Nalitabari people at high risk of arsenic

Alternative sources of water a dire need
Nalitabari people at high risk of arsenicThe people in Nalitabari upazila of Sherpur are at dangerous risk of arsenic contamination.
There are about 2.5 lakh people
in 12 unions of the upazila.
A considerable number of these people are at high risk of arsenic.
There are a total of 22,150 tube wells in the upazila.
Of them, water of 7,000 tube wells was examined and presence of arsenic was found in 1022 of them.
The arsenic contaminated tube wells were marked with red sign and those free from arsenic were marked with green.

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Unauthorised fishing puts existence of Muria Haor in jeopardy

The existence of Muria Haor in Biyanibazar of Sylhet is now under threat for lack of a fish sanctuary along the vast water body, once bountiful with fish resources.
Unabated fishing through use of current nets and mosquito nets not only disturbs fish breeding in the haor but it has also denuded the water body of majority of the fish species once it had.
Once upon a time, the haor was home to at least 115 species of fish, most of which are now absent here.
Several spices of fish

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A teacher with a difference

Bahaz takes no day-off, no leave for 33 years
Md Bahaz Ali Fakir, an English teacher of a secondary school, has not taken even a day’s leave for the past 33 years, setting an example of great devotion to his profession.
Teaching at Shaheed Smrity High School and College in Tangail’s Madhupur upazila, Bahaz, 55, has been off work only on weekends and national holidays over the years, despite many difficulties along the way.
Headmaster of the school Mohammad Bazlur Rashid Khan said

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Deforestation causes embankment erosion in Sitakunda

Rampant deforestation on the coastal green belt at Sonaichhari union of Chittagong’s Sitakunda upazila for establishing ship breaking yards is causing the breakdown of
the union’s embankment.
Subsequently seawater from the Bay of Bengal is inundating the adjoining villages at every high tide, causing immense suffering to the residents.
Nityananda Jaladas, resident of one of the villages, Ghoramara, said the whole coastal area was a big government forest

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Eid brings no joy to the poor

In Arabic Eid means ‘festivity’. Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest religious festival of the Muslims, is observed after a month-long ‘siam’ (fasting). Although Eid is all about feast and festivity, it does not carry the same meaning for the poor and homeless.
On the day of Eid, people traditionally wear new clothes, eat delicacies, and enjoy the day with their family and friends, while many poor people in the country virtually starve on the day. Wearing of new clothes on the Eid day is a daydream for them.
Jamila Khatun, who lives

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Lawachhara National Park at risk

The eco-system of Lawachhara National Park in Moulvibazar is at risk because of indiscriminate destruction of forest resources, a heavy rush of visitors even into the deep forest and lack of proper maintenance and scarcity of wild animals.
The district administration has already expressed concern about the worrying state of the environment protection system in the park.
In a letter to the forest and environment ministry, the district administration made a number of recommendations to

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Kuakata boat has historical value

Says expert
A French-born Bangladeshi expert on local traditional boats has examined an ancient boat that surfaced from beneath the sandy beach in Kuakata recently and said it was a national heritage bearing ethnic history.
“I have never seen such an unusual traditional boat,” Yves Marre told The Daily Star after examining it on the beach Monday afternoon. “It is important to preserve it now, as it is lying at an insecure state,” he said. Marre initiated a traditional boat museum under the banner “Protection

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Rubber dam inflates hope in Dinajpur

An inflatable rubber dam being built on the Atrai river in Dinajpur will be completed by the end of this year, facilitating irrigation using surface water instead of underground water as well as fish cultivation.
The dam — 135-metre long and four-metre high– will create a 44- km long reservoir in the river that usually dries up in the lean season.
In this of type of dams, cylindrical rubber fabrics are placed across channels, streams and weir or dam crests to raise the upstream water level when inflated. Agriculture

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Fishes spawn in Halda amid rain

Hundreds of spawn collectors with their boats and nets started collecting released eggs of indigenous species of carps from the Halda river in Chittagong for the second time this year, ignoring incessant shower yesterday morning.
The Halda, which flows through Hathazari and Raozan upazilas, is one of the world’s major natural sweet water fish breeding spots.
It is also the major source of carp fishes like ruhi, katol, mrigel and kalbaush in the country.
Heavy rain accompanied

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Newly built bridge undergoes repair well before handover

Most of the upper surface of a nearly completed bridge over the Buri Teesta River at Soillaghat in Dimla upazila under the district had to undergo repair as the contractor used low quality materials for the construction work, said officials.
The Local Government and Engineering Department (LGED) in the district decided to construct the 171-metre-long and 5.12-metre-wide bridge over the Buri Teesta River at a cost of Tk 4.14 crore to facilitate easier road communication between Dimla and Domar upazilas in the

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‘Protect Jadunath’s palace complex from grabbers’

