Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today inaugurated four development projects including installation of solar panels in the remote areas of Parbatya Chattogram, five new ships, one mobile research vessel and four-tier national data centre.
The prime minister opened the development schemes through a video conference from her official residence Ganabhaban here.
While inaugurating the development schemes, the premier said, "I feel happy with the opening of four development projects."
The projects will help for the overall socio-economic development of the people particularly the locals.
The projects are: installation of solar panels in the remote areas of the Parbatya Chattogram to distribute power (1st amendment), five new ships of Bangladesh Shipping Corporation, one mobile research vessel built in Kaptai Lake in Rangamati at the initiative of Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences University and the world's 7th largest four-tier national data centre at Bangabandhu High-Tech City in Gazipur district.
After inaugurating the solar panel installation in the remote areas of the Parbatya Chattogram, the premier, said, "No house and market of the Parbatya Chattogram will remain in the dark as we have been working to bring the entire area under cent percent electricity coverage."
As part of the initiative, large numbers of solar panels are being set up at the Parbatya Chattogram as it is not possible to reach the national grid in the remote areas.
The solar power will create a congenial atmosphere for children to study at night, as well as increase the trade and commerce in the localities, which will directly contribute in the socioeconomic development of the people in the Parbatya Chattogram area.
Recalling the volatile and violent situation in the Parbatya Chattogram after assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the premier said her government inked an accord in 1997 to put an end to the crisis.
As many as 10,890 families of 1,927 villages under 128 unions of 26 upazilas in three districts of the Parbatya Chattogram have been brought under the electricity coverage by the project involving Taka 76.06 crore.
One more project involving Taka 218 crore has been submitted to the Planning Commission to bring the remaining 40,000 families under the electricity coverage.
If the project is completed, the Parbatya Chattogram will be brought under cent percent electricity coverage.
While opening the world's seventh largest four-tier national data centre at Bangabandhu High-Tech City in Gazipur digitally, the premier said, "Construction of the national data centre is a one more step forward towards building Digital Bangladesh as we had declared to form Digital Bangladesh in our election manifesto in the national election of 2008."
In this context, the premier recalled the contribution of her only son Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed, who is also her (Prime Minister's) Information and Communication Technology Affairs Adviser.
"The centre will help us preserve data. It will also save the money which is spent for data preservation alongside generating income," she said.
The premier came down heavily on the then BNP-Jamaat government for cancelling the deal with a Netherlands company for purchasing 10,000 Tulip brand computers as the company's name was similar to her sister Sheikh Rehana's daughter.
Later, the company filed a case and won in the trial, for which Bangladesh had to give Taka 32 crore (as penalty) to the company.
After assuming office in 2009 through the national election of 2008, the Awami League government has initiated to transform Bangladesh into a digital one.
"As many as 28 high-tech parks are now being set up in the country," she informed.
State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak and Senior Secretary of the ICT division NM Ziaul Alam handed over a certificate of the Uptime Institute of the USA to the Prime Minister.
The US institute has certified the national four-tier data centre of
Bangladesh as a world class one
On the commissioning of the five seagoing ships built by Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC), the Prime Minister said, "Bangladesh is a riverine country, so the naval routes are vital for internal communications alongside transportation of goods at home and abroad at lower cost."
The premier said the government has been working for development of the naval routes by maintaining navigability of the rivers through dredging.
"Improved naval routes would help speeding up communications and thus industrialization," she added.
The prime minister said her government has reopened the Khulna Shipyard which the then BNP government had closed down. She hoped that that the shipyard will build warships in the days to come, adding that various countries are now showing interest in purchasing ships from Bangladesh.
The premier said she wanted to build one more shipyard in the southern region's Barguna district.
Noting that shipbuilding industry is now being developed in the private sector as her government is promoting the private entrepreneurs to this end.
The premier also stressed the need for unlocking potentials of the blue economy, saying that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had first enacted the sea related law in 1974 (Territorial Waters and Maritime Zone Act, 1974).
The five commissioned ships are: MV Banglar Samriddhi, MV Banglar Arjan, MV Banglar Agragati, MV Banglar Agrajatra and MV Banglar Agradut which were built by the Bangladesh Shipping Corporation.
Chairman of parliamentary standing on the Ministry of Shipping Maj Gen (Rtd) Rafiqul Islam and secretary of the ministry Md Abdus Samad handed over a replica of a ship to the Prime Minister.
After the commissioning of a mobile research vessel titled "CVASU Research Vessel" built in Kaptai Lake in Rangamati at the initiative of Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (CVASU), the premier said, "The vessel was built aimed at conducting research on how to increase the production of fish and other aquatic species in lakes of the localities particularly the Kaptai Lake."
The prime minister asked the authorities concerned to take measures in preserving breeding grounds and sanctuary for the fishes alongside ensuring diversification in fish production. Separate videos were screened on the four development schemes at the function.
Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni, CHT Affairs Minister Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing and State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak were present on the dais while former home minister Advocate Sahara Khatun and Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury, among others, witnessed the event.
PM's Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman moderated the function while Principal Coordinator on the SDG Affairs at the PMO Md Abul Kalam Azad, PMO Secretary Sajjadul Hassan and PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim, were also present at the function.