The 1,600 Rohingyas who were shifted to Bhashan Char on Friday from camps in Cox's Bazar voluntarily agreed to relocate to the island, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In press release the ministry said the government has decided to relocate 100,000 Rohingyas to Bashan Char in phases against the backdrop of growing concerns over the extreme congestion at refugee camps in Cox's Bazar and to avert any risk of death due to landslides and other unwarranted incidents.
It said, "The relocation has become imperative to decongest the overcrowded camps in Cox's Bazar that have temporarily been accommodating nearly a million of Rohingyas with many more thousands born each year."
"The deteriorating security situation due to prolonged stay of these frustrated people in Cox's Bazar also compelled the government to come up with a contingency plan and develop Bhashan Char from its own budgetary allocation. Accordingly, the government invested more than $350 million to develop the island," it added.
The foreign ministry press release described the 13,000-acre Bhashan Char island as a place with all modern facilities and infrastructures.
The island has uninterrupted supply of electricity and water, agricultural plots, cyclone shelters, two hospitals, four community clinics, mosques, warehouses, telecommunication services, police station, recreation and learning centres, playgrounds, etc.
"The government of Bangladesh has ensured adequate supply of food along with proper sanitation and medical facilities for Rohingyas in Bhashan Char. Proper hospitals with highly qualified health professionals, adequate Covid-19 testing and treatment facilities are in place," the press release reads.
Around 22 NGOs are already on the island to provide support to the Rohingyas along with government agencies. Necessary security has been ensured in the island by law enforcement agencies. The area is also fully covered with CCTV cameras.
The press release said to ensure the independent choice of the Rohingyas to be shifted to the island the government allowed Rohingya representatives along with NGOs and journalists to visit the place to see the arrangements there.
It said all those visited the island expressed their satisfaction at the available facilities there.
"Several rounds of discussions, based on the queries of the United Nations, were also arranged and we hope that the international community and the United Nations, as per its mandate, will be involved in the process very soon," it said.
The press release mentioned that the relocation is a part of the broader plan of repatriation which is the only priority for the government.
The skill development and livelihood opportunity that the Rohingyas would be able to avail in Bhashan Char would prepare them for their reintegration in the Myanmar society upon return, it added.