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A Pinak Ranjan and his few comments July 24, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Diplomacy., ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, Flood.
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Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, the Indian High Commissioner has made some comments in the last few months which has stirred the people and politics in Bangladesh to an unexpected level.

His comment on transit

>”transit is an economic issue, not a political issue”

first got immediate reaction from different sectors.

State Minister for Foriegn Affairs of the new Government Mahmud Hasan later tried to defend his comment saying that ‘some people unnecessarily link transit with politics’.

On June 21, 2009 Pinak Ranjan lamblasted the water experts of Bangladesh by saying

”some ‘so-called water experts’ are making comments without considering issues relating to the flow of the Ganges water’… ‘Clearly, the question of Bangladesh not getting its due share of water under this treaty is an empty slogan’. He also added, “Unfortunately, criticism of India and India-phobia has become an instrument for deriving political mileage for a particular section whose antecedents are well-known’. On Timaimukh he said,’There has been a lot of agitation on the issue of Tipaimukh Dam. It is a hydroelectric multipupose project to produce eecricity only. It will also, to some extent, help in flood control. The project has no component of irrigation and involves no diversion of water for irrigation purposes. The feasibility and design of Tipaimukh has been studied and examined threadbare by various experts over the last 40 years and India provided all details on the proposed project to Bangladesh’

He was speaking at a seminar on ‘South Asian Connectivity: Bangladesh Perspective’ at Pan Pacific Sonargaon in Dhaka.

The comment drew immediate reaction from experts, politicians and people alike. It is assumed that Bangladesh has got little documents on Timaimukh dam from India. That’s why the present government asked India to supply all the documents when the controversy started to get heat.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said afterwards that Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty might have violated diplomatic norms through his comments on controversial Tipaimukh dam and Bangladeshi water experts.

But LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam a day after contradicted with the comment of Foreign Minister saying that he personally thinks that Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty had not flouted diplomatic norms through his comment on Tipaimukh dam.

His latest comment at a conference on ‘Bangladesh-India Economic Relations’ in the city lately also drew criticism

”around 25000 of the Bangladeshis who entered India with legal visa each year never did return to Bangladesh”.

At last the Government of Bangladesh had to come up with the statement to refute the allegation raised by Pinak Ranjan as ‘ his observation does not match with the information avaialble with the government’.

People of Bangladesh always want a peaceful and friendly relation with India. Abdul Kalam, eminent Scientist and former President of India in his recent visit to Bangladesh assured that India will not do anything that will harm Bangladesh.

A comment of an speaker in a talk show may have some truth when he says that India will never prosper by keeping Bangladesh poor, her prosperity will always be at stake if Bangladesh remain poor because of her policy and planning.

Whether Pinak is doing diplomatically good thing by provoking anti-Indian and anti-Tipaimukh sentiment-is beyond the scope of an ordinary citizen, but otherwise he is a man of good composure and of fine linguistic ability.

An ordinary citizen

Where Is Bangladesh Own Study On Tipaimukh Dam? July 17, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, CLIMATE, Flood.
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I could recollect that Dipu Moni, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh few weeks back  told that Bangladesh requested India to supply all technical  documents in relation to Tipaimukh Dam for  Bangladesh Government to come to a decision.

Government also was taking initiative  to send a Parliamentary Committee comprising the members of the treasury as well as the opposition, though the response from the opposition so far is not much encouraging for the government. Few experts are also supposed to be included in the committee.

In a recent roundtable discussion, the speakers and experts unrged the government to collect the datas on the Dam before sending the team to Tipaimukh.

Very recently, the Indian Government has published  the report on the ‘Tipaimukh Dam Hydroelectric Project’. This is the first time that some information on the dam has been disclosed by the assigned impementation organisation  ‘North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited’ in their website. But the information is limited to the effect of the dam on the Indian Terrritoy only. The report consists of  ‘Environmental Impact Assesment’, ‘Environmental Management Plan’  and ‘Dam Break Analysis and Disster Management Plan’.(Prothom Alo)

The Dam was first thought of in 1960s. Then through different phases the plan was developed and steps taken for implementation from the Indian side. For different administrative and political reasons physical start of the construction delayed. But where is the study on the dam of Bangadesh Government itself ?

In an article of Dr. Debabrata Roy Laifungbam/Dr.Soibam Ibotombi it is said that Bangladesh has made some studies since 1992-94.

However, the downstream effects of a Tipaimukh Dam-break have been studied by the Government of Bangladesh since 1992-94. In its Flood Action Plan 6 (FAP 6) as part of the North Eastern Regional Water Management Plan of Bangladesh, the scenario of a dam failure at Tipaimukh Dam project was investigated by international hydraulic and environmental experts in the context of a comprehensive flood action plan for Sylhet District

But we, the common people are not aware of such studies and nobody from the government of the past and present in the recent time has mentioned of such studies of our own.

Why are we depending absolutely on the analysis of our neighbour who naturaly will consider their interest more preferably and we cannot expect a neutral assesment on the impact on our soil from them?