Locals formed a human chain on Friday urging the government to take necessary steps for protection of the historic palace of Raja Jadunath Roy at Balasur in Bhagyakul under Sreenagar upazila.
An NGO named ‘Agrasar Bikrampur Foundation’ took ‘illegal’ lease of 5.71 acres of land at the archaeological site and causing damage to its heritage in the name of building a museum and cultural complex there, said speakers at the programme.
They demanded cancellation of the

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Lathi Khela to celebrate Tangail Free Day

Lathi Khela (A traditional Bangladeshi martial art form) was held in Tangail town last Sunday to celebrate Tangail Free Day (December 11). Tangail district was freed from the Pakistani Armed Forces on this day during the Liberation War.
Lathial Mohammad Azhar and his group from Aloa Bhabani village, Tangail staged a performance at Shaheed Memorial Municipal Park in the town. The group performed various acts like Baoi Jhak (group fight), Nori Bari (mock fight with sticks), Fala Khela and Dao Khela (mock

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Cheers for a noble bid

Mid-day meal introduced in school set up by day labourers
It does not matter how old the saying, “Unity is strength”, is. The truth is that the outcome of a collective effort has never lost its glory. Do you remember the primary school that was set up by 17 enthusiastic day labourers in a remote area of Madhupur in Tangail district ? Well, it finally did manage to draw the government’s attention.
The Uttar Aronkhola Non-Government Primary School yesterday introduced free lunches for its 228 students under the government’s feeding programme for students

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Manpower crisis defers launch of SBMCH ICU

The launch of two-storey 80-bed intensive care and casualty unit of Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital was deferred due to acute manpower crisis that hit the hospital unit after its inauguration in April 2011, said the hospital authorities.
The SBMCH director, Abdur Rashid, said that the unit with modern equipment was set up to ensure emergency healthcare for the patients with critical injuries from traffic accidents and other casualties.
The unit, during its inception, had 4 wards, 2 operation theatres, a

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Tale of a torchbearer

Visually-impaired ex-cotton mill worker runs free education centre for children in Tangail
Rafiqul Bari indeed knows what it means to see nothing. He was born with normal organs, but a slight stomach problem at the age of two changed his life forever. Wrong treatment by a quack made him blind.
So to ease a little the heavy burden weighing down physically or mentally challenged children in life, he has set up a centre to give them the basic education and vocational training for free.
Founded in 2003 at Ghatail in Tangail, the Welfare Centre for Challenged

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Too old yet allowance eludes her

Country observes International Day of Older Persons
International Day of Older Persons, observed across the world yesterday, holds very little meaning for centenarian Asironnesa of Arpara village in Magura sadar upazila.
Several efforts made towards obtaining an old-age or widow allowance for Asironnessa are yet to bear fruit. Asiron is physically too weak to move from one place to another and is unable to remember the date of her impoverished husband Hanif Biswas’s death. Biswas’ death left her trying to bring up a 10-year-old son, Ershad Ali Biswas,

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Doctor for the poor

Kiwi living his dream in Bangladesh, providing healthcare to the helpless for close to 30 years
Thousands of miles away from home, someone is living up to his childhood promise: helping the helpless.
In a rare example of love and sacrifice, he has been treating poor patients in Madhupur reserved forest area in Tangail for 28 years almost for free.
Dr Edric Baker, a citizen of New Zealand, set up a healthcare centre at Kailakuri village of the union in 1983 and has since been giving treatment and medicine to the locals.
For checkup, he charges

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Experts for microgrids to ease power woes

As frequent power outages and government inability to increase electricity production have gripped mass psyche, one element is, perhaps, eluding all eyes. That is  delay in adoption of a digital power monitoring system is costing the country hard, which could have otherwise saved up to 500 Mw every day. Power generation, on a daily basis, now stands at between 4,000-4,500Mw. In the absence of an advanced monitoring system, power theft, without paying proper premiums on current rates, has become a common occurrence. Power company employees, themselves,

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World Indigenous Day: Celebration amid commotion

Leaders of the indigenous communities yesterday termed the government a “promise breaker” and vowed to continue movement until their demand of constitutional recognition as “indigenous” is met.
Expressing solidarity with them, rights defender Prof Mizanur Rahman hinted the decision of recognising indigenous people as “tribal” or “ethnic minorities” was wrong. He added the National Human Rights Commission would act as the barrier to implementing any wrong decision.
No effective measures have been taken to implement the Chittagong

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Chitra river rots with jute

A portion of the Chitra river has become seriously polluted, as farmers are rotting jute plants in it.
The pollution that extends some 40km on both sides of the river very badly affected nearly 40,000 people of Narail sadar and Kalia upazilas of the district.
Fishes and other aquatic creatures are dying in hundreds, and their decomposed bodies are making the situation worse for the locals.
Those living by the bank cannot go near the water they were habituated to use for cooking, drinking, washing and bathing until three months ago. The water reeks of dead fish and

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