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Metro Rail Era starts as year Ends



MRT metro

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened the first phase of the country’s first-ever metro rail service in the morning today (28 December).

President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday greeted all who were involved in the implementation of the country’s first-ever elevated metro rail.

DMTCL has already completed its preparation to hold the colorful opening function at Diabari, Uttara at 11am and police-RAB personnel have taken all measures to ensure security of the event.

After the opening, the metro rail will run straight from Uttara to Agargaon without stopping at any intermediate station along the route. Commuters will be able to take a trip on the train from Thursday.

A train will wait for passengers at each platform for 10 minutes for the first few days as city dwellers are not familiar with this new transport system.

Initially, some 10 sets of trains having six coaches will run from Uttara to Agargaon. For the time being, the train will run on this route slowly. It will run from 8am to 12pm, the time will be extended later and the number of trains will be increased as per demand.

Talking to BSS Managing Director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) M.A.N Siddique said metro rail will be a first-time experience for people in Bangladesh so passengers would have to acquire experiences about the ticketing system and using the service.

“We will increase the number of trips, trains and stoppages at intermediate stations when people become familiar with the metro rail,” he said.

Dhaka is the second-largest city in South Asia and the seventh-largest in the world in terms of population. And the capital city is going to get the most modern transportation system with metro rail for commuters, Siddique said.

He said the metro rail will reduce public sufferings, since it will transport more passengers within a less time with comfortable means.

Common people believe that the inauguration of the metro rail will not only reduce traffic congestion in the city but also increase the overall revenue collection of the government.

However, if the train starts at full speed, one train will run every three-and-a-half minutes’ interval. How long the train will stay at one station has not been decided yet.

At each station, the train will wait till the boarding and alighting of passengers are completed. Each train can run at a speed of 100 to 110 km per hour with 2,300 passengers. However, the speed will be lower in areas with bends.

Abdul Kuddus, a commuter of Dhaka city, said three political parties have ruled the country for several periods after independence. None of the parties made much progress at the district or divisional level. As a result, the country’s major industries have developed in the capital. Every year, thousands of common people rush to Dhaka from villages for livelihood.

The Government of Bangladesh has formulated the following Time-bound Action Plan in order to establish a state-of-the-art strong Network of public transport system to be implemented by DMTCL consisting of Metro Rail routes covering the distance of 128.741 kilometres having 104 Stations in Dhaka city and its adjoining areas.

On March 29, 2022 Japan and Bangladesh signed “Exchange of Notes” and “Loan Agreement” for the 5th tranche of loans worth 18,285 million Japanese Yen for financing the Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project.

The metro rail is projected to carry 60,000 passengers per hour by traveling the entire route of 21.26 km from Uttara to Motijheel-Kamalapur Railway Station in less than 40 minutes.

Earlier on August 1, 2017, the implementation agency started installing the viaduct for the rail project. Within April this year they were scheduled to clean the occupied roads under the project areas, M.A.N Siddique said.

The 20.1-kilometer-long metro rail line lies through Uttara Phase-3 and the Bangladesh Bank in Motijheel via Pallabi, Rokeya Sarani, Khamarbari, Farmgate, Karwan Bazar, Shahbagh, Dhaka University’s Teacher-Student Centre, Doyel Chatwar and Jatiya Press Club.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the construction work of the metro rail project, also known as the MRT Line-6, on June 24, 2016.

Later, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader inaugurated the construction work of the first part of the elevated viaducts and nine stations of the MRT Line-6 at Agargaon point in the city on August 2, 2017.

The JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) provided around Tk 16,600 crore as project assistance out of the total cost of Tk 22,000 crore.

“I convey my sincere greetings to all those involved in the implementation of the (metro rail) project, including the Road Transport and Highways Division (RTHD),” said President Hamid in his statement.

“Another success of the people-friendly government has been achieved with the inauguration of the metro rail,” he said.

The head of the state said the ‘grand opening’ of the country’s first metro rail Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line-6 from Uttara to Agargaon is a unique milestone in the development of the country’s communication system.

Lauding the present government for introducing such rail, the president added that it is a timely initiative of the government to introduce a fast, safe, reliable, air-conditioned, time-saving, electric, environment-friendly and remotely controlled state-of-the-art public transport system to alleviate the traffic congestion in the densely-populated metropolis of Dhaka and its surrounding districts.

“The journey of Metrorail will add a different dimension and pace to the transport system of Dhaka metropolis alongside saving the working hours of city dwellers,” he said.

Under her visionary and efficient leadership, the country is moving forward in the implementation of ‘Vision 2041’, he said.

As a result of the prudence, right direction and courageous leadership of the incumbent government, the smooth construction of metro rail has become possible in the densely populated Dhaka metropolis, he mentioned.

He appreciated the combined efforts of the government, Dhaka city dwellers and stakeholders because, without these efforts, the timely inauguration of MRT line-6 or the Uttara (North) to Agargaon section of Bangladesh’s first metro rail would not have been possible.