By this time we should have our own study and if it is not done at all, we should start one immediately and with the inclusion of the international water and  environment experts and publish it soon.

An ordinary citizen

Flood hits Bangladesh again September 15, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, CLIMATE, ENVIRONMENT, Flood.
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Flood hits Bangladesh again only after a gap of 3 to 4 weeks. One third of Bangladesh with 40 districts inundated by this time. All the major river rises above the danger level. Many new areas have gone under water along with some of the old areas. The misery of the people multiplied, new crops have been damaged, businesses stopped, new death occurs. Sirajgang district is again the most affected town.

The second flood occurs again due to excess of water coming from India through our rivers and contributed to some extent by the incessant rain in last week.

Dr. Muhammad Yunus in a key-note paper presented in the symposium on Changes in Climate held recently in Seoul said that Global warming has its adverse effect on Bangladesh. 40 % of Bangladesh is less than 1 meter higher than the sea level. Every year sea level is increasing 3 mm. 15 crore of people is already confined in a land of 1 lac 44 thousand sq miles. He commented that flood and Bangladesh become synonymous. To many of the world, change of climate may be a matter of anxiety but to the people of Bangladesh it is the question of survival.

Dr. Yunus also said that rich countries are polluting the environment and the poorer are bearing the burden. He suggested for changing the life style in such a way that it does not affect the environment.

We are worrying what is waiting for Bangladesh and how the people of Bangladesh will survive in future against all these odds!

An ordinary citizen

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After the flood: Challenges of rehabilitation August 16, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, CLIMATE, ECONOMY, Flood, GOVERNANCE.
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Bangladesh has experienced one of the most devastating floods in its history. Two third of Bangladesh was inundated in flood, with lacs of people displaced , houses demolishes, thousands hectors of crops damaged, cattle lost, schools and businesses damaged.

Complete rehabilitation of these people will be a challenge for the Government and the efficiency will also be judged how effectively the Government could able to mange the situation.

In relation to rehabilitation, the Government may need to do the following:

1) to shift the displaced people to their ‘homes’

2) to rebuild the houses that were demolished and damaged by the flood

3) to continue the distribution of food to the affected area either free or at low cost

4) to support the people to restart their works/businesses/professions

5) to supply the farmers with seeds and fertilizers etc

6) to render loans for the affected farmers and other people on easy conditions

7) to rebuilt the institutions and factories

8) to rebuild the roads, culverts and bridges

9) to create opportunities for job, etc

Government should also guard itself from any corruption of the relief materials or donations made within the country or from abroad.

Government should also make the best use of the donations so far received.

Bdoza

Aftermath of flood: dangerous look of diarrhoea August 12, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, CLIMATE, Flood, GOVERNANCE.
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The flood water is receeding from the outer districts of Bangladesh and Dhaka. But the diarrhea is taking a dangerous look.

Hundreds and thousands of people are being affected by diarrhea. So far 30000 people affected. Many are enrolling every minute. On an average 4- 6 patients are admitted in ICDDRB. Other hospital and health centers are also recieving patients and treating diarrhea. But people have special confidence on ICDDRB. ICDDRB not only make its reputation for research in Bangladesh, it is extending extensive medical service for the diarrhea and related patients. To overcome the rush of the patients they had to set extra pandel in the compound outside the main hospital building. Most the patients are women and children. Diarrhea is in the epidemic form. Government has set up special diarrhea centres in the different public hospitals in the districts and subdistrict level.

In our TV channels and print media we are mostly seeing the pictures of urban hospitals but definitely thousands of people in flood affected areas are also being affected by diarrhea. They need treatment and they need support.

Why diarrhea is so rampant this time? People are becoming sick not only drinking flood water, they are also becoming sick by drinking supplied water of WASA. Likely explanation is that the supplied water is also contaminated by the sewerage which is not acceptable. The flood water is also remaining stagnant in the low lying areas of city and outer city for lack of proper drainage system.

As the flood was more widespread and lacs of people have been displaced, not all the people could be covered by food, shelter, safe water and medicine. The participation of the different organizations social and political including political parties was also sparse and late. So many people may be affected by the diarrhea and other diseases. Though ICDDRB is claiming that so far there is no death, but we are not sure about the total picture of the country.

It is clear that though flood is there and flood is causing heath havoc in our country, still we are not perfect in combating the aftermath. We are magnifying the diarrhea and then trying to treat it.

Photo: internet

(an ordinary citizen)

Respose to the raging flood (2): In support of flood victims August 8, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, Flood, GOVERNANCE.
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Chief Adviser Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed in a nationally broadcast televised address on 5th August 2007 has urged all irrespective of party and politics to come forward for relief and rehebilataion the flood hit victims. He stresses on the coordinated effort at district and upazilla level to make it most effective. He hoped that people will overcome this disaster by their resilence and strong confidence.

