BERC is on the way to cancel the license of United LPG

Serajul Islam Siraj, Special Correspondent,
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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United LPG Limited did not respond to the second show cause notice. Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) issued a show-cause notice to the company for selling LP gas at a higher price than the stipulated price.

BERC Chairman Nurul Amin confirmed to that he did not receive any reply to the second show cause notice. In response to the question of what can happen now, the BERC chairman said, United LPG Limited is our licensee. There are certain conditions when the license is granted. It is said there that the licensee will be punished for irregularity. I can give a notice as to why the license will not be cancelled.

BERC issued a show cause notice to United LPG Limited and Total LP Gas on July 11 for selling LPG gas at a higher price than the fixed price. If there is no response to the first round of notices on July 31, the second round of notices are to be issued within 15 working days. But even after the notice, United LPG Limited did not give any reply. However, Total LPG has submitted an application to BERC seeking time. In that letter, Total Gas said, our managing director is out of the country, he wants to return to the country to answer.

United Group chief advisor (former chairman and managing director) Hasan Mahmud Raja told, I am not aware of this. You talk to the CEO of the gas company.

In July, 12 kg cylinders were sold at dealer level at Tk. 924, but United LPG sold at Tk. 1074, Total Gas at Tk. 1019, BERC found evidence. Total LPG has sold a 12kg cylinder to one of their distributors in Chandpur at a price of Tk.1019. That information was sent to BERC by an Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Chandpur. On the other hand, when the BERC Chairman went to market monitoring in Manikganj, he found the sales price of Tk. 1074 in the invoice issued by United LPG on July 5.

The show cause notice issued on July 11 signed by BERC Secretary Barrister Khalilur Rahman Khan was sent to the Managing Director of United LPG Limited. It states that the invoice was issued to Millennium Traders. Tk. 150 more than the rate fixed by the Commission. Instructions are requested to send your explanation in this regard to the Commission. As the two companies did not respond, BERC issued a second show cause notice on July 31.

After the first round of notices, AGM Raisa of United LPG Limited told that BERC fixed the rates on 3rd, subject to system updates. Do we stop selling until then?

The new rates are scheduled to come into effect from 6 pm on July 3 as directed by BERC. The invoice is dated 5th, for the sake of argument, if we assume the previous month's rate, it is also an average. In the previous month (June) it was supposed to be sold to the distributor for Tk. 1002. And the highest retail price was Tk. 1074. So does United LPG never pay distributor and retailer commission. AGM Raisa did not give any answer when such question was asked.

Accusations of overcharging LPG importers are old. Many are not selling at BERC fixed rates. Until now, BERC has only been keeping a watchful eye on retailers. After the new Chairman joined the Commission, this is the first time it has looked at the LPG company. All the surprising information is coming out of it. During the press conference, the BERC Chairman was asked that action has been taken against only two companies. According to the accused, BERC does not have the courage to take action against big companies. In response, the Chairman said, this allegation is not true. Action will be taken against those against whom evidence is found. Under no circumstances will overselling be tolerated.

The BERC Chairman said that under no circumstances can bids be taken higher than the fixed price. Invoices are to be issued deducting distributor's margin. On April 12, 2021, BERC announced the first LP gas price. Then a total commission of Tk. 359.40 per 12 kg cylinder was fixed for LPG importers, dealers and retailers. Loab (LPG Importers' Association) raised objections on the amount of commission on the same day of price announcement. Since then, Loab's conflict with BERC began. They also put pressure on BERC by boycotting monthly rate announcements. Loab president Azam J Chowdhury even threatened to stop the import of LPG. BERC was forced to increase the commission from Tk. 359 to Tk. 441 on October 10 after 7 months. Still, companies are charging higher prices. In July, the price of 12 kg LP gas was Tk. 999. Due to growth in the international market, it has increased by Tk. 141 to Tk. 1140.


MP Abdus Sattar passes away

District Correspondent,, Brahmanbaria
Advocate Abdus Sattar Bhuiya

Advocate Abdus Sattar Bhuiya

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Former State Minister and Member of Parliament for Brahmanbaria-2 (Sarail-Ashuganj) Constituency Advocate Abdus Sattar Bhuiya breathed his last (Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilaihi Rajiun).

He died at 3 am on Saturday (September 30) while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in the capital. He was 84 years old at the time of his death.

Mainul Hasan Tushar, the only son of Abdus Sattar Bhuiya, confirmed the death.

He said, my father was suffering from kidney disease for a long time. He was admitted to Evercare Hospital in the capital a week ago when his physical condition worsened. The treatment was going on there. He breathed his last while undergoing treatment at the hospital on Saturday morning at 3:02 am.

