Sharadiya Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Hindu community, ended on Monday with the immersion of idols of goddess Durga and her children on the fifth day of celebration.
The common ritual of the Bijoya Dashami follows the journey of immersion through festive processions on the day. However, as all other religious festivities went through modified rules this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the journey of immersion did not go through the traditional festive processions with larger crowds.
To avoid the risk of transmission, maximum 10 people at a time were allowed on a truck taking the idols for immersion. Processions from different areas in the capital ended at the Waiz Ghat on the banks of Buriganga River in the evening. Tearful devotees bid farewell to Durga and her children Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh while wishing for their return next year.
As part of the main rituals of Dashami Puja celebrations, the female devotees gave vermilion at the feet of Durga at mandaps and temples across the city, as part of the traditional ‘Shidur Khela’. The ritual follows Hindu women put the vermilion on each other aspiring the prosperity in lives, as a tribute to the power of Devi Durga.
Nirmal Kumar Chatterjee, general secretary of the Bangladesh Puja Celebration Committee, said, "Instructions have been followed during immersion which was devoid of the usual processions of Bijoya Dashami. The concerned mandap and temple authorities have performed immersion on their own initiatives in compliance with the hygiene rules.”
The Kumari Puja, another significant attraction of Durga Puja celebration, usually held on the eighth day known as the Maha Ashtami at the Ramakrishna Mission in Dhaka, was not arranged due to the ongoing pandemic.
According to the latest information provided by the Bangladesh Puja Celebration Committee, Durga Puja was held at 30,223 mandaps across the country this year, compared to the 31,397 mandaps in 2019.
There were 233 puja mandaps in Dhaka city this year.
Rapid decline in the water level, strong current and torrential rainfall in the last few days have put the Daulatdia Ferry Terminal area at high risk of erosion which could potentially force partial shutdown of the key terminal.
Around 200 feet stretch near the Ghat 3 has been gobbled up by the Padma River.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has continued dumping geo bags to prevent further erosion.
The geo-bags are being placed from the launch ghat to its ferry ghat no-6. Even then, erosion has also taken place at several points, particularly a big portion of the area that lies between ghat no-2 and 3 have gone into the river.
If the erosion continues, the operation of the ghat no-3 will have to be suspended. However, the operation of other ghats have remained largely normal despite visible erosion there.
Assistant Manager of Daulatdia BIWTA Office Mahbub Ali Sardar said the ferry ghat did also face erosion around the same time last year after the water level started declining fast, when the ghat no-2 went into the river bed.
This year, erosion has hit various points of the ghat, particularly areas adjacent to ghat-2 and 3. If the erosion continues, the operation of ghat no-3 might be stopped, he said.
Executive Engineer at BIWTA Aricha Office Nizam Uddin Pathan said a team of BIWTA and the Water Development Board visited the Daulatdia Ferry Ghat on Wednesday last as part of the move to plan to modernise the ferry ghat. If the modernisation works can be started soon, the risk of erosion will go down, said the officials.
The 26th death anniversary of Rokeya Begum, the mother of Prime Minister’s deputy press secretary Hasan Jahid Tusher, will be observed on Tuesday.
A milad and doa mahfil, and Qurankhawni will be held at her Sreerampur home in Magura on Tuesday. Food will be distributed.
Tusher urged all to pray for the eternal peace of his mother’s departed soul.
Rokeya Begum, wife of retired agriculture officer Abdur Razzaque, passed away on this day in 1994, leaving behind four sons, two daughters and a host of relatives.
A Bangladeshi peacekeeper was killed and two others were injured in a road accident at Dele in Bangui (Central African Republic) on Sunday.
The deceased was identified as lance corporal Abdullah Al Mamun, a driver.
The injured were identified as Sergeant Abdus Samad, 35, artillery and soldier Mokhlesur Rahman, 31.
The accident took place around 00:25 (local time) when the water tanker, carrying a team of Bangladeshi peacekeepers, plunged into a 20-25 feet deep ditch, leaving Mamun dead on the spot, the ISPR said Monday.
The injured are being treated at a hospital in Bangui and they will be shifted to Uganda soon.
They met the tragedy while going to Bangui from Kaga Port.
An Interoperable transaction among mobile financial service (MFS) providers and between them and banks is set to be launched from Tuesday on a pilot basis.
According to official sources, only four MFS providers, including bKash of Brac Bank, MCash of Islami Bank, U-cash and Al Arafa Islami Bank’s Islamic Wallet, will launch the interoperable service from Tuesday while others will gradually introduce the service.
As per directives issued by the Bangladesh Bank’s Payment System Department on October 22, all MFS providers and banks have to mandatorily introduce such interoperable transactions within March 31.
It said the interoperable transaction system will enable the MFS account holders to make “live financial transactions” among them and also with some banks.
“Once such a system is fully launched, any MFS account holder or bank account holder will be able to transfer money from and to each other’s account,” said an expert in the banking industry.
Shamsuddin Haider Dalim, Head of Communication of bKash, a leading MFS provider, said they are fully prepared to launch the service from Tuesday.
“We already have introduced such interoperable transaction facilities with 20 banks since long,” he told UNB.
Bangladesh Bank said such initiative was taken in order to reduce the cash transactions through using infrastructure of the National Payment Switch Bangladesh (NPSB).
The central bank also directed the MFS and banks not to introduce any new charges on their customers for the new service.
Only the existing charges will be applicable on the customers, it said adding that the MFS and banks will charge a certain fee to be fixed by BB on the organisation level.
The Bangladesh Bank circular said that in case of P2P money transfer from an MFS to another MFS, the receiving MFS will pay a charge at 0.8 percent on the total amount to the sending MFS.
In case of transferring money from MFS to banks or banks to MFS, the MFS will pay a charge of 0.45 percent on the total amount to the concerned bank and it will take place in both the case of sending and receiving money, said the BB circular.
At present, there are 16 MFS in operation which provide mobile financial service to the people, which are getting popular day by day.
According to statistics of Bangladesh Bank, now 92.9 million people have an MFS account and some 1 million people are working as their agents across the country.
In August this year, some Tk 41,000 crore was transacted through MFS while Tk 104 crore was received as remittance from non-resident Bangladeshis through this service.
Different organisations have provided salary of Tk 1,063 crore to their employees through the MFS while payment of Tk 1060 crore was made to pay sellers by customers.
Customers of different utility services paid Tk 908 crore to the service providers as utility bills.
Currently, mobile financial service is being used for making different online payments for purchasing tickets, hotel bookings and also for mobile phone recharging, said the MFS industry insiders.