30 July 2012

a few pictures

Bangladesh Military Academy

29 July 2012

SILENCE - a Bengali poem

মৌনতায়  অবগাহনে নিশ্চুপ  নিস্তব্দ 
নিরবতা নিষ্প্রাণ ; চেতনা করোনা স্তব্ধ 
সময়,কাল,যা যাবে তা কি আসিবে ফিরে
একদিন সকল পাখিগুলো যাবে ফিরে নীড়ে
ক্রান্তিলগ্ন সময়উপযোগী উত্তরণ বিঘ্নিত 
নিরবতায় হারিয়ে গিয়ে শান্তি করোনা বিনীত
জীবন এক মহা মূল্যবান সম্পদ
মৌনতায় করোনা আর গতিরোধ 
যা আসে, পাবে, যা  হবে হবার প্রাকিতিক ভাবে 
উন্নাসিকতার বিলাস ও গর্ব ওদের শিগ্রয় হারিয়ে যাবে 
সময়,কাল,যা যাবে তা কি আসিবে ফিরে
একদিন সকল পাখিগুলো যাবে ফিরে নীড়ে


মৌনতায়  অবগাহনে নিশ্চুপ  নিস্তব্দ 
নিরবতা নিষ্প্রাণ ; চেতনা করোনা স্তব্ধ 
সময়,কাল,যা যাবে তা কি আসিবে ফিরে
একদিন সকল পাখিগুলো যাবে ফিরে নীড়ে
ক্রান্তিলগ্ন সময়উপযোগী উত্তরণ বিঘ্নিত 
নিরবতায় হারিয়ে গিয়ে শান্তি করোনা বিনীত
জীবন এক মহা মূল্যবান সম্পদ
মৌনতায় করোনা আর গতিরোধ 
যা আসে, পাবে, যা  হবে হবার প্রাকিতিক ভাবে 
উন্নাসিকতার বিলাস ও গর্ব ওদের শিগ্রয় হারিয়ে যাবে 
সময়,কাল,যা যাবে তা কি আসিবে ফিরে
একদিন সকল পাখিগুলো যাবে ফিরে নীড়ে



মৌনতায়  অবগাহনে নিশ্চুপ  নিস্তব্দ 
নিরবতা নিষ্প্রাণ ; চেতনা করোনা স্তব্ধ 
সময়,কাল,যা যাবে তা কি আসিবে ফিরে
একদিন সকল পাখিগুলো যাবে ফিরে নীড়ে
ক্রান্তিলগ্ন সময়উপযোগী উত্তরণ বিঘ্নিত 
নিরবতায় হারিয়ে গিয়ে শান্তি করোনা বিনীত
জীবন এক মহা মূল্যবান সম্পদ
মৌনতায় করোনা আর গতিরোধ 
যা আসে, পাবে, যা  হবে হবার প্রাকিতিক ভাবে 
উন্নাসিকতার বিলাস ও গর্ব ওদের শিগ্রয় হারিয়ে যাবে 
সময়,কাল,যা যাবে তা কি আসিবে ফিরে
একদিন সকল পাখিগুলো যাবে ফিরে নীড়ে


26 July 2012


 Hasna Begum is left with a paltry Tk 100 after paying her house rent. The tiny seven-by-seven shanty where she lives with her three children and husband is almost as costly as a commercial office space in the heart of Dhaka at almost Tk 60 per square feet notching up a monthly Tk 2,900.

A 'helper' at apparel manufacturer Architect Design, Hasna is luckier than many others. Her husband Rafiqul Islam has a better job at another Ashulia factory for Tk 3,800 per month.

"It's really a miracle that we survive at all!" said Rafiq sitting on his cot, the only furniture in the shanty, which happens to be one of the larger ones. The other rooms, in the long row-house, are just five-by-fives. Rafiq goes on to explain the miracle.

Living in Savar, about an hour away from Dhaka, the first thing that the couple does is make sure they have enough rice to last them a month. They spend Tk 1,800 for a sack of 50kg rice, which is followed by Tk 600 for firewood.

They save up Tk 800 for their son's school. The two other children have not yet Their two other children have not started going to school yet.

This means that the couple has just Tk 700 left to pay for everything else for the rest of the month including clothes, food, medicines or any other emergencies that might befall them.

They are hard pressed to make ends meet, even if the couple decides on just Tk 24-kg potatoes and rice for the whole month and nothing else.