The flood hit areas have been distributed among the Advisers for better monitoring. So far, Mr. Moinul Hussain, Law Adviser, Mr. MA Matin, Communication Adviser, Mrs. Giti Ara Shafia Ch, Indusry Adviser, Mr. Ayub Quadri, Education Adviser went to their respective areas and personally supervise the donation activities.

Flood and Disaster Management Adviser Mr. Tapan Chy said that Govt sanctioned 11 crore from the Chief Adviser’s relief and welfare fund to the 15 worst affeted districts.

Various Government and private institutions, organisations and individuals have donated a total of arround 11 crore directly to the CA’s Relief and Welfare fund for the flood victims.

A Flood monitoring and Coordination Cell is also established at the CA’s office.

Though different political leadears including Chairperson of BNP Khaleda Zia and Acting President of AL urged party workers to participate in the relief work, thier presence is not marked yet.

On the other hand, different banks (Brac bank, Islami bank) finanacial institutions (FBCCI), organisations (ICDDRB), individuals (Mr, Jahid Hasan, TV Actor) and many others are directly participating in the relief work.

We are sure all these efforts from the public and private sector is not enough and timely, still the ordinary citizens laud the endevours of all who are supporting the flood hit victims to overcome the difficulties.

( an ordinary citizen)

Picture: from internet

Response to the raging flood August 4, 2007

Posted by bdoza in AGRICULTURE, BANGLADESH, CLIMATE, Flood, NGO, POLITICS.
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Flood is raging through Bangladesh. More and more areas are inundated. Roads and highways are under water, thousands are becoming homeless everyday, hectors of crops are going under water. Cattle are carried away by flowing water, more than 50 men are already died, people are not getting adequate shelter, not getting food to sustain themselves, children and olds are becoming sick easily.

In this crisis, Government is trying to give support to the distressed people. The Chief Adviser, the other advisers, the chief of Army themselves are going to the flood-hit area to distribute relief and to have a first hand knowledge of the situation. The chief Adviser urges for participation of all and stresses on the coordination of the relief work. The district and sub-district administrations are trying to arrange shelters and distribute food to the victims.

The Media is trying to cover the devastation as far as possible. They are portraying the miseries of the people and the failure of the Government to reach to the distressed .

The political parties are conspicuously absent from any relief activities as if the ban on indoor politics is refraining them from doing humanitarian works. Mrs. Matiya Chowdhury said that they could not participate because Government is not allowing them to display the banners and festoons. She also wants the Government to release Sk Hasina so that she could do the relief work. BNP is busy with their infighting. While visiting a flood hit area Dr. Kamal Hussain said that all irrespective of party and politics should stand by the side of the flood-hit people.

Where are the NGO’s? The absence of the NGO’s are also marked. Why they are not participating?

The Chief adviser launches a relief fund. It is expected that all who can afford willl donate generously to the fund. The Chief of Army Staff urges the talk show experts to the come to the flood-hit area and extend support to the poor physically.

The ordinary citizen believe that the country is passing through a serious natural calamity. In such a crisis all should take active part to relieve the distress of the people. During such calamity the responsibility is not only of the Government.

The people are also looking at the response the different sectors, public and private, are making to the need of the flood-hit people.

 

(an ordinary citizen)

Photo: Internet

Preparing for the flood July 30, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, CLIMATE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, Flood, GOVERNANCE.
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The flood situation of Bangladesh is worsening. Most affected are the northwestern districts. In the northeastern areas the water is also rising and the flush water is gradually inundating the areas centering Dhaka.

Thousands people of the affected areas are displaced; their houses, cattle, grains and other properties have been washed way; schools and offices, mosques and other holy structures have been collapsed, people are marooned in places or passing days in camps or makeshift shelters without adequate food and pure water.

The incessant rain over days and the onrush of water from India through the rivers are causing this havoc. which may increase with the days coming. People of Dhaka will be totally marooned by the next 48 hours.

What is our preparation for the flood? Government and non Government agencies are working to lessen the suffering of the people and to lessen the damage to the properties. The LGRD ministry is leading the effort to combat the crisis.

But the questions come up: are we prepared adequately to combat the flood before it actually hit us? Probably the answer will be no. We could not prepare enough embankments by the side our rivers. If at all these are not strong enough to withstand the force of flood water. Many flood projects are undone and many half done and many are ill done. We didn’t prepare or identify alternative shelter for the affected people. We only manage this on transient basis. Are we prepare to manage the other needs – the food, medicine etc of the affected people. In these respect also our past efforts were incomplete and ineffective. Always there was lack of cooperation among the different agencies both private and public. The owe of Dhaka is compounded by the problem of water logging already existing in the city due to inadequate drainage system and blockage of the old ones.

Are we prepared to combat the situation after the flood- the diarrhea and other disease, the long term shelters, the financial support for the rehabilitation for the people in the job or business and to rebuild their houses?

Flood is a common phenomenon in this country and these are sometimes very devastating affecting national economy and individual existence. Never heard of any composite evaluation, plan for immediate management and programs for after-effects.

The ordinary citizen is not informed of everything.

(an ordinary citizen)

 

Photo: courtesy: The Daily Star

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