Sangu, Matamuhuri and Bakkhali rivers. Besides, 43 small bridges, 201 culverts and 144 level crossings have been constructed on the railway. A flyover was constructed in Keochia area of Satkania, and two highway crossings in Ramu and Cox's Bazar areas. An overpass of 50 metres and three underpasses were constructed for the movement of elephants and other wildlife. Dhaka-Cox's Bazar train service still a distant reality as project limps along
A six-member delegation, including the UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Asia Pacific, Kanni Vignarazar, visited the Rohingya camp at Ukhiya in Cox's Bazar on Monday (September 11, 2023). During this visit, they observed various activities of the donor organisation. Also read: UN Assistant Secretary-General's visit to Bangladesh set for September 9 The delegation reached Block-L/17 of Rohingya Camp-18 in Ukhiya around 10:00 am on Monday. Later, they visited the Rohingya Cultural Memory Centre at IMO. During the visit, an IMO official presented the delegation with details by displaying various items bearing testimony to the history and heritage of the Rohingyas preserved inside the Rohingya Cultural Memory Centre. A group of Rohingya artists played musical instruments for the delegation and sang a Rohingya anthem (Tarana). They then visited the Model Village under the UNCR-NGO Forum and BRAC Dhara-run pilot project located in Camp 17 H/71 block and visited the ISO SET bio-diversity nurseries. During this time, BRAC officials briefed them on how waste material is paid for in the project. Also read: UNDP facilitates dialogues among parliamentarians on gender-based hate speech and Bangladesh Delta Plan Later, NGO officials gave a detailed briefing to the delegation on how the Rohingyas collect rations through smart cards. Later, they paid a courtesy call on the CIC at the CIC office of Camp-4 Extension. US Assistant Secretary-General Kanni Vignarazar spoke to some of the Rohingyas who came to WFP’s e-voucher shop and inquired about them. Later, the six-member delegation returned to Cox's Bazar around 3:00 pm. Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mizanur Rahman and Cox’s Bazar Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Shaheen Imran were present during the visit. Also read: Sweden, UNDP continue to work on climate adaptation in Bangladesh "During this time, the delegation observed various activities of the donor organisation. Later, they spoke to some Rohingyas who had come to the WFP’s e-voucher shop for some time," said Mizanur.
The throat-slit body of a Rohingya boy was recovered from a drain in Ukhiya camp of Cox’s Bazar early Saturday. The deceased Md Mujib, 17, was son of Obaidul Haque of West bloc in the camp No-8 of Ukhiya upazila. Read more : Woman’s throat-slit body recovered in Sylhet Sheikh Muhammad Ali, officer-in-charge of Ukhiya police station, said locals spotted the body in a drain around 6am. Later, they informed Rohingya Majhi (leaders) who subsequently called Armed Battalion Police (APBn) in the camp, he said. Read more : Throat-slit body of Rohingya man recovered in Cox’s Bazar The body was sent to Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy, the OC said adding that it could not be immediately known whoever was involved in the killing.