The little hut is in the middle of a row. There are three other similar rows, which make up 42 rooms housing some 150 people, almost all of them garment workers, packed into a land less than fifth of an acre.

This tiny high density neighbourhood has 12 toilets and three open sky bathrooms for taking showers. As for stoves, there are several earthen stoves dug into the ground in the traditional fashion. Basic necessities like power or running water remain expensive luxuries.

"This is how the garment workers live. This is how they survive," said Rafiq alluding to what he says pittance for wages.

The garment industry earned some $18 billion out of $22 billion worth of exports in the first 11 months of the year, according to the Export Promotion Bureau. Making up over 80 percent of the national export revenue, the RMG sector is said to thrive on labour of 3.5 million workers, most of them women, in about 5,000 factories.

"Our children are growing up protein-starved. Even lentils cost Tk 115 a kg and an egg costs Tk 30! Let alone fish or meat," says Mahmuda, wife of a supervisor whose monthly Tk 10,000 salary is still not enough. "We cannot even invite relatives to our house once or twice a year."

There are times when Rafiq and Hasna together earn up to Tk 11,000. But that is only when there is a lot of work with overtime.

"Including overtime, a garment worker's monthly income comes to around Tk 6,000," said Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin to claim that only a tenth of the workers earn Tk 3,000, and that too when they begin.

"Strangely enough, the situation of garment workers is identical, just like our line of tiny shanties," Rafiq's neighbour and colleague Chameli tells bdnews24.com. "You can actually gauge the condition of garment workers through me," she continues standing outside her gloomy dwelling.

"What you see here are wretched prisoners huddled together in stinking cages," said Zakir, owner of a small grocery store. He has lost almost Tk 500,000 over the last four years. "That is because many workers have fled without paying their dues."

According to the International Labor Organisation (ILO) and International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) the Bangladeshi garment worker is paid the lowest in the world although the apparel exporters together constitute the second largest source in the world's biggest markets.

Salary comparison by Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights (IGLHR) shows, hourly wage in India is $0.55-$0.68, more than twice than that in Bangladesh at $0.21. The rate is $.46, $.37, $.73 and $.93 in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Malaysia and China respectively.

Even countries like Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala have rates over $1 per hour while in the US it begins at $8.25 and at $7.58 in UK.

But the apparel exporters' president says such high wages would be rather ominous. "Garment industry only exists as long as the labour is cheap," Mohiuddin says.

The workers have had to take to the streets twice since 2006 to have their wages reviewed upwards. Till then the textile factory owners were rather adamant not to change a more than a decade old wage structure fixed in 1994.

The workers were paid as little as Tk 300-900 per month until 2006 and Tk 1,662.50 until 2010, though. According to Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association's (BKMEA) President AKMSalim Osman, profits were at least 25% during 1990s.

The recent workers unrest at Ashulia that continued for five days last month appears to have been inevitable, as the workers have been demanding at least Tk 5,000 per month since the last time their wage structure was reviewed.

Double digit inflation, exorbitant premiums on their house rent and other utilities have also meant that their wages are now worth far less than they were two years ago.

However, these did appear to be compelling enough to the factory owners or the political parties. They blamed international conspiracy for triggering last month's unrest in Ashulia when factories were forced to shut for several days.

State minister for labour, MonnojanSufian, said she saw no reason to raise the workers' salary immediately, while another junior minister stated that the government's role in settling disputes between workers and their politically influential employers was nothing more than that of a 'referee's.'

Head of the Communisty Party of Bangladesh accepted the possibility of a conspiracy by vested quarters. "But the question is how they are able to create such unrest."

He goes on to indicate that the workers' dissatisfaction and discontent has already created a fertile ground for instigating such outbursts.

"Workers' problems have to be acknowledged. Discontent still brews and unless it is resolved the industry cannot be saved."

On the other hand, factory owners enjoy substantial media coverage where they strive to justify the existing wages, low as they are, exaggerating their side of the problem.

But according to foreign reports large buyers like Primark, Tesco, Tommy Hilfiger, Asda, Wall-Mart, H&M, Gap, JCPenney, Marks & Spencer and Levi Strauss could easily force their suppliers to ensure living wages without even changing their prices.

Campaigners in UK estimate that as little as 3 percent of the RMG sector's annual income could raise the workers' salary up to Tk 12,600 ($154), which they say would be an acceptable level of 'living wage'.

