2nd Addendum on Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade between India and Bangladesh



News Desk, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Mohammed Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury  and Riva Ganguly Das, Photo: Collected

Mohammed Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury and Riva Ganguly Das, Photo: Collected

  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Republic of India have a long standing and time-tested Protocol on Transit and Trade through inland waterways of both countries. This Protocol, which was first signed in the year 1972, immediately after independence of Bangladesh is a reflection of shared history, trusted friendship and mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries. It was last renewed in 2015 for five years with a provision of its automatic renewal for a further period of five years giving long term assurance to various stakeholders.

2) The Standing Committee on the Protocol and the Shipping Secretary Level Talks are the institutional arrangement between the two friendly neighbours to discuss and make the Protocol more effective. During the discussions between India and Bangladesh at these meetings held in October, 2018 in New Delhi and in December, 2019 in Dhaka, key decisions were taken on the extension of protocol routes, inclusion of new routes, and declaration of new Ports of Call to facilitate trade between the two countries. These decisions have been made effective with the signing of 2nd Addendum to the Protocol today. The specific points agreed by the two sides are explained below.

A. Routes: The number of Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) routes are being increased from 8 to 10 and new locations are also added to the existing routes: -

I. Inclusion of Sonamura- Daudkhandi stretch of Gumti river (93 km) as IBP route no. 9 & 10 in the Protocol will improve the connectivity of Tripura and adjoining States with India and Bangladesh’s economic centres and will help the hinterland of both the countries. This route shall be connecting all existing IBP routes from 1 to 8.

II. The operationalization of Rajshahi-Dhulian-Rajshahi Routes and their extension up to Aricha (270 km) will help the augmentation of infrastructure in Bangladesh as it would reduce the transportation cost of stone chips/aggregate to northern part of Bangladesh through this route. Further, it will also decongest Land Custom Stations on both sides.

III. In Routes (1) & (2) [Kolkata-Shilghat-Kolkata] as well as in Routes (3) & (4) [Kolkata-Karimganj-Kolkata], Kolaghat in India has been added.

IV. Routes (3) & (4) [Kolkata-Karimganj-Kolkata] and Routes (7) & (8) [Karimganj-Shilghat-Karimganj] have been extended up to Badarpur in India. In these routes, Ghorasal in Bangladesh has also been added.
B. Ports of Call: Under the current Protocol, there are six Ports of Call each in India and Bangladesh. They are: Kolkata, Haldia, Karimganj, Pandu, Shilghat and Dhubri on Indian side and Narayanganj, Khulna, Mongla, Sirajganj, Ashuganj and Pangaon on Bangladesh side. The newly added five Ports of Call on Indian side are: Dhulian, Maia, Kolaghat, Sonamura and Jogigopha and on Bangladesh side are: Rajshahi, Sultanganj, Chilmari, Daudkandi and Bahadurabad. Further, two more extended Ports of Call – Tribeli ( Bandel) and Badarpur on Indian side and Ghorasal and Muktarpur on Bangladesh side – have been added through this addendum, increasing the number to eleven Ports of Call and two extended Ports of Call in both the countries.

Inclusion of Jogigopha in India and Bahadurabad in Bangladesh as a new Port of Call will provide connectivity to Meghalaya, Assam and Bhutan. Jogigopha also becomes important, since, a Multimodal Logistics Park is proposed to be established there. The new Ports of Call would enable the loading and unloading of cargo transported on the Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route and provide a stimulus to the economic development of the new locations and their hinterland.

C. Movement on shallow draft mechanized vessels: As a path-breaking development, both sides have agreed to introduce trade between Chilmari (Bangladesh) and Dhubri (India) through the use of shallow draft mechanized vessels, provided these are registered either under Inland Shipping Ordinance 1976 of Bangladesh or Inland Vessels Act, 1917 of India as per provisions of Article 1.3 of the Protocol and conform to safety requirements. This initiative will allow export of stone chips and other Bhutanese and North East cargo to Bangladesh and easy access for the traders to the hinterland of Bangladesh, enhancing the local economy in Bangladesh and the lower Assam region of India.