PM Hasina to inaugurate Matarbari coal-fired plant in December to add 600MW to national grid: Officials
The first unit of Matarbari coal-fired power plant in Maheshkhali of Cox's Bazar district is likely to go into production by this December, adding 600 MW of electricity to the national grid. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the plant, project officials told reporters this week. A ship carrying 64,300 mts of coal for the Matarbari plant had arrived from Indonesia on June 23. The 1200 MW power plant has been built on 1,414 acres of land in Matarbari and Dhalghata unions of Maheshkhali upazila of Cox's Bazar district. Fire in garbage dump at Matarbari Thermal Power Project under control after 8 hours Along with the construction of this power plant with Japanese funding on the coast of Cox's Bazar seven years ago, work has also started on the construction of port infrastructure and jetty for coal offloading from ships. While visiting the area recently, it was seen that the project implementing company, Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited (CPGCL), is going ahead with the work of this mega project. The work of the jetty for the coal discharge with the power plant is almost finished. Vessels have also started sailing at the jetty. PM urges JICA to allow farmers to use wastage of sea water in the desalination project at Matarbari The project has changed the entire landscape of the area, said officials. Some 13,104 tons of coal will be required daily to generate electricity at full scale. Coal discharge jetties and silos have been constructed for this. Coal required for 60 days has been kept in the huge silos. Up to 80,000 ton capacity mother vessels can directly enter the coal jetty. And it will take one and a half to two days to unload the coal from the mother vessel. Two separate ashponds are kept to store ash for a lifetime of 25 years of the power plant. One has an area of 90 acres, another spread over 600 acres. Coal yard has been prepared on 80 acres of land for coal storage. 64,300 mts of coal for Matarbari coal-fired power plant arrives A loan agreement on the project was signed between the Government of Bangladesh and JICA on June 16, 2014. The project cost has been estimated at Tk 51,800 crores. Of this, Tk 43,921 crore will be given as project support by JICA and the remaining Tk 7,933 crore will be provided from the own funds of Bangladesh Government and CPGCBL. According to project sources, 95 percent of the jetty and physical infrastructure work has already been completed and 90 percent of the overall physical infrastructure work has been done. Executive Director Nazmul Huq, Matarbari coal-fired plant project said that PM Hasina will inaugurate the power plant in December. Read more: People suffer as severe load shedding continues countrywide “But we want to add 600 MW power from here before inauguration and that will happen. The first unit of the Matarbari coal-fired power plant is scheduled to be commissioned in January 2024, but we expect to be fully operational by this December,” he said. He mentioned that the second unit will be commissioned in next July. However, he said, electricity from both the units will be connected to the national grid. The executive director mentioned that the project is being worked on by ensuring all necessary measures to prevent environmental pollution. “The coal will be seen only once when the coal is unloaded from the ship. Then the coal will go directly from the jetty to the plant. It will not pollute the environment," he said. Read more: 26,620 mts of coal for Rampal Power plant arrives at Mongla Highlighting the overall status of the project, the executive director said, we have two parts of this project, one of which is the power plant, the other is the port. Cox's Bazar Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Shaheen Imran told reporters that the Matarbari Coal Power Project is a priority project of the prime minister.
Four Rohingya refugees who were abducted from Teknaf in Cox's Bazar have been released in exchange for a ransom of Tk 5 lakh. The abducted Rohingyas are: Mohammad Yunus, 32, son of Nur Hossain; Mohammad Sultan, 24, son of Mohammad Rafiq; Abdullah, 16, son of Abdur Rahman; and Anwar Islam, 18, son of Mohammad Syed. They are all residents of Alikhali Rohingya Camp-25, Block D/22, under Hnila union of Teknaf. Read: 2 BCL leaders arrested for abduction, robbery at Dhaka College The abducted Rohingyas returned home on Monday (June 5) evening, said Jamal Pasha, superintendent of police and deputy commander of 16 Armed Police Battalion (APBn). They were given first aid at the NGO hospital. Later, the APBn members handed them over to their families, he added. Read: Ctg boy killed after abduction for ransom; 2 arrested Earlier on Friday (June 2, 2023) night, five Rohingyas were abducted by miscreants from Alikhali camp in Teknaf. Of them, Jahangir Alam was dropped off, with his hands cut off, near the camp on Sunday (June 4, 2023) evening. Later, locals rescued him and took him to the hospital. He is now receiving treatment at the hospital. Read: Abduction in guise of DB: Constable put on 1-day remand
The 14-member Myanmar delegation held a three-hour meeting with the Rohingyas, who fled the Buddhist-majority country amid military persecution and have taken shelter in Cox's Bazar, ahead of their possible repatriation that is being discussed. However, the Rohingyas are not satisfied with the assurances given by the delegation. The meeting was held with more than 200 Rohingyas at Jadimura Shalbagan camp in Teknaf on Thursday (May 25, 2023) afternoon. Later, the delegation returned to Myanmar by trawler via Teknaf-Myanmar transit jetty at Jaliapara municipality. Read more: Myanmar team arrives in Cox's Bazar to verify list of Rohingya for repatriation Earlier, the 14-member delegation from Myanmar arrived in a cargo trawler at Teknaf-Myanmar Transit Jetty of Teknaf Municipality Jaliapara around 10am on Thursday. The team was led by Aung Myo, Maungdaw's regional director at the Ministry of Social Affairs. After the meeting, Director General (Myanmar) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Moinul Kabir said, "Our main objective is to repatriate the Rohingyas. Because that's the only permanent solution. Various initiatives are being taken to send Rohingyas to their home countries. In continuation of this, the Myanmar team has come.” Expressing dissatisfaction with the assurance of the delegation, some of the Rohingya participants of the meeting said that they demanded Myanmar citizenship, return of their lands and freedom of movement like other communities in the country. "They're talking about taking us to camps in that country with an NBC card. But that's not how we're willing to go,” a Rohingya participant said, in return for anonymity to discuss the issue. Read more: Dhaka seeks global support in pilot Rohingya repatriation project.
