Environment


Wool coat with Faux Fur Hood = $ 250.00

Round-trip ticket from Dhaka to Sweden = $ 1670.00

Cost of solar panel installed on the roof of State Minister for Forest and Environment Dr. Hasan Mahmud’s residence = $ 533.33

Comments made in cabinet meetings such as “”The prime minister in the meeting gave directives to stop felling of trees.” = $ 0

A Prime Minister who can stop Awami League MPs from denuding the forest in our coastal regions and building brick-fields in the middle of forests = Priceless

An earthquake just hit Dhaka. The magnitude was 5.6 in richter scale. Everybody I know in Dhaka felt the jolt. Hence I re-post this blog two years two months later.

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Thousands more die in Indonesia. Earthquake strikes once again. Poor Iran, Indonesia, these countries lie on the fault line. Historically most of the earthquakes happened on the fault lines. California is also situated on a tectonic plate border, the fault line. And all the structures in California are built earthquake safe.

Here is a map of all the major and monor tectonic plates of the world.

platemap

If you can locate Bangladesh in the world map, you will see two plate bounderies, i.e. two fault lines cross Bangladesh. On the noth, the Indian plate clashes with the Eurasian plate and on the east, Indian plate borders Australian plate and continues to Burma plate.

I am not a geology student and won’t pretend to know or understand the basics of the importance of these plate bounderies and earthquake possibilities.

Different newspaper reports inform us that many scientists have been warning about the probability of a devastating 8-9 richter scale catastrophic earthquake in the northeastern and southeastern parts of Bangladesh.

So, major earthquake is also possible in Bangladesh. Are we ready?

Can the authority in Bangladesh speak out with certainty that at least one, only one single rsidential apartment in Bangladesh have been bult to withstand a7.0- 9.0 richter scale earthquake?

We we talk about issues, a variety of issues. There is a word in english dictionery, ‘Priority’. Should we, as a nation, relearn the meaning and implication of the word?

I still do not understand the reason behind the intense media mania on Abdul Jalil. Mr Jalil was an important factor as GS and spokesperson of his party. But his shameful surrender of ideal and political stand only after one day of jail sentence is adequate to make him irrelevant in politics.  But the sudden media hype over Mr Jalil’s recent ‘life threatening’ illness and emergency Singapore trip is very disgusting. Even after Mr Jalil left for Singapore, media keeps on pushing their pathetic reporting. Todays newspaper headlines were ‘Jalil wakes up from anethesia after two hours’, ‘Jalil talks’, ‘Jalil’s wife calls their sons’, ‘ Jalil’s surgery successful’, blah blah blah….

Most shameful of all is that there was no pressing emergency to send Jalil to Singapore. Medical journalism is terrible in Bangladesh. Whatever I could decipher is that Mr Jalil has kidney dysfunction. There are 20 million people in Bangladesh with Kidney disease, and between 20-50 thousand people develop kidney failure each year. Mr Jalil was also developing kidney failure. Kidney failure is a slow process.  His options were to either start dialysis once there is total shutdown  and I am pretty sure, by looking at his photos, he is not there yet (This may be months to a year from now) . Any sane approach was to be prepared for dialysis by preparing a vascular access in his arm through which dialysis may be started quickly once there is complete shutdown.  Singapore physicians are doing exactly that. The surgery they are talking about in newspapers was this access procedure.  And to be fair to Bangladeshi physicians, this procedure can be performed in Bangladesh. It is a very simple procedure and there are many physicians in Bangladesh who do it on a daily basis.  And there are many people in Bangladesh who are continuing their job or running businesses while attending three times a week dialysis.  The other option was kidney transplant. This is another stupid reporting. First, Mr Jalil is not even on dialysis, that means his kidneys are still functional.  Transplant could be considered once a patient is on dialysis for a considerable length of time.  And preparation for transplant may take years. First thing, one has to manage a good kidney. This is something you can not find in a medicine store in Singapore. Somebody has to donate it. I doubt Mr Jalil’s family members will donate their kidney. That means he has to buy a kidney. That further means that some poor soul in Bangladesh will have to sell his kidney. And even one simply can’t buy a kidney from just anybody. There has to be different kind of immune matching including blood group, HLA etc.

So all the media stuff about Jalil’s life was at stake and he had no option but to go to Singapore for emergency kidney transplant were all BS.

Jalil’s case is an example. After closely following all the events in Bangladesh, I can categorically say that I have not yet come across any single illness of any high profile political prisoner in Bangladesh who genuinely needs treatment abroad.

This government must release all the political prisoners. They must be released without any condition. No release should be under disguise and condition of parole for foreign treatment. There should be a limit to deception.

And this blog post is not even discussing a more fundamental question of the moral right of our political/ administrative leaders foreign trips for every minor medical care while the rest of the country has to depend on local services for the same treatments.

The demolition of Rangs Bhaban was a symbolic equivalent of the 1/11 military government. Exactly as what was with Rangs Bhaban, i.e. spectacular demolition an imposing indestructible structure; this military government embarked on a similar larger scale project with whole of Bangladesh.

Rangs Bhaban demolition in 24 hours notice was termed as a symbolic victory over corruption. Look at this blog and read in the comment section how the early supporters of this military government drooled at this fiesta of destruction.

However, as warned by a few, the bulldozer revolution of 1/11 faltered all through its way. The military government came with promises of rooting out and cleansing the country of corruption. Well nearly one year later, corruption is as rampant as before and none of the so called corruption kings could be convicted in corruption charge. All the unbelievable number of jail years given to politicians are all income tax or firearms cases. Any of the members of the current government can easily be implicated in similar income tax or firearm crimes. Then the bulldozer revolution tried to beautify Dhaka by destroying slums, control the markets by sending soldiers to market places, and control politics by purchasing some collaborator politicians and editors. And fortunately for the people of Bangladesh, all these misadventures failed.

