◈ Dhaka awaits New Delhi’s reply on Teesta note verbal: spokeswoman ◈ Quader urges children to abhor communalism and militancy ◈ AL sees power as scope to serve people: PM ◈ Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said Bangladesh should formulate a roadmap considering its geo-strategic advantage to make the country an aviation hub. “Reaping on the dividend of our geo-strategic advantage, we should create a roadmap as to how we can make our country as an Aviation Hub,” she said in a video statement aired in the inaugural session of the first edition of Aviation Summit in Dhaka. The Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry, in collaboration with the UK and France, organised the “Bangladesh Aviation Summit-2023” at a city hotel. The prime minister described the summit as very significant for Bangladesh as it has aspiration to become an aviation hub in the region. She said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman undertook measures to turn the country into an ‘Aviation Hub’ to connect the East and the West capitalizing the advantage of Bangladesh’s geographical location, just after achieving the membership of ICAO in 1973. The premier said the move was halted immediately after the assassination of the Father of the Nation in 1975. “We have undertaken several measures to support the development of an aviation hub. During the last one decade, we implemented a host of projects to upgrade our airports, airport security and ground handling,” she said. As part of the move to make Bangladesh as an aviation hub, Sheikh Hasina asked the concerned government organisations, the airlines and other stakeholders to carry out their responsibility to create conducive environment for the development and sustaining market both for passengers and cargo. “The government is going to introduce e-visa system which will also facilitate and expedite the flow of passengers visiting Bangladesh for business or tourism,” she said. Promising aviation industry requires skilled manpower, she said, adding, “Our youth must have the opportunities to be trained to become pilots, aeronautics engineers, mechanics, crew members and much more.” The premier hoped that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University, established by her government, would be able to cater the demand of skilled manpower in the country’s aviation and aerospace industry. She said the aviation industry has to lead by example in tackling climate change and strive to meet SDGs. De-carbonation and sustainable aviation fuel are topics which will require investments, concrete actions and the support from developed aviation nations, she also said. “The aviation partnership proposed by the UK and France, through Airbus, to support us in our journey is very crucial,” she opined. Besides, a number of projects are running which include HSIA Expansion Project (Phase-I), Construction of General Aviation Hangar, Hangar Apron and Apron at North side of Fire Station at HSIA; Strengthening of Existing Runway and Taxiway at Shah Amanat International Airport, Chattogram; Development of Cox’s Bazar Airport (Phase-I), Cox’s Bazar Airport Runway Extension Project; Strengthening of Existing Runway and Taxiway at Osmani International Airport, Sylhet; and Enhancement of Capacity of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh on Public Security at HSIA, she added. The third terminal being constructed under HSIA Expansion Project (Phase-I), will create handling capacity of additional 12 million passengers and 4 million ton cargos, she said. Sheikh Hasina said, “The transformation of our economy helped boost the travel opportunities for our people and open up new routes and markets for our airlines”. When Bangladesh will turn into an Upper Middle Income Country by 2031 and a developed country by 2041, the aviation market will be further expanded, she said. The premier said as the economy of Bangladesh has grown, so has the importance of air cargo. “The air cargo market of Bangladesh is rapidly growing at 8 percent per year – three times the world average. This underlines the strong demand for a dedicated national cargo operation in our country. With all of this in mind, there are areas where aviation actors need to do more,” she said. PM’s Private Industry and Investment Affairs Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism M Mahbub Ali and British MP Rushanara Ali, among others, spoke at the summit. ◈ Roadmap needed to make Bangladesh an aviation hub: PM
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BNP continues propaganda over electricity to hide own failure: Quader

2 August 2022, 11:18:53

Awami League (AL) General Secretary Obaidul Quader toady said Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) continues its propaganda and falsehood over power and energy to hide its own failure.

“The BNP’s continuous propaganda and lying about electricity and energy are nothing but an effort to conceal its own failure (while in power),” he said in a statement.

Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said though the BNP leaders want to easily forget their past, the country’s people remember it.

During the BNP regime, there was 13-14 hours of load-shedding when the country plunged into darkness, he said.

The AL general secretary said the BNP leaders handed over the country’s precious mineral resources to their foreign masters to come to the state power and they deceived the nation by installing poles only in the name of electricity supply.

To keep Hawa Bhaban and Khoab Bhaban, the alternative centres of power, illuminated, the BNP kept the whole country in darkness, he said.

Leaving these dark times behind, Quader said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has gifted the country’s people an illuminated Bangladesh.

In addition to this, she achieved an unprecedented success in all socioeconomic indexes, which was appreciated at the world level, he said.

The Sheikh Hasina government has shown a revolutionary success in the power and energy sector, the road transport minister said, adding that when the AL came to power through a landslide victory in the December 2008 elections, the country’s per capita power generation was 220 kilowatt and now it stands at 560 kilowatt.

He said only 47 percent people of the country had access to electricity in 2009 but now cent percent people have been brought under electricity coverage.

At the beginning of 2009, the Bangladesh’s power generation was 3,267 megawatt but, at present, it increased to 25,566 megawatt, Quader said.

“Not only this, the number of power consumers was 1.08 crore in 2009. But the number reached 4.27 crore till April 2022. Feeling jealous for this success of the government, the BNP is indulged in shameless falsehood and propaganda,” he added. The AL general secretary said those who talk about graft in the power sector are actually the sponsors of corruption.

Without the sound policies and efficient management of the government under the leadership of Prime Sheikh Hasina, it would not have been possible to boost up the power generation to 25,566 megawatt and industrialisation would not have flourished, he said.

He said the Sheikh Hasina government ensured the country’s energy security by checking rampant corruption and looting, which started in the sector during the BNP’s era. Electricity has been reached every house in the country, he added.

While economy started recovering after the cononavirus pandemic, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war hit the entire world, the road transport minister said, adding the developed countries are struggling to cope with the situation amid the fuel price hike in international market.

Many countries have already taken electricity and energy saving policies, he said. Quader said Bangladesh has to take some precautionary measures to address the situation. As part of this, power and energy saving initiatives have been taken and rationing of power supply began, which is a temporary step, he said.

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