At least 10,000 houses were damaged in Cox's Bazar, with 1,200 of them being on vulnerable St Martin's Island off the coast of Teknaf. Despite the widespread damage, there were no reports of casualties as of filing this report. Cox's Bazar city, Sadar upazila, Maheshkhali upazila, Kutubdia upazila, and Ramu upazila were all hit by the cyclone, and locals are fearful of the potential for massive losses being uncovered as people return to their daily lives at home. Also Read: Cyclone Mocha completes landfall, ports now advised to raise signal No. 3 Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Shaheen Imran has confirmed that the cyclone's fury has ceased and that the 2.5 lakh people in shelters will be able to return home pending the authorities' green light. “However, the extent of the damage is still being assessed and will be reported later,” the DC said. The cyclone caused extensive damage in Teknaf and St. Martin, with a lot of trees falling in isolated areas of St. Martin, Teknaf Sadar and Municipal areas, Sabrang, Dailpara, and Jadimura. Also Read: Cyclone Mocha weakens slightly, lies over Maynmar land: BMD People have been seen removing trees from roads in different areas. According to Teknaf Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Kamruzzaman, there are reports of extensive damage in Teknaf and Saint Martin, with trees being uprooted and houses being destroyed in some areas. Chairman of St Martin union parishad, Mujibur Rahman, said that although the wind speed has decreased in St Martin since evening, many houses have been blown away, and some people have been injured. More accurate, precise measures of the damage done by Mocha will have to wait till tomorrow, most probably.
Bangladesh and Myanmar braced Sunday as an extremely severe cyclone started to hit coastal areas and authorities urged thousands of people in both countries to seek shelter. The outermost band of Cyclone Mocha reached the coast of Myanmar's Rakhine state on Sunday morning, and by afternoon the center of the storm was expected to make landfall near Sittwe township, which was under the highest weather alert, Myanmar’s Meteorological Department said Sunday. More than 4,000 of Sittwe's 300,000 residents have been evacuated to other cities since Friday and more than 20,000 people are sheltering in sturdy buildings such as monasteries, pagodas and schools located on the city's highlands, said Tin Nyein Oo, who is helping people in shelters in Sittwe. Read More: Bangladesh, Myanmar brace as Cyclone Mocha makes landfall Many local residents live in areas more than 3 meters above sea level, places where residents believe the storm surge cannot reach, he added. Strong winds of 40 to 48 kilometers per hour (25 to 40 miles per hour) were blowing in the city, Tin Nyein Oo said on Sunday morning. “The storm has not yet entered, so we don’t have much difficulty. However, there are too many people in the shelters and not enough toilets,” he added. Read More: Satkhira sees no effects of Cyclone Mocha Lin Lin, the chairman of a local charitable foundation, said earlier there was not enough food in the shelters in Sittwe after more people arrived than expected. In Bangladesh, weather in most areas remained sunny and humid on Sunday morning. U.N. agencies and aid workers in Bangladesh prepositioned tons of dry food and dozens of ambulances with mobile medical teams in sprawling refugee camps with more than 1 million Rohingya who fled persecution in Myanmar. Read More: Cyclone Mocha starts crossing Cox’s Bazar with speed of up to 215 kmph: BMD Bangladesh issued the highest danger signal for Cox’s Bazar, home to the camps. The Bangladesh Meteorological Department warned the cyclone could cause severe damage to lives and property in eight coastal districts. No heavy rainfall had been reported in Cox's Bazar as of Sunday morning. Bangladesh, with more than 160 million people, has prepared more than 1,500 cyclone shelters. The navy said it's keeping ready 21 ships, maritime patrol aircraft and helicopters for rescue and relief operations. Read More: Cyclone Mocha: Academic activities at Khulna University, Agricultural University suspended Authorities in Bangladesh said heavy rains from the cyclone could trigger landslides in Chattogram and Cox's Bazar and three other hilly districts — Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachhari. In May 2008, Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar with a storm surge that devastated populated areas around the Irrawaddy River Delta. At least 138,000 people died and tens of thousands of homes and other buildings were washed away. Roxy Mathew Koll, a climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune city, said cyclones in the Bay of Bengal are becoming more intense more quickly, in part because of climate change. Read More: This is how Cyclone Mocha was named, plus all you need to know Climate scientists say cyclones can now retain their energy for many days. Cyclone Amphan in eastern India in 2020 continued to travel over land as a strong cyclone and caused extensive devastation. “As long as oceans are warm and winds are favorable, cyclones will retain their intensity for a longer period,” Koll said. Cyclones are among the most devastating natural disasters in the world, especially if they affect densely populated coastal regions in South Asia. Read More: Cyclone Mocha: BTRC opens control room
