Dhaka, Sept 22 (UNB) - World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region, Hartwig Schafer, and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Road Safety, Jean Todt, are scheduled to arrive here on Monday.
They will discuss the challenges and opportunities to improve road safety in Bangladesh.
During the two-day visit, they will meet the finance minister, roads transport and bridges minister, other senior government officials, and civil society representatives.
Schafer and Todt will also participate in the ‘Road Safety for All’ event in Dhaka on September 24, which is part of the South Asia Regional Program on Road Safety that includes Bangladesh.
“Road accidents are life-shattering experiences for families. Apart from the enormous human toll, road safety has a major economic impact; globally, annual crash-related costs are estimated at 2 to 5 percent of national Gross Domestic Product,” said Schafer.
“I welcome this partnership between the United Nations and the World Bank in support of countries, like Bangladesh, to make traffic safer and help accelerate growth, reduce poverty and promote shared prosperity.”
Road safety is a global development challenge. Every year, 1.35 million people worldwide lose their lives while driving, cycling, or walking on the road and another 50 million are seriously injured.
A recent World Bank study has shown that for South Asia as a whole, a 50 percent reduction in road deaths would generate an estimated gross benefit of about $1.2 trillion.
“Along with the World Bank, I look forward to a productive discussion with our partners in Bangladesh on the path for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of significantly cutting the number of road fatalities over the coming years,” said Todt.
“I call on Bangladesh to join and fully implement the key UN legal instruments on road safety, which can enable the country to address many major causes of road crashes.”
Last year, the death of two college students in road accident in Dhaka sparked protests for safer roads. Although the situation improved to some extent during the protests, it returned to its chaotic self a few days later.
In March this year, the death of an university student in another road accident rekindled road safety movement but the situation has improved little.
Earlier this month, Road Transport Minister obaidul Quader said the government had formed a “powerful taskforce” to restore discipline on roads and highways, and reduce accidents.
The World Bank and the United Nations are offering the countries a number of tools and support modalities to tackle road safety problems.
This includes consideration in the upcoming call for proposals of the recently established UN Road Safety Fund, as well as technical support in the accession to the UN legal instruments related to road safety, administered by UNECE.
Munshiganj, Sept 22 (UNB) – Poor navigability forced the suspension of ferry services on the Shimulia-Kathalbari route on early Sunday.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) suspended the services around 3am as it became difficult to operate ferries on the route, said BIWTA Assistant General Manager Nasir Uddin Chowdhury.
He said no ferry could enter the channel due to poor navigability. “Dredging work is underway to restore navigability,” he said.
Mawa Zonal Traffic Inspector Helal Uddin said traffic congestion has increased following the abrupt suspension of ferry services.
A large number of vehicles were stranded on both sides.
Cox’s Bazar, Sept 22 (UNB) – A Rohingya couple was killed in a reported gunfight with police at Leda Rohingya camp hilly area on early Sunday.
The deceased were identified as Din Mohammad, 32, and his wife Jaheda, 27, residents of Block C of the camp.
Pradip Kumar Das, officer-in-charge of Teknaf Police Station, said they were arrested on charges of drug peddling on Saturday noon.
Later, police took them to the hilly area to recover firearms. A gang of Rohingya criminals opened fire as soon as police reached the area around 1am, triggering a gunfight.
The couple was fatally wounded in the skirmish. Later, they were taken to Teknaf Hospital where doctors pronounced them dead.
The bodies were sent to the Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy.
Police also recovered two light guns from the spot, the OC added.
Dhaka, Sept 29 (UNB) – The World Rivers Day 2019 will be observed in the country as elsewhere across the globe on Sunday.
The theme of this year’s day is -“River a living entity, ensure its legal rights”.
The World Rivers Day is a celebration of the world’s waterways that highlight the many values of our rivers, strives to increase public awareness, and encourages the improved stewardship of all rivers around the world.
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury on Saturday said the government has taken initiatives to protect the rivers as a challenge.
He said this while inaugurating a rally to observe the World Rivers Day one the National Museum premises.
In 2005, the United Nations (UN) launched the ‘Water for Life Decade’ to help create a greater awareness of the need to better care for our water resources.
Following this, the establishment of World Rivers Day was in response to a proposal initiated by internationally renowned river advocate Mark Angelo.
A World Rivers Day event was seen by agencies of the UN as a good fit for the aims of the Water for Life Decade and the proposal was approved.
River enthusiasts from around the world came together to organise the first event in 2005 which was a great success and World Rivers Day was celebrated across dozens of countries.
Since then, the event has continued to grow and it is annually celebrated on the last Sunday of every September.
Bangladesh has been observing the World Rivers Day since 2010.
Dhaka, Sept 21 (UNB)- Dhaka University Central Students Union (Ducsu) Vice president (VP) Nurul Haque Nur on Saturday demanded the vice-chancellor of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University (BSTU) in Gopalganj vice-chancellor (VC), after students at the university came under attack on Saturday
He made this demand from a protest rally held at the base of the Raju memorial, an anti-terrorism sculpture on the DU campus condemning attacks on the students.
Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Protection Council (BGSRPC), the platform that led the quota reform movement last year, organised the rally.
In his speech, Nurul Haque Nur said even a culvert bridge was broken to bar actual students of the institute from coming to the campus, and to allow the attack on students by rented terrorists to go ahead.
Ducsu VP urged Gopalgonj administration to take steps against the VC as well as his administration those who destroy the image of the birth place of Bangabandhu adding that: "Such kind of VC have no right to stay in his post."
Platform Convener Hasan Al Mamun said: “We will go to Gopalgonj expressing solidarity with protesting students demand of Khandokar Nasir Uddin's resignation and also announce him ‘unwanted’ there.
50 students of BSMRSTU in Gopalgonj were injured as outsiders swooped on them on Saturday after they continued demonstration seeking the removal of its VC ignoring an order to close down the university and vacate halls of residence.