Mohammed Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury  and Riva Ganguly Das, Photo: Collected

D. New Opportunities on cargo movement: Under this Protocol, Inland vessels of both the countries can ply on the designated protocol route and dock at Ports of Call in each country, notified for loading / unloading of cargo. There has been significant improvement in the movement of cargo vessels in an organized manner on the Protocol route carrying both the transit cargo to North East region of India and vice-versa and export-cargo to Bangladesh. The Indian transit cargo is mainly coal, fly-ash, POL and ODC for power projects in North East region. The other potential cargo for movement is fertilizers, cement, food grains, agricultural products, containerized cargo etc. The export cargo from India to Bangladesh is mainly fly-ash which is to the tune of 30 lakhs MT per annum. Around 638 inland vessels (including 600 Bangladeshi flag vessels) completed with approximately 4000 loaded voyages annually.

It is expected that these additions to the Protocol will greatly facilitate the bilateral trade, with improved reliability and cost effectiveness for the business community and the people of both the countries.

Excellent connectivity provided by the existing and the newly added protocol routes is all the more pertinent in the present Covis-19 scenario as it will be instrumental in providing economical, faster, safer and greener mode of transport for traders and business communities of both the countries and will also have environmental benefits for the region.

The 2nd Addendum to the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade was signed at Dhaka on 20 May 2020 by Smt. Riva Ganguly Das, High Commissioner of India in Bangladesh on behalf of the Republic of India; and by Mohammed Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, Secretary Ministry of Shipping, on behalf of People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

Chef Santosh- Flavours of india at Amari Dhaka



Mansura chamily
Chef Santosh- Flavours of india at Amari Dhaka

Chef Santosh- Flavours of india at Amari Dhaka

  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

Experience the exotic flavours of India at Amari Dhaka. Mouth-watering delicacies will be prepared by Indian culinary maestro, Chef Santosh, at Amaya Food Gallery from 29 September to 5 October 2022.

This special promo will be held at the Amaya food gallery of the Amari Dhaka where guests will be presented with famous authentic Indian delicacies from Kashmir, Punjab, Gujrat, Maharashtra, Hyderabad, Goan and Kerala such as jodhpur pulao, laal mass, banjara chicken, maachli jaisamandi, jodhpuri vegetables, lakhnawi mutton briyani, kashmiri chicken pulao, maharashtra food, fish amrisari, palak saag, dal tadka, chicken masala bhat, mutton nu keeme, patra ni machchi, batata tomato nu saag, maratha chicken rice, mutton kolhapuri, fish koliwada, mangalore chicken briyani, nandan kozhi curry, malabar fish, mix veg poriyal, dum ka ghosht, fish masala, sabz handi, bombay chicken briyani, mutton kolhapuri, fish koliwada, kadi pakodi and many more. Every single day guests can enjoy different flavours of India.
The special buffet will be available during dinner only and is priced at Tk5499 NET per person. For the delectable buffet, guests will be able to avail of the Buy One Get Two (B1G2) offers from the selected bank cards. The other live kitchens will be also available throughout this festive period.
For dining, guests will have to make prior reservations by calling Amaya Food Gallery at 01777796444 or 01777796445.

;

Renaissance Décor introduces three new Italian Brands



News Desk, Barta24.com
photo: collected

photo: collected

  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

Renaissance Decor Limited launched three of the world’s renowned interior brands Roberto Cavalli Home Interiors, ETRO Home Interiors, and Gianfranco Ferré Home in Banani, Dhaka. Enrico Nunziata, Ambassador of Italy to Bangladesh inaugurated these brands on Saturday morning at Banani in the capital.

This new showroom of Renaissance Decor Limited is located in Level 5, Plot 76, Road 11, Banani.

The inauguration event was ordained by H.E. Enrico Nunziata, Italian Ambassador to Bangladesh as Chief Guest, along with Mr. Federico Brambilla and Mr. Roberto Curati, as Special Guests representing Roberto Cavalli Home Interiors, ETRO Home Interiors, and Gianfranco Ferré Home brands on behalf of ONIRO Group srl.

Enrico Nunziata, the Italian ambassador, stated during the chief guest's speech at the occasion, “It’s truly an honor and privilege to be part of this launching ceremony at Renaissance Decor Limited. The company made a remarkable journey in the last 8 years, bringing over 40 Italian manufacturers and brands to Bangladesh. Renaissance Decor has definitely created a world class stage in this showroom where a walk-in customer or even an architect will be mesmerized. Renaissance’s aspiration is to build the demand in the local market for high quality furniture. I am confident that a joint collaboration could start in the near future with various Italian companies. It would create new job opportunities and would increase export from Bangladesh of upscaled best designed furniture. With utmost pleasure, I announce the inauguration of the showroom and launching of Made in Italy brands: Roberto Cavalli Home Interiors, ETRO Home Interiors and Gianfranco Ferré Home in Bangladesh.”