BGMEA president Mohiuddin claims that owners do not even make 3 percent profit.

The campaigners also say, only 1.8 percent of the annual RMG income could raise the minimum wages to the much desired Tk 5,000. 

24 July 2012



জন্ম তোমার গ্রাম নিকট চেরাপুঞ্জি

একসময় মাথায় চুল ছিল অনেক ঘিঞ্জি

বৃষ্টি তে তুমি ভালোবাসিতে ভিজিতে

ঠাই হতনা  তোমার সেই অবিনস্ত চুলের ছাতিতে

এখন শো রুম শূন্য

চিন্তা ও ভাবনা ও ভিন্ন

মাহে রমজানে তুমি এক পহরেজ্গার বান্দা

ইবাদতের মাসে বই, নাটক, সিনেমার নাই কোনো ধান্দা

নামাজ পর করো ইবাদত ও মোর হারিয়ে যাওয়া বন্ধুবর

আঠার হাজার মখলুকাত করিও দোওয়া জন্য সবার

জন্ম তোমার গ্রাম নিকট চেরাপুঞ্জি

একসময় মাথায় চুল ছিল অনেক ঘিঞ্জি

বৃষ্টি তে তুমি ভালোবাসিতে ভিজিতে

ঠাই হত তোমার সেই অবিনস্ত চুলের ছাতিতে

''আমেরিকান মামুনের উদ্দেশে লিখা ''

16 July 2012


* * * বিদায়  * * * 

হঠাত করে সোমবার রাতে অঙ্গন ফোন করে বললো, আন্কেল আপনি কি আগামী কাল রেস্তরাতে থাকবেন দিনের বেলা .

আমি আসতে চাই.....বলিলাম কেন এত জরীরী আসার উদ্দেশ ; উত্তরে ও বলিল , যে সে বুধবার সকালে ০৯;০০ ঘটিকায় বাংলাদেশ রওনা হবে তাই বিদায় নিতে আসছে আমার নিকট থেকে শুনে তো আমি একটু দুঃক্ষ পেলাম ; যে বাচ্চা ছেলেটা আসল আবার চলেও যাবে ;
যাহোক, যথারীতি ও আসল দুপুর বেলা , 

ও আসার পর বেশ ভালই লাগলো; আমি আসলে ''অঙ্গন'' কে বেশ পছন্দ করি মনে হয় - একসাথে একটা বাইরের রেস্তরাতে মধ্যান্ন ভোজ করিলাম ও অনেক অনেক গল্প করলাম; অনেক খেপালাম ওকে ওর কিপটা গিরি নিয়ে....রেজা কে ও হার মানিয়েয়ছে- ওর কিপ্টা মি .....অনেক হাসলাম. খোচা মারলাম,ভবিষ্যত নিয়ে অনেক পরিকল্পনা দিয়ে দিলাম; ইত্যাদি প্রভৃতি সম্পর্কে অনেক পারস্পরিক আলোচনা করিলাম- দিপাখ্খিক বিষয়াদি নিয়ে. 

বিদায় দিতে বেশ কষ্ট হলো; বৃষ্টি তে ভিজে ছাতি মাথায় নিয়ে - ওকে রেল ইস্টিশন পর্যন্ত এগিয়ে দিয়ে আসলাম যা নাকি আমি সচর আচর করি না , বেচারা ছেলেটা - সাফওয়ান ও সাবরিনার জন্য চকলেট ও আমার জন্য একটা খুবই সুন্দর জামা নিয়ে এসেছে আর আমার সাথে দেখা করার জন্য প্রায় পঞ্চাশ টাকা খরচ করে ফেলেছে প্লাস উপঢৌকন এর দাম. 

বিলাতে আসার পর থেকেই আমি ছিলাম ওর লোকাল গার্ডিয়ান - থাকার জায়গা বন্দোবস্ত , একটা চাকরি যোগার করা, খাওয়ার ব্যবস্তা ও ওর ছুটির সময় আমার ওখানে থাকা ও কাজ দেওয়া সবি আমার করতে হয়েছিল - এইসব না পেলে বেশ কষ্ট কত .~~~ এই ভাবেই ঘনিষ্টতা .

