9,000MW power to be imported by 2041
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on September 10 said the government has planned to import 9000 MW electricity from neighbouring countries by 2041 to maintain the country's high economic growth. She was addressing a ceremony marking the inauguration of 500 MW additional power supply from India to Bangladesh through Behrampore-Bheramara interconnection. The two prime ministers along with Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb also launched groundbreaking of Agartala-Akhaura rail link as well as groundbreaking for rehabilitation of Kulaura-Shahbazpur section of Bangladesh Railways through videoconferencing. Referring to her government's success in increasing the power generation capacity, the premier said the capacity has grown to 20,000 MW from 3,200 MW over the past nine and a half years.
Medical board to be formed for Khaleda – Kamal
A medical board will be formed for checking up on BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's health, said Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on September 9. “Her health is being checked regularly. Considering Khaleda Zia's illness, a medical board will be formed with advice from doctors. Her personal physicians will be in the medical board. We will take the next step following their suggestions,” he said. The minister also said government hospitals offer the best treatment, he added. Responding to a query, he said the medical board will be formed immediately but did not mention any specific date. Earlier, BNP leaders requested the home minister to immediately take Khaleda Zia to United Hospital.
Flying into a new chapter
Bangladesh Biman turned over to a new chapter with its brand new Dreamliner taking off for Malaysia on September 5. The Dreamliner comes with state-of-the-art technology that only some top airlines could add to their fleets as yet. But for Biman, it is a case of the cart before the horse. It did not do proper homework on how to best use this long-haul aircraft, even though the plane was ordered 10 years ago. It failed to open up new routes or revive discontinued ones like New York. Biman intends to keep the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur and Dhaka-Singapore routes for the foreseeable future and may add Guangzhou. Akashbeena, christened by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is equipped with inflight entertainment system and onboard Wifi. Biman will allocate 10MB free Wifi for each passenger. Passengers can buy more data if required. Biman has set $200 and $290 fare for return tickets to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, excluding tax and other charges, for the Dreamliner.
Padma bridge work may not finish on time – Obaidul
Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader expressed uncertainty over completion of the Padma bridge construction on schedule on September 9. “The Padma is the most unpredictable river. Although everything is ready, I'm not still sure about timely completion of construction of the bridge," said the minister at a press briefing. “It has become tough to install spans … now it has become a herculean task. The construction work is getting delayed for such uncertainty,” he added. Fifty-three percent work of the project was completed till March, according to the website of the Bridges Division. As per the last revision in January 2016, the total project cost was Tk 28,793 crore. The government in June this year approved additional Tk 1,400 crore for the project taking the total project cost to Tk 30,193 crore.