Mr. Federico Brambilla, Special Guest of the event said, ““We are proud to be represented by Renaissance Decor as our official exclusive dealer in Bangladesh. We believe Renaissance’s strength lies in product knowledge and a management structure where the entire Sales and Design Team has the ability to offer interior design for home and commercial projects, according to the furniture and material selection that serves best the needs of their client. This allows a unique depth of vision. Which becomes a value.”

Mehreen Asaf, Managing Director, Renaissance Decor thanked all the clients and brand partners for their trust and support which enabled the company to keep evolving. She stated, “As a company we owe our success to our 50-member team and all gratitude to The Almighty. Our Sales and Design Team are continuously trained by our foreign brand partners in Bangladesh and abroad. We are specially blessed to have a team of young talented architects and managers who eagerly take the challenge of creating a lifestyle driven bespoke solution for space and interior design that exceeds clients’ expectations. We look forward to delighting our clients with end-to-end products and design services both home and abroad.”

Another Special guest Mr. Roberto Curati said about the event, “Over the last few years Renaissance Decor has demonstrated value and trust in our brand partnerships. We are confident in their ability to promote these world class, Made in Italy brands in Bangladesh. The arrival of these prestigious brands has enhanced Bangladesh’s image globally as an emerging market for fashion and design.”

The 17,000 sqft showroom display demonstrates installed products for clients and architects to walk into an imaginary lifestyle setting providing a unique and comely experience for the first time ever in Bangladesh.
Renaissance Decor offers complete interior design with product solution for every lifestyle. Product categories composed by 50+ brands include: Doors, Windows, Kitchen, Wardrobes, Bathroom Furniture, exterior and interior Surfaces for walls and floors, office and home Furniture, Outdoor Furniture, Lighting, Carpets, Architectural Wallpapers, Paneling, Marbles, Ceramics, Mosaic, Porcelain Stoneware, Home Linen and Textiles, Home Accessories and Ceramics. All brands work exclusively with Renaissance Decor for the territory of Bangladesh. The vast portfolio allows Renaissance Decor to be competitive and technically trained for complete project deployment.

;

Coastal salinity has a severe impact on agriculture



Pinky Akter
Coastal salinity has a severe impact on agriculture

Coastal salinity has a severe impact on agriculture

  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

Md: Abbas Uddin. Bholar is living in high fashion. According to family sources, his occupation is agricultural work. 52-year-old Solaiman Miah has been working in agriculture for about 32 years.

He cultivates paddy and various kinds of vegetables in his 2 acres of land. However, in recent years, his agricultural land has not yielded as expected. And this farmer blames the effect of climate change on less rain, and weather variation as the main reason.

Climate change has had a negative impact on agricultural land. Agriculture in saline areas is at grave risk. They are facing various problems including irrigation water.

Talk to more farmers in Charfashion. They said that this year's low rainfall has adversely affected production. There has been an increase in the number of insects on the land. Green leafhoppers eat rice chlorophyll. There may also be various crop diseases

But the bigger problem is salt water. which mixes with agricultural soil and destroys crops. Talked to Solaiman of the local farmers association. He said the arable land is becoming uncultivated due to the intensity of salinity. Yields are falling, crops are deepening economic wounds in coastal areas. Farmers said that they could not sow rice seeds on time due to the weather this year.

But the acute problem is that of irrigation water in the land. The decrease in the navigability of the rivers and the increase in the height of the salt water of the sea is due to the fact that the salt water of the sea is entering the agricultural land through tributaries from the river. In this area, it is not possible to irrigate the land from river or pond water in the coastal agricultural land, so the farmers have to irrigate the land by raising water through tube wells.

Farmers say that we used to irrigate the agricultural land by retaining the rainwater, but this year due to less rain, it will have a negative impact on paddy cultivation. In addition, due to less rain, irrigation will have to be done by extracting underground water, in this case, the production cost will also increase.

in this regard, Dr. Ainun Nishat, former vice-chancellor and climate expert of BRAC University, said that the situation is getting worse due to salinity. Farmers are unable to use surface water for irrigation, she further added that if the land is not made arable, it will affect people's life and ecology. Apart from this, salt water should be prevented from entering by constructing and rebuilding dams in this area. Integrated planning and its implementation are essential for overall development.