হঠাত উপলব্ধি করলাম ; বাচ্চা ছেলেটা এত অল্প বয়েসে সংসার নিয়ে কত কিছু ভাবছে; কত ধরনের চিন্তা, মা, দুটো বোন , বাড়ি করা, উপার্জোন করা - সবাই কে সমাজে প্রতিষ্টিত করা  - সব ই করতে হবে এই ছেলে টাকে এত অল্প বয়েসে.... ওর জন্য খারাপ লাগলো, খারাপ লাগলো কেন যে আজও  আমাদের দেশে একজন মানুষ আরেক জন মানুষকে শুধু শুধু হত্যা করে, আমরা এখনো এত বর্বর কেন............উত্তর টা অন্নুত্তরই রয়ে গেলো...ভাবলাম কেন এই শুধু শুধু জীবন বলি, আর কত দিন চলবে এই ধরনের নিসন্গ্ষতা , বর্বরতা, আমাদের হাতে অস্ত্র দেওয়া টাই মহা ভুল - আমরা বার বার প্রমান করিলাম - আমরা অস্ত্র ও ঝুদ্ধ বিদ্যায় ভালো না...আমরা কেবল নিজেদেরকেই হত্যা করতে পারদর্শী, শত্রু দেখলে লেজ গুটিয়ে পলাই আর নিজেদের মাঝে হত্যা ঘটিয়ে ....খুব মহাবীর মনে করি ( ১৭৫৭.১৮৫৭,১৯৪৬,১৯৭১.১৯৭৫.১৯৭৭,১৯৮১,২০০৯ একই গল্পের পুনরাবৃত্তি বারবার .....)

ওর মত বয়েসে আমরা তো ছিলাম একে বারে ছন্নছাড়া , ছিলনা কোনো চিন্তা,ভাবনা,পরিবারের চাপ, রোজগার করা ও সংসার চালানো কিছুই ছিলনা আমাদের একদম - আর ওই ছেলেটার কত চাপ --- ভাবলেই বিষন্ন লাগে ...তাই না...........

আরো ভাবলাম ; মনের অজান্তে আমি মনে হয় অঙ্গন কে বেশ পছন্দ করি আর হঠাত বিদায় নেয় টা তে আমি কেমন যেন মনক্ষুন্ন,দুক্ষিত, 

জীবনে চলার পথে অনেক মানুষ আসে আর যায়; কেই কেই মনের চিলেকোঠায় থেকে যায় সৃতি গুলোকে প্রহরা দেবার জন্য. অঙ্গন ও হইতো এই রকম কেই হয়ে থেকে যাবে মম স্র্তির চিলেকোঠায় .....হঠাত হঠাত উকি মেরে উঠবে মেঘে দেখা সুরজো যেমন উকি দিয়ে ... আবার লুকিয়ে যায় ................আশা করি অঙ্গন ভালো করুক জীবন এ ......উন্নতি ও তারাক্কি হইক ওর উপাসনা ......আমি একজন হিতাখান্খি হিসেবে এই কামনা  করি........

14 July 2012

Water Sharing in between Bangladesh & India

After watching this water saga for the last 40 years; I have heard the best thing from 
this gentleman ; who has the audacity to speak his mind and speak it sensibly.
 My salute to you. You have made my day; hope the indian political class understand 
the plight of the people of Bangladesh and do take prudent decision to eradicate
 these impasses.  

Waters are not 'ours' to 'give': Tharoor

New Delhi, July 14 (bdnews24.com) – Even as uncertainty continues over the proposed agreement between Dhaka and New Delhi on Teesta, celebrity author and former Indian minister of state for external affairs, Shashi Tharoor, argued that waters of the common rivers are "shared natural resources" and should be used "responsibly and equitably".

"We must all help persuade the Paschimbanga [West Bengal] leadership that these waters are not 'ours' to 'give', but a shared natural resource (as we accepted in the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan), which we should use responsibly and equitably," Tharoor wrote in his new book "Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century", which was launched by Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari on Wednesday.

Tharoor, a former under secretary general of the United Nations, is now a leader of the ruling Congress party of India and a member of the lower house of the country's parliament. He was India's minister of state for external affairs from May 2009 till April 2010.

Though he had to resign in the wake of a controversy over his alleged role in promoting a cricket team in the Indian Premier League, Tharoor continued to play a key role in shaping the foreign policy of the Congress. He is also a member of the Indian parliament's standing committee in external affairs.

In his latest book, Tharoor took a subtle dig at Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of Indian state of West Bengal or Paschimbanga, who blocked the proposed deal between Dhaka and New Delhi for sharing of waters of Teesta.