Abdul Sattar Bhuiya was born on January 16, 1939 to Abdul Hamid Bhuiya and Rahima Khatun of Parmanandpur village in Aruail Union of Sarail Upazila in Brahmanbaria. He was engaged in the profession of lawyer in Brahmanbaria court. He was the president of Brahmanbaria district BNP for a long time.

Abdus Sattar Bhuiya was elected Member of Parliament as an independent candidate in the then Comilla-1 constituency in 1979. Later, in 1991 and 1996, he was elected Member of Parliament in Brahmanbaria-2 constituency on the nomination of BNP in the 15th February and June elections. In the 2001 elections, Abdus Sattar served as Minister of State for Law, Fisheries and Lands as a technocrat minister in the then 4-party coalition government. However, after the 2008 elections, he was inactive in political activities. In the 11th National Parliament election held in 2018, he won again as a BNP nominated member of parliament with the paddy symbol. He was expelled from BNP on January 2, 2023. Later, when the by-elections were held, he won as an independent candidate.


Two factions of Awami League clashed in Mithapukur, 55 injured including OC

Staff Correspondent,, Rangpur
Two factions of Awami League clashed in Mithapukur

Two factions of Awami League clashed in Mithapukur

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Serious clashes ensued between Awami League MPs group and upazila chairman groups took place over the expansion of dominance in Rangpur's Mithapukur upazilla. At least 45 leaders and workers including 11 policemen were injured in the clash. 25 of them have been admitted to Upazila Health Complex. Mithapukur Police Station OC Mostafizur Rahman is also among the injured.

On Friday (September 29) the clash continued intermittently from afternoon to evening. At present, efforts are being made to calm the situation by deploying additional police in Mithapukur.

According to police and local sources, on the occasion of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's birthday, two groups of local Awami League organized discussion meetings at separate places on Friday.

Central Awami League Treasurer HN Ashikur Rahman MP's side held a discussion meeting at the auditorium hall next to the Upazila Parishad gate and Upazila Chairman Zakir Hossain Sarkar's side held a discussion meeting at the same time under the overbridge on the Rangpur-Dhaka four lane highways.

At around 4:30 pm, the upazila chairman's side was crossing the upazila parishad gate on its way to the venue with a procession, and there was an altercation with the leaders and activists of the other side (MP side). At one stage, when the conflict started between the two sides, hundreds of leaders and activists of both sides clashed with sticks and bricks.

The chase continued for more than two hours and the incident of stone pelting. At this time panic spread among the people in the upazila headquarters.

In an instant, all kinds of business establishments were closed. People started running in panic.

The police resorted to lathi charge to stop the conflict. At least 11 policemen and 45 activists and pedestrians were injured in the clash and counter-chase of the two sides. Many of them are in serious condition and are being treated in hospital. Others were given first aid.

Mithapukur police station OC Mostafizur Rahman and 10 policemen are among the injured. They have also been treated. The situation returned to normal around 7 pm. However, the entire upazila parishad and highway area was in a state of panic.

SI Muhibur Rahman of Mithapukur police station said that 10 policemen including OC were injured in the clash between the two sides. The situation is normal. No one has complained so far.


DU auditorium is dilapidated due to neglect; cultural activities are stopped

Kanjul Karam Koushik, DU Correspondent,, Dhaka


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Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall, Masterda Suryasen Hall and Salimullah Muslim Hall of Dhaka University (DU) have large and well-planned auditoriums. But due to lack of maintenance and care from the auditorium to the TV room and sports room, the curtain has not been raised on the stage of the auditorium for many years. The structure is being destroyed and the cultural practices of the students of the hall are disappearing. Experts are claiming it as 'cultural misery'.

Salimullah Muslim Hall was inaugurated on August 11, 1931. In 1966 and 1967, Masterda Suryasen Hall and Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall were established as the largest residential halls at that time. Inside the hall, the auditorium is constructed for the healthy recreation and cultural activities of the resident students. Salimullah Muslim Hall Auditorium is now known as TV Room, Suryasen Hall Auditorium is Shaheed HM Ibrahim Salim Auditorium and Mohsin Hall is known as Mohsin Hall Auditorium. These auditoriums have proof-size stages and large audience spaces. Adjacent to the stage are auditorium offices, toilets and all necessary facilities for stage users.

But on the surface, it can be seen that table tennis is played in the auditorium of Mohsin Hall and various types of handicrafts are being made in a large space. The entire auditorium is dirty with craft materials and scattered garbage. Some people are living behind the curtain behind the stage. When asked about their identity, they identified themselves as the family of the hall employee. Behind the stage can be seen the 'Haji Muhammad Muhsin Hall Auditorium Office' established by the Muhsin Hall Welfare Society. This office is now hidden from the public eye. Most of the students in the hall are unaware of the existence of the auditorium office. Going up the stairs on both sides, it is seen that it is being used as a residence for the employees. Again, plaster cement falls from various places and from the roof. Roof irons are visible in most places.