Researchers from Ohio State University and Arizona State University have conducted a study on the effects of climate change. The study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change under the title 'Coastal Climchange The study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change under the title 'Coastal Climate Change, Soil Salinity and Human Migration in Bangladesh'. The researchers estimated that a moderate increase in salinity would reduce a farm's agricultural income by 21 percent annually. 40 percent of agricultural land in southern Bangladesh will be under serious threat.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Founder Director Professor Dr. M. Tofazzal Islam Shaheen said, due to climate change, the agriculture sector is suffering severe damage. Crop diseases are increasing. Day by day the underground water level is going down, rivers are drying up, and deserts have appeared in some areas. He also said that high yield is possible without water irrigation in agriculture. The problem of climate change is becoming more pronounced on the coast of Bangladesh. Due to saline water in agriculture, they are not able to provide artificial irrigation. He talks about the discovery of agricultural production with less irrigation. Besides, Tofazzal Islam also suggested developing new technology and increasing research in agriculture.

3,000 liters of water is required for the production of each kilogram of rice. Maize and wheat require one-tenth of water.

A study by the Soil Resources Research Institute (SRDI) has revealed that coastal districts are deprived of more than 3 million tonnes of foodgrain production every year due to salinity alone.

SRDI recently conducted a study to assess the impact of salinity on agriculture in coastal areas. It has emerged that salinity has a large negative impact on the overall socio-economic situation including food security in the southern part of the country. As the salinity increases, the activity of microorganisms in the soil of the coastal region is decreasing. At the same time, the availability of organic matter, nitrogen, and phosphorus in the soil is also decreasing. On the contrary, copper and zinc levels are increasing.

Ripon Kumar Mandal, Chairman of the Department of Agricultural Economics of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University said, "we have started climate tolerant agricultural production. Various adaptations including aqua culture are being adopted on the coast.

;

Most of the female tea workers are at risk of reproductive health!



Pinky Akter
Most of the female tea workers are at risk of reproductive health!

Most of the female tea workers are at risk of reproductive health!

  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

35-year-old Geeta Kanu works in a Julekha Nagar tea plantation. For a long time, she has been suffering from various physical problems including itching in the uterus, severe pain in the lower abdomen, and white discharge. And to get rid of these, the doctor of the Upazila Health Complex has advised the use of sanitary pads along with medicines.

Geeta Kanu uses scraps of old sarees on her menstrual days. He has to work in the tea garden for eight to ten hours a day. And at this time, this woman cannot even change the piece of cloth used during menstruation. Even during menstruation, she has to hold her urine due to a lack of adequate sanitation system which is very harmful to her health.


Gita bathed in the water of the canal in the garden to reuse the used menstrual cloth. Again, many people wash their daily drinking water with the water of that canal, which environmentalists think is dangerous for human health as well as the environment.

About 400 other women workers work with Geeta in the Julekha Nagar tea garden. Most of the people I talk to are suffering from some kind of uterine problem.

According to the Bangladesh Tea Board and Tea Workers Union, there are a total of 256 tea gardens in the country. 92 tea gardens in the country are in the Moulvibazar district. 70% of the more than 122,000 tea workers working in the tea gardens are women. And in Srimangal, visiting a few gardens including Kharyaura, Hooglichra, and Lakhaibagan, you can see that there is no sanitation system for women workers. Nor is Bagan providing them with any health benefits during menstruation. Due to this most women are suffering from reproductive health problems.

Nigat Sadia Director of USHA has been working with garden workers for a long time.
Nigat said that in 2019, an NGO on women's reproductive health conducted a camp with 250 women in Khadim Nagar tea garden where 13 women were diagnosed with uterine cancer. Worryingly, there is no sanitization system to protect the reproductive health of these working women. He added, in some gardens, toilets are being used by both men and women. And still, most of the gardens do not have good toilet facilities, no pad or hygienic is provided by the garden during the monthly period. And it is impossible for them to buy pads with low income.

A survey found that almost all of the workers were suffering from various chronic illnesses. Fifty percent of them receive treatment at dispensaries, 20 percent at home or from Quakers, and 20 percent at government hospitals. In the case of women workers, they do not want to seek medical help due to taboos related to menstruation. And by the time they go to the doctor, their disease has progressed to a very serious stage. For this, it is necessary to check their reproductive health regularly, said Tamisra.

;