Rangs Bhaban ( although Governments’ collaborators initially tried to publicize that it was built on illegal land, court order confirms that it was not) was evacuated in 24 hours notice, hundreds of businesses got uprooted, and some RAJUK daily laborers broke the beautiful glass walls with big hammers.

Soon the bulldozer revolutionaries started grasping the magnitude of the job and their inability to finish the job they started. A company was allocated the demolition job ( Hint hint: Lt Geneal Hasan Masud). The nation was told that a demolition expert company would do that job with surgical precision.

Well several months later, we now hear that the job was taken by a company which had no idea of the enormity of the job. Only experience they had so far was demolition of two very old three story one unit flat building in Chittagong. And even that company did not keep the job to themselves. They charged the government 75 lac taka and subcontracted it to labor contractors for 25 lac taka, thus earning 50 lac taka by only being a collaborator.
And the result is very visible today.

driving-towards-rangs-bhaban-photo-dhaka.jpgrangs-bhaban.jpg

Look at the mess this government has put us into. This is what happens when the wrong people embark into a job which they do not know how to handle and which is not their job either.

Rangs Bhaban is precariously hanging in the air today. Partly collapsed, the rest of the huge structure may collapse any moment. Dead bodies are hanging from the rubbles. Per different newspaper reports, as many as 30 workers are still trapped under the towering rubbles. No rescue operation is being planned as the building is too difficult to approach.

In previous thread termed Rangs Rongo, many of the military government apologetics boasted that Rangs Bhaban was the symbol of this governments’ crusade against corruption. I agree with them. The current state of Rangs Bhaban is the symbol of this military government.

And most unfortunately, the victims of these misadventures are not us, nor our elite brethren in Bangladesh. The victims are the poor people in Bangladesh. The decision makers of Rangs demolition will roam around and chatter around happily, the conspirators, collaborators of 1/11 bulldozer revolution will keep enjoying the advisorial, editorial, ambassadorial perks, but the poor people of Bangladesh will keep hanging like that poor soul in the picture. Someone buried under Rangs rubbles, the rest of them buried under the soaring price of essential basic food items.

It’s a mess. A big big mess.

Public park space in Dhaka is almost non existent. Almost hidden within this concrete slum of 12 million people, few spots here and there still gives the Dhakaites much needed greenery and some fresh air to walk in the early morning. If you happen to be in Parliament building ground, or Suhrawardi Udyan (Ramna Green) before sunrise, you will see a carnival there. Muffler clad elderly man gossiping in gangs, Saree-salwar-kameez wearing middle aged women walking briskly, young men running and doing physical exercise and even young kids joined the grand festivities with their moms. Suhrawardi Udyan and Parliament building areas are one of the rare open space Dhakaites now have. If you happen to stop by crescent lake, or the road side shops along Ashulia-Uttara road, the jam-packed, inch to inch crowd, will give you an idea of the dire need some park space in Dhaka.

While the governments should consider this park space shortage as an issue of priority and do everything possible to make more greenery available to the public, this government has done exactly the opposite.

The took away almost half of Ramna Green (25 acre of 62 acres) and silently gave it to a club of 1500 elites of Dhaka, the Dhaka Club. The hitherto public park space will be the golf course for the 1500 elites of Dhaka. And this broad daylight robbery of public land occurred almost 5 months ago in June 2007.

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Bangladesh is now in the middle of an overwhelming natural disaster. At least 60 people (Much higher unofficially) has lost their lives and 6 million people have no food or shelter. Flood has devastated a big chunk of Bangladesh. Business, education, healthcare and normal life have been shattered in 1/4th of Bangladesh. Agriculture live stock loss is projected to reach billions of taka. People, women-children, old-youth are desperately looking for a dry land to rest or cook. The children are hungry. There is no food to eat, not place to rest, no transportation to move.

Finally after two weeks our CA visits a camp in Kurigram after landing in a ‘built for him’ heliport. And while the law advisor asks people to pray to God for reprieve and our generals compete with each other for a photo-op, a thousand hired workers hurriedly launch a crore taka budget demolition fiesta.

Yes, the fiesta to demolish Rangs Bhavan.

As Rangs Bhavan disappears rapidly, questions and concerns remain.
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In Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s literature, you would not be able to finish a full sentence without getting the description of dozen of different flora, starting from the century old shade trees to the little grass flower. Bibhutibhushan was the master in bringing up the real nature of Bengal in his letarature. As clearly depicted by Bibhutibhushan, an exceedingly lively nature and rich biodiversity made the landscape of Bangladesh.

 Several years ago, I had an opportunity to travel to the Chimbuk hill at BandarBan hilly district. While I expected a visual commentary of Bibhutibhushan, I was shocked and saddened to see an indiscriminate massacre of nature. The arakan mountain range that runs parallal to the coast line through Chittagong or the more intimidating landscape of the hill tract districts used to be home of dense lush green rain forest and was inhabited by an amazing range of creatures. Wild elephants used to roam along the foot of the hills in dense jungle, they also used to have leopards, porcupines, gibons, orang otangs, deers, bears, pythons, Nil Guy etc. Now-a-days, this dense green rainforest has turned into governments fruit gardens.

For many decades, there have been government programs of planting fruit trees along all the rainforests and to accomodate more fruit trees there have been more felling of trees that were meant to be there naturally.

Tagore wrote, “Oi Maloti lota dole, pial o toru ro kole”. As both  Maloti lota and pial toru are not lucrative, they have to give way for Ipil Ipil trees or amra gardens.

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