Noting that Banerjee, whom he referred to as "an important coalition partner of the Manmohan Singh government", vetoed the proposed agreement on Teesta in 2011, Tharoor wrote: "This was widely seen as a setback for a relationship that was once again beginning to blossom after a long freeze."

Banerjee in fact withdrew herself from Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh's entourage to Bangladesh in September 2011, indirectly expressing her reservation over the proposed deal on Teesta.

The relation between the Congress and its ally Trinamool Congress, a regional party headed by Banerjee, continued to worsen since then and reached its nadir recently over the presidential polls.

Though the Congress nominated its senior leader Pranab Mukherjee, who held the finance portfolio in Manmohan Singh government, as the candidate for the presidential polls, Banerjee made an attempt to convince former president A P J Abdul Kalam to contest with the support of her Trinamool Congress and a few other parties.

Kalam, however, declined to contest and the Congress managed to secure the support of other regional parties like Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal (United), Shiv Sena and Bahujan Samaj Party for its candidate Mukherjee.

Banerjee is yet to declare whether her party would vote for Mukherjee or his rival P A Sangma, who is backed by opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, but the Congress is confident that its candidate would have a cakewalk in the presidential polls even without the support of the Trinamool Congress.

Tharoor, who authored 13 books earlier, wrote in his latest that cooperation on sharing of waters of Teesta waters is 'indispensable' for prime minister Sheikh Hasina to be able to claim that Bangladesh 'gained from her friendship with India'.

The Congress still maintains that Trinamool Congress continued to be its ally, but might no longer allow its regional ally to dictate terms. It is however still not clear whether New Delhi would expedite the deal with Dhaka on Teesta, in case the acrimony between Congress and Trinamool Congress leads to a break-up in future.

Tharoor also wrote about the Bangladesh-India dispute over enclaves and adversely possessed land along the border between the two countries.

"Most strikingly, a seemingly intractable territorial irritant – the existence of small enclaves of each country within the other's borders – was settled during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Dhaka in September 2011 on terms that even Bangladeshis found generous on India's part".

"It is a pity that parliamentary ratification of the land transfer (which requires a two-thirds majority in both Houses that the United Progressive Alliance government does not have) has not yet happened. It will require an effort to persuade the opposition parties to cooperate, but the effort is well worth making; otherwise, the perception that 'India does not deliver on its promises' will gain ground," he argued. 

13 July 2012


~ ~সৃতিতে সৃতি ~ ~

শীতের প্রচন্ডতায় কাবু প্রায় এক প্রত্যুষে

কাক ঢাকা ভোরে বিদায়  দিয়েছিলাম সকাশে 

অমবস্যা কালো সেই সকাল আজ মনে আসে তুমি ও তোমাকে 

মনের চিকন গলির রুগ্গ্ন সেই জরাজীর্ণ দালানের চিলে কোঠায় সমূক্ষে

বিমানের শব্দের প্রকটাই স্র্তিতে প্রছন্ন আচ্ছাদন বেশে 

সাগর,মরুভূমি,সাগর,বরফ আচ্ছাদিত পর্বত চূড়া শেষে 

সৃতিগুলোকে ঢাকা দিবার অপপ্রায়শে 

বারে বারে উঠিত সেই অতীত ভেসে 

বিশ বসন্ত পর 
সব আজ সৃতি আজ মন্থর - অবান্তর 

9 July 2012


Monjurul Azim Palash said : আমাদের বাম রাজনীতিবিদরা লালনকে না জেনে লেনিনকে জানতে চেয়েছিলেন বেশি, চার্বাক দর্শন খনার বচন না চিনে ভিনদেশী বইকে বরং আপন করেছেন, বাউল দর্শন সুফিতত্ত্ব-এর মরমী-ভাব উপলব্ধি না করে পুস্তকের কঠিন কঠিন তত্ত্ব মুখস্ত করতে চেস্টা করেছেন, অন্যের সমালোচনা করে করে নিজেরা নিষ্ক্রিয় থেকেছেন, নিজেদের সমাজকে বুঝতে পারেননি, দেশকে মার্কসবাদের কাছে টানতে চেস্টা করেছেন! দেশের উপযোগী করে তত্ত্ব প্রয়োগ করতে পারেননি- মূলধারার রাজনৈতিক কর্মকান্ড থেকে বিচ্ছিন্ন ছিলেন প্রায় সব সময়| বাংলাদেশে সমাজ বিপ্লব যে হয়নি এর জন্য সাম্রাজ্যবাদী শক্তি বা প্রতি-বিপ্লবীরা যতটুকু দায়ী--আমাদের বিপ্লবীরা তারচে বেশি দায়ী| কারণ সঠিক বিপ্লবী কর্মকান্ড সাম্রাজ্যবাদী শক্তি বা প্রতি-বিপ্লবীদেরও পরাজিত করে এগিয়ে যায়|
 ·  ·  ·  · 18 minutes ago near London, England · 

