A piece of city on bosom of bay...

Dhaka, Sunday   16 May 2021

A piece of city on bosom of bay

 Ismail Hossen Kiron, Hatiya daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 10:11 PM, 19 October 2020   Updated: 05:46 PM, 24 October 2020

A view of Bhashan Char Project; photo: Daily Bangladesh

A view of Bhashan Char Project; photo: Daily Bangladesh

Bhashan Char, A modern eco-friendly city has been built in this natural land that has risen on the bosom of the Bay of Bengal. This Megaproject in Bangladesh is a temporary shelter for Rohingyas displaced from Myanmar, made as a humanitarian step of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Bhashan Char is a permanent island of 13 thousand square kilometers area. The island belongs to Charishwar UP of Hatiya upazila of Noakhali. Houses, fields, reservoirs, and mangrove forests have been constructed on this island.

High cyclone shelters, well-planned buildings, paved and semi-paved roads, row upon row of pillar lights on one side of the road, high embankment protected islands, huge jetties, rows of red dwellings, and cultivation suitable land. Bhashan Char has been developed at a cost of Tk 3,000 crore under the supervision of the Bangladesh Navy.

The Bhashan Char awakened in the bosom of the sea is not yet recognized as a locality. But in just two years, Bhasanchar has gained more than the locality-rich islands that have not been touched by modernity in a hundred years. So many travelers of the country are excited to visit the island for once.

Bhashan Char is more beautiful than imagined

It has been seen that Bhashan Char is more beautiful than imagined. It is inconceivable that the newly awakened island could be exposed to such a spectacular sight. And this has happened under the direct supervision of the Navy with 10 to 15 thousand staff working day and night. The island is now ready to hold one lakh Rohingyas. The accommodation of more than three lakh people will be increased in phases.

Recently, Noakhali DC Mohammad Khorshed Alam Khan went to Bhashan Char with a team. DC went to a well-equipped bungalow made for naval officers in Bhashan Char. There, naval officials described the current development activities in Bhashan Char through projectors.

An official involved in the project said, “6,427 acres of the island's 13,000 acres are not be submerged by any tidal water. The land of Asrayan Project-3 has been selected from that place. When we first came to Bhashan Char. we saw nothing but some buffaloes and birds. Work on the project began under the direction of the Prime Minister's Office. At first, the expenditure was estimated at Tk 2,312 crore. Later, due to road expansion, embankment raising and work increase, the project cost was increased to Tk 3,094 crore.”

Photo Collected

“About 99 percent of the work is finished. Now there is some work left for painting and beautification. As much as it has completed, one lakh Rohingyas will be able to live very comfortably,” he added.

The involved officials said that a tall lighthouse has been built in the island. Through which the ships of that channel will get proper instructions to move in the sea.

120 cluster villages have been set up in Bhashan Char to shelter one lakh Rohingyas. Each cluster consists of 12 houses, a cyclone shelter, a pond and a playground. Thus, 1,440 houses have been built under 120 clusters. 

Residents will be able to take shelter in the shelter house in case of any cyclone or tidal wave. There are two 20-bed hospitals and four community clinics. There are kitchen, toilet, and drinking water facilities for the residents.

A fire station with two fire jeeps has been set up as a fire prevention measure. Firefighting equipment has been added to the barracks house. The water of the pond constructed in each cluster can also be used for fire fighting. Each shed has a solar power system. Besides, the security arrangements are also strong due to the presence of various agencies including the navy and police. The state-of-the-art bungalows have been built to accommodate officials from the United Nations and various international organizations.

At present, there are only 306 Rohingyas in Bhashan Char. They were caught crossing the sea illegally to various countries, including Malaysia. Instead of the Teknaf refugee camp, they have been kept in Bhashan Char. Of these, 97 are men, 176 are women and 33 are children. 

Another good news for the Bhashan Char dwellers is that the people interested in agriculture, animal husbandry, handicrafts, and family work will be trained there; which will make them self-reliant.