Cyclone Mocha is likely to hit the coastal areas of Bangladesh, especially Chattogram, Teknaf and Cox's Bazar, on Sunday (May 14, 2023). The Department of Posts and Telecommunications has already instructed all the subordinate agencies, including the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, to complete necessary preparations to ensure that all types of telecommunications services continue during the disaster and post-disaster period to deal with the cyclone, according to a press release. The BTRC has also directed all the licensees concerned and all telecom operators providing telecommunication services to form emergency response teams and set up control rooms on Saturday. Read More: This is how Cyclone Mocha was named, plus all you need to know A 10-member emergency response team has been formed by the BTRC. The team will take measures in coordination with the telecom operators to ensure uninterrupted service, including round-the-clock monitoring of the telecommunications service system in the cyclone-affected areas, and will continue close contact with the concerned district and upazila administrations. Besides, the BTRC has also started a control room with three members. The two control room numbers are 01552202854 and 01552202886. The BTRC control room is coordinating between the monitoring team formed by the BTRC and how the licensees working in the coastal areas are working to deal with the Mocha. Besides, mobile operators, NTTNs, ISPs and other licensed officials concerned are taking necessary measures to inform the control room if they face any problem in taking action in the coastal areas, said the release. Read More: Cyclone Mocha may cross Cox’s Bazar between 9am and 3pm today, no possibility of turning into super cyclonic storm: BMD In view of the BTRC directive, the telecom operators have set up control rooms in their respective offices to ensure uninterrupted telecommunication services in the coastal areas and surrounding areas and adequate batteries, diesel generators, portable generators and additional vehicles have been arranged to travel during the disaster to ensure power backup to keep their network system active. Mobile operator Grameenphone has taken the initiative to provide special packages to provide free telecommunication services to the people of cyclone-affected areas. Grameenphone's emergency contact numbers are 01711505368, 0171108110101, 01711081804. Banglalink has said that special measures will be taken to make it easier to recharge mobile phones along with text messages and social media campaigns to make people aware of the cyclone situation. Banglalink's emergency contact numbers are 0196244565, 01911310795, 01962424706. Read More: Cyclone Mocha starts crossing Cox’s Bazar with speed of up to 215 kmph: BMD Robi customers will get emergency balance, minutes and internet by dialing *8# at any time. Robi's hotline number is 0181718368, 01819210350 Teletalk has taken steps to ensure commercial power supply along with adequate fuel supply by removing mechanical defects of all generators to ensure power supply at core site and hub site. Besides, a response team has been formed and a control room has been set up. Emergency Response Team Numbers- 01550155045, 015505155034, 0155015053. Control Room Number-02333315900, 0155515211. Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited (BTCL) has opened a control room to deal with the problem. The contact number of the control room is 0248317788. Read More: Cyclone Preparedness: Safety measures to follow before, during and after disaster The emergency contact number of the tower construction company edotco-, 01871006730. The summit's emergency contact number is 01791040385, 01711080484. Kirtankhola's emergency contact number is 01401159572 (Chattogram and Cox's Bazar) 01713479912 (Barisal). Frontier's Emergency Contact Number- 01810169540, 01810169548. ISPs, NTTNs and other telecom operators have taken steps and are constantly trying to keep their networks active in the areas likely to hit the cyclone during the disaster.