    • Imran Chowdhury were they keen to learn about Lenin or some one influenced and financed udoyon and pioneer printing press publishing about Lenin and Russian communist era and were there a group of leaders of student union and so called communist party who were roped in to preach for him hence lot of people came to know about Lenin and started to learn about him....and in case of lalon; his talents were obscured from the wider society (both Muslim Wahhabi & Sufism and non Muslim Brahmanism ) because many of his sayings and his sermons contradicted the vogue preaching of religion at that time ( he was spiritual - without any brand of religion ). therefore, the society at large hardly came to find any printed works of lalon...it was all hearsay and songs.it is difficult to say who is right yet....the communists were equally capitalist and aggressors and SOMRAJJOBADI in reality....so is the capitalist world..none of these prescription are yet to be proven authentic....i guess the communist were overwhelmed by the hidden aspiration of mankind towards a capitalistic life style and thereby they were defeated.


This is a poem I penned after hearing that one of best friends colonel hamid is promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.

~ আনন্দিত ~

দিয়ে ছিলে যখন মোরে দুরালাপনিতে ডাক
গভীর নিদ্রায় ডাক ছিলাম আমার নাক
করেছিলাম তোমাকে অনেক বার ফোন
মনে হয় অতি  উত্ত্ফুল্ল  তোমার মন
তাই তো ধর নাই আমার করা ফোন
স্বভাবতই হওয়া উচিত খুশি 
লহ মোরে প্রনাম ও শুভেস্চা রাশি রাশি
গর্বিত, আনন্দে উদেলিত অতন্ত বেশি
জানিতাম অনেক আগে থেকেই তুমি হইবা এক চাম্পিয়ন
আর আমি হেথায় বসিয়া গাইব বর্ষার  গান
তোমার পদন্নিতি একেবারেই উহা অতিব প্রাপ্প
তুমি আমার বন্ধু এবং আমি তোমাকে নিয়ে করি  গর্ব
সময়, দুরত্ব ও সাহচর্য যদিও শুক্স্ক ও ক্ষীন
তথাপিও তুমি নিকট আজ সেই ; সৃতিতে অত্যন্ত তীক্ষ্ণ 
অনেক বসন্ত আগে হারিয়ে গিয়াছিলাম আমি অপ্রাত্তাশিত অমাবস্যায় 
নির্লিপ্ততায়,অজান্তে ভেসে ভেসে তীরে এসেছি অমনিশার নৌকায় 
বন্ধুত্বের মাপকাঠিতে তোমার আসন অনেক উচু বেদিতে
সমাসীন তুমি রিদয়ের উপত্যকায় প্রজ্জলিত অম্লান সৃতিতে 
তব পদ্দনীতিতে আনন্দিত
আনন্দিত অতন্ত আনন্দিত

8 July 2012


The Bay of Bengal is centrally located in the region from the Middle East to the Philippine Sea. Even from aviations strategic aerial position it lies at the centre. It lies at dead center of two huge economic blocks, the SAARC and ASEAN. China's southern landlocked region in the north, and major sea ports of Bangladesh and India. Both rising economically, though with chaotic democracies. Bangladesh, China and India has forged naval cooperation agreements with Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia to increase its cooperation in checking terrorism in the high seas.

The Bay of Bengal is strategically crucial for India since it is a natural extension of its sphere of influence. Secondly because of the presence of outlying islands, namely Andaman islands and Nicobar islands and most importantly several major ports such as KolkataChennaiVizag, and Tuticorin along its coast with the Bay of Bengal.
China has recently made some efforts to project influence into the region through tie-ups with Myanmar and Bangladesh. The United States held several major exercises with BangladeshIndiaMalaysiaSingapore and Thailand. The largest ever wargame in Bay of Bengal, known as Malabar 2007, was held in 2007 and naval warships from US, Singapore, Japan and Australia took part in it. India, was also a participant. Large deposits of natural gas also incited a serious up for grabs urgency by India. Disputes over rights of some oil and gas blocks have caused brief diplomatic spats between Myanmar and India with Bangladesh.
The disputed maritime boundary between Bangladesh and Myanmar has twice resulted in military tensions, in 2008 and 2009. Bangladesh is currently pursuing a settlement with Myanmar and India to the boundary dispute through the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea.

