378 rohingyas leaves for Bhasan Char after relocation resumes
After a suspension since April due to adverse weather, some 378 Rohingyas have started for Bhasan Char after the government resumed the relocation programme from Wednesday.
A total of seven busses left for Naval Berth in Chattogram at 11am from the transit point of Ukhia College ground, where Rohingyas from different camps started gathering since Tuesday noon.
Later, four more buses carried another 118 Rohingyas to transit camp in BN Shaheen College in the afternoon.
Cox's Bazar Relief and Refugee Repatriation Commissioner Shah Rezwan Hayat said, "In the seventh phase, the first group of Rohingyas left Ukhia this morning but we will have to wait till the day ends to know the exact number of people going to Bhasan Char today."
The relocation process began on Wednesday for the first time since the UNHCR and the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on refugee management in Bhasan Char.
It will continue until next monsoon when the sea goes rough again owing to inclement weather, according to the sources at Cox's Bazar-based Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) office.
Preparations are underway to take more than a thousand Rohingyas from different camps in Cox's Bazar to Chattogram by bus on Wednesday.
Sources in Ukhia Rohingya camp said that the interested Rohingyas, who agreed to relocate after being briefed about the environment and accommodation facilities in Bhasan Char, willingly registered their names with the office in charge of their respective camps.
According to the sources, the response has not been as good as it was after negative propaganda was carried out by many who fled the island. In addition, the untoward suspension in April due to weather and movement limitations has made many families change their minds negatively about relocation to Bhashan Char.
A total of 19,000 Rohingyas have so far been relocated to the Southern island at various phases from last December till April this year.
The government is working to evacuate one lakh Rohingyas residing in different camps in Cox's Bazar to the island.
Under the supervision of the Bangladesh Navy, the government implemented the Bhasan Char Refugee Project at a cost of Tk3, 095 crore.
The infrastructure of 120 cluster villages with an accommodation capacity for one lakh Rohingyas has been built on that 13,000-acre Char land.
Bangladesh is currently hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in camps in Cox's Bazar and Bhasan Char. Most of them came here since August 25, 2017 when the Myanmar military launched a brutal offensive targeting the mainly-Muslim ethnic minority.
The presence of the huge number of Rohingya refugees in the coastal district has put them on a collision course with the locals. Many Rohingyas have allegedly gotten involved in various criminal activities.