Khaleque wins for AL in Khulna CC
Awami League’s candidate Talukder Abdul Khaleque has been elected the next mayor of Khulna City Corporation, beating his closest rival BNP-blessed aspirant Nazrul Islam Monju by 67,946 votes. The voting was held on May 15 from 8am to 4pm at 289 polling centres across the city, which has 493,107 voters in 31 wards, amid allegations of irregularities and vote rigging. Before all other centres, results had come in from two polling centres where votes were cast through electronic voting machines (EVMs) for the first time on an experimental basis. Khaleque bagged 777 votes at those centres and Monju 710.
Quota demo puts Dhaka traffic to standstill
Demanding immediate gazette notification on abolition of quota system in government jobs, the quota reformists took to the streets again, beginning an indefinite strike at universities and colleges across the country from May 14. In the capital, the protesters blocked the busy Shahbagh intersection for six hours from around 1:00pm, obstructing vehicular movement and causing sufferings to commuters. They left the streets around 7:00pm respecting the assurance from the prime minister, said Nurul Huq Nur, joint convener of Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Adhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad, the platform spearheading the movement. But the indefinite strike at universities and colleges boycotting all academic activities will go on until the gazette notification is published, he said at a press conference at Shahbagh.
Ground gets signals from Bangabandhu-1
Banghabandhu-1 is getting closer to its orbit slot at 119.1 degree east and it is on Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP), said officials concerned. After the successful launch at 2:14am on May 12 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the satellite travelled about 35,700 kilometres from the launch pad as of yesterday evening, said Md Mezbahuzzaman, project director of the Bangabandhu-1 satellite project. “Already, the space ship has started sending signals to the ground stations and it will take another seven to nine days for it to open its wings completely and activate the battery and other equipment,” he told reporters.
Utility tariffs set to rise
The government is going to hike water, gas and electricity prices soon. Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority has decided to increase water prices by 5 percent from July 1 dsespite residents in many neighbourhoods complaining of living with smelly tap water. Dhaka Wasa ran a newspaper ad on May 9 informing the general public that the prices of each unit of water for residential use would be raised to Tk 11.02 from Tk 10.50 while commercial users would have to pay Tk 35.28 instead of the current Tk 33.60. Rising “production and operational costs” and inflation were the reasons why the decision was made, the ad said. Water price was hiked by 22 percent and 18 percent for residential and commercial uses respectively last year. Gas suppliers have requested Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission for gas price hike. They are seeking a 75-percent increase, from Tk 7.39 per cubic metre to Tk 12.95.