6 July 2012



1. Direct Economic Implications
the transit is going to be a two edged weapon for Bangladesh, the economic implication of giving transit alone can open floodgate of new stream of revenue for the country and at the same time it might bring a whole influx of problems for the local economy, farming, culture, employment, eco system, urbanisation, socio- religion influence and political dynamics.
The transit alone can generate a whole new avenue of economic activities for the whole of the country. A comprehensive execution plan and its precision implementation can change the transit hub and its inhabitants.
The Transit can generate
            . 1. Direct employment of minimum – 1 million people earning £ 2.50 a day x 24 day= $6 mil a month from wages
            2. Part time employment for another 2 – 300,000 people which would bring another =
$ 700, 00.00 month
            3. Revenue can be earned from
                        a.         Road side assistance – recovery
                        b.         Spare part and Motor parts
                        C.         motel + hotel
                        d.         Restaurants and Shops
                        e.         Parking
                        f.          Services station and fuel pumps and repairs workshops
                        G.         offices and secretarial services
                        h.         Banks and Insurance for motors and others
                        j.          Foreign currency exchange (beaure de change)
                        k.          Entertainment and amusement parks
                        l.          Other pay as you go public services

Services above will (a- i) can generate around £ 100, 000. 00 per year which is a huge boost for the economy of the hubs concerned and directly and indirectly the hubs will employ around 10,000 people. This alone will bring another solid stream into the exchequer of the country.

To the best of analysis and assessment its augmented that, in total of 8 – 9 different transit hub will be serving around 1000 drivers and 500 other different personnel's with each spending around £10.00 per day alone generates a staggering amount of £ 36,000,00.00 per year
There will be at least 1000 lorries will plying in the road at any given time worth carrying minimum 15 hundred tonnes of cargo daily costing a fuel revenue of $100,00.00 a day.

the biggest revenues will be the port handling and documentation and customs charges which is around 1% to 2% of the value of the goods and as far the assumption goes that seven of this states will be turning around which can be anywhere in the range of $ 1 - $1.2 billion per year. Bangladesh presently imports around $ 37 billion dollar worth of goods per year and these seven states will need to import once this is open for them to import around $30- $ 50 billion worth of import and 25% worth of export. Timber export alone can generate in excess of $ 10 billion dollar.

It is no doubt leaves Bangladesh in a win win situation in all aspects provided the bilateral bargaining and revenue sharing arrangements are put in place tightly.

Sectors of revenue
Rate in USD
Fulltime employment
 $           2.50
 $        720,000,000.00
Part time
 $           1.00
 $  300,000.00
 $          86,400,000.00

 $                     -  
 £ 1,000,000.00
 $          12,000,000.00
Petty Cash
 $         10.00
 $  100,000.00
 $ 3,000,000.00
 $          36,000,000.00
Fuel and others

 $  110,000.00
 $ 3,300,000.00
 $          39,600,000.00
other Income

 $        120,000,000.00
Import Revenue

 $  12,000,000,000.00

 $  13,014,000,000.00

2. Selection of Appropriate Mode;
The appropriate mood of transit can never be ascertained from the outset but there are tentative routes for out bound and inbound cargoes can be planned from day one; without these selected routes no transit for those 7 states with a population of circa 40 million cannot be undertaken by Bangladesh, If it's taken then the pressure of this extra movement and volume will grind the present infra structure to halt.
It is imperative that, these transit cargoes and its routes for the individual destinations must have to be chalked out before hand otherwise the volume will clog all exiting infrastructures.
seven sister holds 7% of total India's land mass with 4% of the total population of India resides in these landlocked enclaves; which have been able to see the light of the modern development and enhance her socio economic conditions due to heavy costs involved in transportation and the precarious terrain which itself hindered half the effort.