Meanwhile, the condition of Martyr HM Ibrahim Salim Auditorium of Surya Sen Hall is also dire. Both the entrances here are locked for a long time. All the furniture of the hall is kept inside. Going up the stairs on both sides, it is seen that it is being used as a residence for the employees. From outside it is seen that the upper railing has collapsed.

According to the sources of people who have been working in this hall for many years, no event is held here for many years. A few years ago, students and staff were injured when the auditorium railing collapsed.

In this regard, Masterda Suryasen Hall Provost Professor Dr. Zakir Hossain Bhuiyan said that the auditorium is in a dangerous condition so it has been closed. Our programs take place in the TV room and various large rooms. Renovate the auditoriums if we can. As far as I know, it is supposed to be demolished and locked, there is a plan.

Provost of Haji Muhammad Muhsin Hall Dr. Maksudur Rahman when asked to speak to about this, he did not answer the phone.

Mahin Ahmed, resident student of Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall, 17-18 session, wants cultural programs to be staged in the auditorium of the hall.

He said, "If there is a democratic coexistence, there is a pressure on the administration. If there is pressure, the administration is somehow forced to continue the cultural activities. If there is no one else then who will apply the pressure? Hall students Sangsad are ineffective. Who will take the cultural programs if the Sangsad is ineffective? On the other hand, there is no cultural student organization; the absence of cultural organization makes the infrastructure of the university useless. That is why democratic coexistence is needed. Otherwise, the administration will remain unaccountable as it is now and democratic co-existence is needed to make the responsibility felt”.

Dhaka University's Department of Theater and Performance Studies Assistant Professor Tanveer Nahid Khan said about the importance of cultural and theatrical practice for students, Dhaka University was the top place for drama. When the country was partitioned in 1947, the theatrical practice of the region was centered on DU. Auditorium of Salimullah Muslim Hall Shahidullah Hall, Jagannath Hall was suitable for dramas. At that time we used to practice two types of drama. A group of progressive dramatists who practiced drama based on language and nationalism. Another group, according to theorists, practiced Islamic conservative drama. Those who were the teachers of DU, Munir Chowdhury, Akhtar Ibn Saeed, Saeed Ahmed, Syed Waliullah had great practice in drama and DU, these exercises based on hall were excellent. A drama troupe of DUCSU was 'Natyachakra'. The fact that these are not happening can be called 'cultural tyranny'.

A few years ago, with the initiative, Hall drama was born. When DUCSU was organized after the elections, there were still cultural competitions from DUCSU. They should be. As a result of non-existence, no more meritorious people emerged. When theater was practiced in halls, many people used to act, write plays, direct plays, and later they played roles in the main stream or at the national level. Today, the famous playwrights of independent Bangladesh are practicing in the halls of Dhaka University. Important dramatists such as Ramendu Majumdar, M Hamid, Mamunur Rashid have accelerated our national level theater practice by coming from Dhaka University.

But now the students are spending time on Facebook on their mobiles instead of practicing drama. The student does not go like that without playing in the TV room as well. The auditoriums of the hall should be used only for drama. As a result, the practice of healthy culture will be accelerated. When a person is associated with drama, he learns to speak beautifully, as a result of working in the theater, he learns punctuality, learns to work in a team, creative practice, contemporary events of the society come to the writing of drama. They make people mindful. But without this healthy practice, many students are getting involved with drugs, if you want to do theater, you have to study.


Successful trial of vaccine against dengue in the country

Staff Correspondent,, Dhaka
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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Hospitals in the capital Dhaka and district cities are struggling to cope with the influx of dengue patients. At such a time, the researchers of the International Diarrhea Research Center Bangladesh (ICDDRB) and the University of Vermont (UVM) Lerner College of Medicine have brought good news.

They claimed that they have successfully completed the dengue vaccine research. It is effective against four types of dengue virus, Dengue-1, Dengue-2, Dengue-3 and Dengue-4.

In a press release on Thursday (September 28), ICDDRB claimed it. The results of this study were recently published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal.

It is said to be a promising tetravalent vaccine. It is effective against all four types of dengue virus (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4). The single-dose vaccine used in the study evaluated TV-005.

It has been shown to be safe for use in children and adults and able to induce immunity.

The vaccine is named TV-005 (Tetravalent). ICDDRB scientist Mohammad Shafiul Alam, one of the researchers, said that the dengue vaccine has been tested successfully. This is certainly promising news because, at the moment, a dengue outbreak is going on in the country.

He claimed that a single dose of this vaccine can protect people. However, more research is needed on this. Whose second stage trial or test has been done in Bangladesh. However, the vaccine has already completed 42 phase trials in different countries of the world.

The ICDDRB scientist said that the third phase of testing has been done in India. It has strong potential to protect humans from dengue. We are also trying to do a phase III trial.