The metro rail is going to open (for all) before its scheduled time by overcoming many hurdles including the Covid-19 pandemic and the global economic recession, he added.

He hoped that with the launch of metro rail, there will be positive changes in the communication and socio-economic system of Dhaka metropolis and the country.

“It will be beneficial in business, especially in investment,” Hamid continued.

The auspicious inauguration of Uttara to Agargaon section of Metrorail in the month of victory is a unique gift of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the nation, he mentioned.

“I am expecting the implementation of the entire section of Uttara to Kamlapur of the first metro rail of Bangladesh within the stipulated time,” he said.

In her message, PM Hasina said ‘Metrorail’, a symbol of Bangladesh’s pride and aspiration, is a unique milestone in Bangladesh’s city mass transport system.

The inauguration of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line-6 or Bangladesh’s first metro rail is a long-awaited dream of the people of Dhaka city, the premier said.

“The dream of the city-dwellers is fulfilled today with the auspicious inauguration of MRT Line-6 from Uttara to Agargaon part,” she added.

She extended her sincere greetings to the people of the country on this auspicious occasion of the inauguration of the metro rail.

Keeping the slogan “Sobar Jonno Metrorail” in mind, she said Dhaka Metrorail has included all the necessary facilities for people with special needs like the developed world.

To ensure the safe and comfortable travel of women passengers in metro rail, every metro train has a dedicated women’s coach, she added.

PM Hasina wished for continued prosperity of the metro rail in the days to come.

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PM Sheikh Hasina to partake World of Work Summit in Switzerland this June



sheikh hasina World of Work Summit

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to embark on a visit to Switzerland in June to attend the “World of Work Summit: Social Justice for All” in Geneva on June 14-15. The summit serves as a significant platform for global leaders to address the pressing need for enhanced, coordinated, and coherent efforts in promoting social justice.

During the summit, discussions will revolve around the proposal to establish a Global Coalition for Social Justice, which received a positive response from the International Labour Office’s Governing Body at its 347th Session. Should the plans be finalized, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will undertake her visit to Geneva from June 13 to 16, as confirmed by a diplomatic source.

A distinguished lineup of attendees, including French President François Hollande, Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi, and representatives from employers’ and workers’ organizations, will address the conference. Over the course of two days, the summit aims to emphasize the crucial role of social justice in fostering a more sustainable and equitable world. Additionally, strategies for enhanced collaboration and cohesive action to advance social justice and ensure policy coherence will be explored.

The summit will provide participants with a platform to share their vision and priorities concerning social justice, as well as showcase the actions they have taken and commit to taking to promote social justice. Furthermore, the outcomes of the summit are expected to inform discussions in other multilateral forums regarding the significance and strategies for achieving greater social justice. These forums include the Sustainable Development Goals Summit, the G20 Summit, and the summits of the BRICS countries, all scheduled to take place in 2023.

Prominent figures such as heads of state and government, the United Nations Secretary-General, the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), and high-level representatives from employers’ and workers’ organizations will deliver addresses during the summit. Additionally, four panel discussions will bring together governmental representatives, employers’ and workers’ organizations, UN entities, and other international organizations to identify and amplify actions aimed at promoting social justice across the multilateral system. The objective is to commit to a joint, coherent, and coordinated engagement on this crucial issue.

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Finance Minister to Present National Budget of Tk 7.61 Lakh Crore in Parliament Today




Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal is preparing to present the largest-ever national budget of Tk7.61 lakh crore for the fiscal year 2023-24. This will be the fifth consecutive budget presented by the finance minister and the final one for the current Awami League government.

The budget aims to drive the country’s economic growth in line with Bangladesh’s graduation from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status and fulfill the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $4.7 billion loan.

While the government has attempted to strike a balance between revenue collection, public expenditure, and austerity measures, experts and budget officials predict an increase in the government’s reliance on foreign loans due to a revenue shortfall. The finance ministry projects a revenue collection target of Tk5 lakh crore, with a deficit of Tk2.61 lakh crore for FY24. Of this, Tk1.02 lakh crore will be borrowed from external sources, and Tk1.55 crore will be sourced domestically.

The finance minister expects to obtain Tk1.32 lakh crore from the banking system, Tk18,000 crore from savings certificates, and Tk23,000 crore from non-bank sources. The government’s operating expenditure is anticipated to be set at Tk4.75 lakh crore, with a total development cost of Tk2.77 lakh crore.

Economists and analysts have cautioned that the next fiscal year’s budget may face exceptional challenges due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and its adverse impact on the global economy, which also affects the domestic economy.

The finance minister has allocated Tk2.77 lakh crore for development spending in the upcoming fiscal year. Domestic interest payments will amount to Tk82,000 crore, while interest on foreign loans will reach Tk12,376 crore. Capital expenditure is expected to be Tk39,000 crore, with Tk502 crore allocated for the food sector and Tk8,402 crore designated for loans and advances.