For all transit purposes a new deep sea port is needed to build in and around Urirchor – shondip channel – hatia channel with megna and chandpur estuary and megna's tributary in mind – cost to that effect has to be borne by the 3rd country as it will only handle their imports and exports.
Tentative routes for road transport to
            a.         Tripura
            b.         Mizoram
            c.         Manipur
            d.         Arunachol Prodesh
            f.          Nagaland
What is envisaged that, the general area kabirhat becomes the main hub all logistic movement inside Bangladesh with 7 states 7 different jetties and WHARFS (ware houses at the river (sea) front).
The road from Kabirhat will connect via Ramgarh to Sabroom and the it will connect Indian N44 and N 44A.

A new purpose built road link from kabirhat to Ramgarh bridge to Sabroom to the made to;
1.     Route 1 for Tripura – Kabirhat – porshuram- Udaipur- bishalgor – Agartola  155 KM
2.     Route 2 for Mizoram – Kabirhat – Porshuram- shantiBazar – Amanpur – Teliamura – (via N44A) – Aizwal – circa 410 KM
3.     Route 3 for Manipur – Kabirhat- Porshuram- shantiBazar - Amanpur – Teliamura-(Via NN44A ) – Aizwal – Imphal (Via 54) – (via 27 and N37) – 810 KM
4.     Route 4 for Arunachol Prodesh – Kabirhat- Comilla-  sylhet- Tamabil- ( Via  N44 ) – tezpur – Lanka – Itanagor – 1000 KM
5.     Route  5 for Nagaland (Also serve Assam and Meghalaya Partly) Kabirhat- Comilla-  sylhet- Tamabil- ( Via  N44 ) – Lanka – Dimapur – Imphal  - 785 KM

Two new river transport channel from the deep sea port
1.     via River Meghna to Ashugong- Sunamgong – Chattak (Meghna – Surma)
2.     via River Meghna to Ashugong- Fazil Pur – Balagonj- Fenchuganj- Beanibazar- Zakigonj-  Karimgonj (Megna – Kushira ) – Barak to Shilchor – Shillong (by road)

Likely Estimation
Costs for building the deep sea port plus these roads alone will cost around
Cost Per unit
One way carriage
dual carriage way
total distance /area
Route 1
 $                   15.00
69 Km
69 km
 $              8,280,000.00

 $    10,000,000,000.00
 $                 100.00

 $            35,000,000.00

 $             5,000.00

 $              2,500,000.00
Land for road

 $              5,000,000.00
River  Improvement

 $            30,000,000.00

 $    10,080,780,000.00


Options Available

Existing infra structure is no way capable to cope with these increased pressure, any added load on the existing facilities will hamper the day to day operation of our own need. The Volume of cargo that presently Bangladeshi Port handles are
Chittagong Port Authority; in excess of 43 million tonnes plus 556,000 container per year
Mongla Port Authority; in excess of 870,000 tonnes
The present facilities are integral part of our own GDP growth and it will not be feasible to add another almost equal quantum of load on equipment, manpower and facilities and paraphernalia.
In the light of the above apart from setting up these above mentioned bespoke facilities there is no way Bangladesh standing any chance to cope with this new venture.
It is very easy to envisage that, the total volume of cargo inbound will be around 2 million tonnes per year and plus another 500,000 containers on top of it the export will be around 25% of the inbound volume.
The age old port facilities and the lighter age, the stevedoring, the berthing, documentation, surveillance, taxations and tariffs and storage and logistic and transpiration will totally collapse our existing infrastructures.

Hence, there is no other alternative but to set up whole new bespoke state of the art new facilities for this purpose only.

Environmental hazard
The influx of haulage vehicle, the support transport and diesel operated rail train and the river and ocean going vessels will produce an extra quadruple amount every year. Bangladesh will be become one of the highest carbon emission producers in the reason. In 2005 Bangladesh was producing 0.14% of world's carbon emission and with this extra traffic it will easily produce   enough CO2 to reach our normal target of 2050 by 2015.
the ecological imbalance will hamper the climatic and arable land will lose fertility, the deforestation to built these mega roads will reduce wild life and the catastrophic floods and natural calamities will ruin the costal belt vegetation, population and the economy, the coral reefs will disappear thus the sea erosion will eat up the presently dilapidated coast line and will cause sea bed rise and cause cyclonic tsunami and water logging due to raised sea bed.
To minimise these catastrophic consequences a comprehensive master plan of a forestation, carbon Emission offsetting measures, controlled vehicular movement and comprehensive logistic network and plan needed to be tabled before giving the green signal to the issue itself.
Environmental Economics, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2012

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