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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

BD govt sign $140m loan agreement with IDB for Padma Bridge

UNB, Dhaka, 24 May : After the World Bank and Japan, Bangladesh government signed another loan agreement of US$ 140 million with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Tuesday morning to finance the Padma Multipurpose Bridge (PMB) Project.
The agreement was signed at the Ministry of Finance in presence of Finance Minister AMA Muhith and visiting IDB president Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali.

IDB will provide US$ 140 million to finance the construction of the PMB project with the approach roads and toll plaza.
Of the estimated cost of US$ 2.97 billion for the country’s longest 6.15 km Padma Bridge project, the government has already signed a US$ 1.12 billion credit agreement with the World Bank on 28 April and another US$ 415 million credit agreement with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on 18 May.
The Padma Bridge will connect the southwestern region with the rest of the country.
IDB was the first among the co-financiers (Abu Dhabi Fund, ADB, JICA and World Bank) of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge to approve financing for this mega-project that will help to boost the economy of Bangladesh and improve road connectivity in the region. Photo : Ashraful Alom tito

Bangladesh National vitamin 'A' plus campaign on 29 May
Dhaka, 24 May : The Bangladesh national vitamin 'A' plus campaign will be observed across the country on 29 May with a view to preventing blindness including night-blindness among the children.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to open the Vitamin A plus campaign at Ganabahaban in the morning of 28 May.
On this day, all the children aged between 1-5 years will be given one high-powered vitamin A capsule (200000 IU) and all other children aged between 2-5 years to be fed with one anti-worm (Elbendazol-400mg) tablet.
Besides, for the first time all the children aged between 6-11 months in Satkhira, Barisal, Gopalganj, Comilla and Moulvibazar districts and Rajshahi and Barisal city corporation areas will be fed with one high powered blue coloured vitamin A capsule (100000 unit) on an experimental basis this year.

Thunderstorm kills five including 4 children in Malda district
Malda, 24 May : Five persons including four children were killed and thousands of houses were damaged in Malda when a thunderstorm ravaged the district on Monday.
Harischandrapur II, Chanchal I, Kaliachak II & III, and Manikchak blocks were the worst affected.

Bangladeshi singer regales with Rabindranath's songs...
Pallab Bhattacharya, New Delhi, 24 May : A "jugalbandi" of Rabindranath Tagore's songs and their recitation may sound simple but its innovative presentation here made it stand out in the midst of activities marking the poet's 150th birth anniversary.
Eminent Bangladeshi Rabindrasangeet singer Dr Chanchal Khan and leading recitation artist Dahlia Ahmed took the dais n Delhi for the first time and their rendition and recital of Tagore's songs for one and half hours in front of a packed audience recently made it a memorable one.
The programme was not directed at just Bengali- speaking people. A sizable presence of non-Bengali speaking people among the audience in the Maitree Hall of Bangladesh High Commission was also drawn into the event as both Dr Chanchal Khan rendered the English versions of Tagore's songs and explained the theme, background and context of the songs. He was ably supported by Dahlia. File Photo : STAR

Anindya Mitra to be new Advocate General of West Bengal
Kolkata, 24 May : Barrister Anindya Mitra is set to be the new Advocate General of West Bengal, while senior advocate Debasish Roy is to take over as Government Pleader.
Anindya Mitra will succeed Balai Roy as the new Advocate General of the state, officials said here. The file relating to his appointment has been sent to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her clearance, following which a gazette notification will be made, they said.

Construction of school-cum-cyclone shelters to begin in June in Sidr hit areas, IDB President witnesses deals signed with contractors
Dhaka, 24 May : The construction of about 100 school-cum-cyclone shelters will begin next month in the countries Southwestern areas where the devastating cyclone Sidr hit in November 2007 leaving thousands of people dead.
Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will provide the fund from a donation made by an anonymous philanthropist soon after the Sidr hit the area.
The charity donor entrusted a total of US$ 130 million (about Tk 910 crore) to the IDB with a condition that his name will never be disclosed. The IDB sponsored a special programme titled “Fael Khair Programme for Relief of Cyclone Sidr Victims in Bangladesh to implement the project in two components.
Photo : UNB
Lightning kills seven in Malda and South 24 Parganas dists
Malda, Kolkata, 24 May : Seven persons, including five teenagers, died and five others injured after being struck by lightning in separate incidents in Malda and South 24 Parganas districts, police said today.
Four of them, including a woman, died after being hit by thunderbolt in Baisnabnagar, Manikchak, Englishbazar and Kaliachak blocks of Malda yesterday, they said. Two others, from Gajole and Manickchak blocks of the district, who were admitted to hospital with serious burn injuries succumbed this morning, police said, adding that the injured were treated at different health centres.
In South 24 Parganas'' Dholakat area, 54-year-old farmer Bhim Haldar, who was working in his field, died on the spot after being hit by lightning.
The thunderstorm damaged mango orchards, spread over an area of 2,250 hectares in Malda, a horticulture officer said. The total loss in mango cultivation was estimated at Rs 2.41 crore, the officer added.

USAID supports move to conserve Sundarbans Eco-System
UNB, Dhaka, 24 May : The Sundarbans is the jewel in the crown of Bangladesh’s protected area system, said Denise Rollins of USAID, at a workshop in the city today.
The Mission Director for United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was speaking at the workshop organized by the Government of Bangladesh to discuss ways the government, donor partners and the private sector can work together to conserve the wetlands and forests of Bangladesh, particularly in the Sundarbans.

In her remarks, Rollins said, “The Sundarbans is also the essence of ‘co-management,’ which brings together different government agencies, development partners, the NGO community, and more than one million Bangladeshis living on the Sundarbans borders striving to save their environment.”
As part of the USAID-funded Integrated Protected Area Co-Management (IPAC) program, the workshop was organized to create a platform for different stakeholders working in the Sundarbans to share their activities and experiences and to encourage collaboration and coordination in conserving nature where possible.
The US Government, through USAID, has supported co-management for conservation in Bangladesh for more than a decade, and currently provides $13 million through this program to conserve 25 protected forest areas and wetlands of Bangladesh through co-management - a concept that brings together the community and the government to promote transparency and accountability in conserving and managing these important natural resources.
The US Government, through USAID, administers programs in five key areas in Bangladesh: Improving health and pre-primary education; creating income opportunities for rural poor; supporting good governance; enhancing food security; and strengthening disaster preparedness and providing emergency assistance following natural disasters.
Since 1971, the U.S. Government has provided over $5.8 billion in assistance to Bangladesh, said a release of US Embassy in Dhaka.