Cyclone Mocha, located over east central Bay and adjoining areas, kept moving north-northeastwards and kept intensifying between the Bangladesh Meteorological Department or BMD’s evening and midnight updates on Saturday. The weather system was located at 490 km south-southwest of Chattogram port, 410 km south-southwest of Cox's Bazar port, 530 km south of Mongla port and 460 km south of Payra port, said the BMD in its special update issued at 12am Saturday night (0000 hrs Sunday). In BMD’s previous update at 6pm Saturday, the storm was located 605 km south-southwest of Chattogram port, 525 km south-southwest of Cox's Bazar port, 625 km south of Mongla port and 565 km south of Payra port. Read More: Great danger signal No 10 issued for Cox’s Bazar maritime port as cyclone Mocha approaches It is likely to intensify further, keep moving in a north-northeasterly direction and likely cross the Cox's Bazar-north Myanmar coast anytime between 9am to 3pm on Sunday, May 14 (tomorrow) it said. In this case, BMD’s midnight update did shorten the window for it to make landfall, as earlier it had said 9am-6p Sunday in the evening update. It also said the coastal districts of Chattogram and Barishal divisions had started experiencing the peripheral effects of the very severe cyclonic storm in the form of rain. BMD said the maximum sustained wind speed near the storm's centre was about 190 kph rising to 210 kph in gusts/squalls. This was up from 180-200 kph in the evening update, meaning the storm was still gathering strength. Read More: Heavy rains may trigger landslides in Cox’s Bazar, Chattogram, 3 hill districts There were some rumours that the system had already turned into a ‘super cyclone’, but an Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) update pointed out that the system is called a super cyclone when the maximum sustained speed crosses 221 km per hour - which is not yet the case, although it may still happen overnight. An IMD official told Kolkata-based The Telegraph that “whether it technically crosses the super cyclone threshold or not, the devastation will be significant.” BMD in its update said the coastal districts of Cox's Bazar and Chittagong and the nearby islands and low-lying Char areas face tidal surges 8 to 12 feet above the normal tide. Read More: All preparations taken to face cyclone Mocha: PM Hasina Maritime ports of Cox's Bazar has been advised to keep hoisted great danger signal no. 10. Maritime ports of Chattogram and Payra have been advised to keep hoisted great danger signal no. 8, said the report. The low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Feni, Noakhali. Laxmipur, Chandpur. Bhola and their offshore islands and chars are likely to be inundated by the wind driven tidal surges 05-07 feet above normal astronomical tide. Maritime port of Mongla has been advised to keep hoisted local warning signal no 4. The coastal district of Cox's Bazar and its offshore islands and chars will come under great danger signal 10, it also said. Read More: This is how Cyclone Mocha was named, plus all you need to know Chattogram, Sylhet and Barishal divisions are likely to experience heavy (44-88 mm) to very heavy rainfall (89 mm and above). Due to the very heavy rainfall, landslides may occur at places over the hilly regions of Cox's Bazar, Bandarban, Rangamati, Khagrachari and Chattogram. All fishing boats and trawlers over north bay have been advised to remain in shelter till further notice, the bulletin also said.