For the financing of the annual development program (ADP), the 2023-24 budget has allocated Tk2.63 lakh crore, along with Tk7,986 crore for non-ADP special projects, Tk2,828 crore for non-ADP food-for-works recipes and transfers, and Tk3,768 crore for schemes not included in the ADP but financed from own source revenue.

In terms of revenue generation, the government aims to generate Tk5 lakh crore, with Tk4.5 lakh crore coming from tax revenue and Tk50,000 crore from non-tax revenue. The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has been tasked with collecting Tk4.3 lakh crore, while non-NBR taxes are targeted at Tk20,000 crore. The government estimates that Tk3,900 crore will be received as foreign grants.

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Global Parrot Day Today



parrot global

Parrots, with their vibrant plumage and charismatic personalities, have captivated humans for centuries. These intelligent and social birds play a crucial role in the ecosystems they inhabit. To recognize and raise awareness about the conservation of these fascinating creatures, Global Parrot Day is celebrated worldwide on 31st May. This day serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving parrot populations and their habitats.


Introduction to Global Parrot Day

Global Parrot Day is an annual event celebrated on 31st May. It aims to highlight the diversity and conservation status of parrots, as well as the need to protect their habitats. This day encourages individuals, organizations, and communities to come together and take action for the well-being of these magnificent birds.


The Importance of Parrots in the Ecosystem

Parrots fulfill essential ecological roles, making them keystone species in many habitats. Their contributions include:


Parrots as Seed Dispersers: Parrots have a unique ability to consume various fruits and seeds, and their strong beaks enable them to break through tough exteriors. After digesting the fruit, parrots excrete the undigested seeds in different locations, aiding in seed dispersal and promoting the growth of diverse plant species.

Parrots as Pollinators: Some parrot species, such as the Sun Conure and the Eclectus Parrot, play a vital role in pollination. As parrots feed on nectar-rich flowers, pollen attaches to their feathers, facilitating cross-pollination between plants.

Parrots as Indicators of Ecosystem Health: Parrots are excellent indicators of the overall health of their ecosystems. Their decline or absence can signify environmental imbalances, such as habitat degradation, pollution, or the presence of invasive species.


Threats to Parrot Populations

Despite their ecological significance, parrot populations face numerous threats that jeopardize their survival:

Habitat Loss and Deforestation: Deforestation, primarily driven by human activities such as logging and agriculture, has resulted in the destruction of vast tracts of parrot habitats. The loss of nesting sites and food sources poses a severe threat to these birds.

Illegal Wildlife Trade: Parrots are highly sought after in the illegal wildlife trade due to their vibrant feathers and ability to mimic human speech. Capture and transportation for the pet trade cause immense stress and mortality among parrots, further impacting their populations.

Climate Change: Rising temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, and habitat disruption due to climate change pose significant challenges for parrots. These changes affect food availability, alter migration patterns, and contribute to the spread of diseases.


Conservation Efforts for Parrots


To safeguard parrot populations and their habitats, several conservation initiatives are underway:

Protected Areas and Sanctuaries: Establishing protected areas and sanctuaries helps conserve critical habitats for parrots. These designated areas provide a safe haven for parrot populations, allowing them to breed, forage, and fulfill their ecological roles.

Breeding and Release Programs: Many conservation organizations run breeding and release programs to bolster parrot populations. These initiatives involve captive breeding, where parrots are bred in controlled environments and then reintroduced into the wild to boost numbers and genetic diversity.

Community Engagement and Education: Engaging local communities and raising awareness about the importance of parrots and their habitats is crucial. Conservation organizations work closely with communities to develop sustainable practices and foster appreciation for parrots, ensuring long-term conservation efforts.


Celebrating Global Parrot Day

Global Parrot Day provides an opportunity to actively participate in the conservation of these magnificent birds:

Awareness Campaigns and Events: Numerous events and awareness campaigns are organized on Global Parrot Day. These initiatives aim to educate the public about parrot conservation, promote responsible pet ownership, and raise funds for conservation projects.

Volunteering and Donating: Individuals can contribute their time and skills by volunteering at parrot rescue centers, sanctuaries, or participating in habitat restoration projects. Additionally, donating to reputable parrot conservation organizations helps fund vital research and conservation efforts.

Supporting Parrot Conservation Organizations: By supporting parrot conservation organizations, individuals can aid in the protection of parrot habitats, rescue injured birds, and contribute to community engagement initiatives. Every contribution plays a crucial role in safeguarding these remarkable creatures.

Read More: Global Meditation Day Today

Global Parrot Day serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving parrot populations and their habitats. Parrots are not only beautiful and intelligent creatures but also play significant roles in maintaining the balance of ecosystems. By recognizing the threats they face and actively participating in their conservation, we can ensure a brighter future for parrots and the ecosystems they inhabit.

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