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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Westin hotel annexes a public road Sources at Dhaka North City Corporation said the hotel had not got any approval 18-party alliance was ongoing. n Abu Bakar Siddique In reply to a question on whether The Westin, a luxurious hotel in the capital, has been possessing a large portion of the Gulshan Avenue illegally, contributing to the traffic congestion as well as hindering pedestrians’ movement. Authorities of the hotel, which is located just around 100 metres away from Gulshan circle-2, have also set up a temporary stand on the front road to check vehicles carrying their guests. Rehana Parvin said traffic congestion was a common phenomenon in Gulshan area especially at afternoon and morning when classes of most of schools and colleges start and end. The tailback will intensify as the Hotel has possessed a portion of road. Tarique Hasan said not only the Hotel Westin but many others organisations have grabbed roads at different points of the city under the nose of authority concerned, law enforcers should take stern actions against them. Taimur, security and safety officer of the hotel, told the Dhaka Tribune that they had marked the road by rope cordon to ensure security for guests as the blockade sponsored by the BNP-led

they have taken permission from the authority concern to use the road space for their own purpose, he said Dhaka Metropolitan Police had given them permission to use the road. However, Ruhul Amin, deputy commissioner for traffic (Dhaka north), told the Dhaka Tribune that they were not the relevant authority, and could not give permission to anybody to use public spaces. “I am not aware of the issue, but if they do we will take action against them,” he added. Usually, Dhaka City Corporation works as the legal authority to lease anybody, or any organisation, public space for their own purpose – including car parking. An official of the estate department of Dhaka city corporation (north), who preferred to be unnamed, said the Westin had not gotten any approval from the department to use the footpath. In addition, DCC does not have the authority to lease any road to anybody because roads are only for public communications, he added. l

A section of the road, along with the footpath, in front of Westin Hotel in the capital’s Gulshan 2 area is being ‘illegally’ occupied by the hotel authorities. The photo taken yesterday shows road blocks restricting traffic from a section of the road in front of the hotel SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

53,000 die from malnutrition every year in Bangladesh n Tribune Report At least 53,000 children die every year in Bangladesh due to complications related to malnutrition as the country is exposed to the highest rate of child and maternal malnutrition in the world. Moreover, 45% of deaths among the Under-5 children are caused by malnutrition since millions of children suffer from one or more forms of malnutrition, including low birth weight, stunting, underweight and Vitamin A and Iodine deficiencies. It is malnutrition that puts the children into a state of compulsion to usually suffer from psychological impairment and different forms of mental disorders that appear as threats to their future development. According to statistics, 41% of the Under-5 children in Bangladesh are stunted, 36% of them underweight in terms of age and 16% are underweight compared to their height. Among them, 51% are suffering from anemia. On the other hand, 42% adolescent girls in Bangladesh are exposed

to malnutrition obviously due to their economic insolvency and, to some extents, lack of awareness. Malnutrition travels from generation to generation because the malnourished mothers give birth to malnourished babies. If they are girls, these children often become malnourished mothers themselves, and this how the vicious cycle continues.

Girls are more exposed to malnutrition than boys as they (girls) are sometimes deprived of nutritious foods in their families. Bangladesh can overcome the situation if more pragmatic efforts are taken in this regard Nutrition experts said the future generation (children) of Bangladesh is in a vulnerable position on nutritional matters as millions of them are growing onward bearing the curse of malnutrition. However, girls are more exposed to malnutrition than boys as they (girls)

are sometimes deprived of nutritious foods in their families. Bangladesh can overcome the situation if more pragmatic efforts are taken in this regard, the experts said. Statistics revealed that 25% women under 20 year of age, 57% women at the age of 20 and 17% women at the age of 30 become mothers in Bangladesh. Director of Nutrition and Food Safety Centre of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) Tahmid Ahmed said early pregnancy caused many difficulties as both age and weight of the adolescent girls are not conducive to giving birth. As a result, the weight of a baby inside the mother’s womb cannot be increased, Tahmid said, and so the mother has to give birth to an underweight baby which suffers from malnutrition. There is a relation between child marriage and malnutrition. So, child marriage has to be prevented to address the malnutrition issue properly in the country, the ICDDR’B Director said. According to the nutrition experts, Zinc is an essential component for hu-

man body especially for the pregnant women as its deficiency can cause a serious health hazard for the pregnant women and new mothers. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence and is required for proper sense of taste and smell. Daily intake of zinc is required to maintain a steady state because the body has no specialized zinc storage system. Considering the zinc deficiency, Bangladesh has been taking hectic efforts to develop zinc supplement foods to address the zinc deficiency in Bangladesh. Besides, lack of education and awareness is emerging as major impediments to face malnutrition challenges in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, a global initiative styled SUN movement has been launched under the auspices of different front organisations of the United Nations to eradicate malnutrition from the world aiming to build healthy and mentally sound future generations. l

JU Chhatra League leader beats students n JU Correspondent A leader of Jahangir Nagar University’s Chhatra League unit allegedly beat a couple of students as they refused to join the procession in front of Pakistani High Commission yesterday. Enamul Haque Bhuiya Nolok, general secretary of A F M Kamaluddin Hall Chhatra League unit, beat two students— Md Abdullah Al Amin Limon, a second year student of Environmental Science, and Md Abdur Rob, a first year student of Government and Politics – as they refused to go to Dhaka to join the human chain protesting Pakistan’s recent reaction to Quader Molla’s execution. Some students, who wished to remain anonymous, said Enamul beat the duo with a cricket stump in front of the guest room of the dormitory around 1:30pm. They also added that while Enamul

made the attack on the students, some other activists of the party, including hall president Md Al Amin, were present. Students alleged that Chhatra League activists forced junior students of the hall to join the programme, but some of them refused to go to Dhaka amid the countrywide three-day-long blockade imposed by the BNP-led 18-party alliance. Victim Limon said Enamul has beaten him without even asking the reason behind his reluctance to join the programme. Two journalists who work with different media outlets and residents of the hall alleged that Chhatra League leaders also forced them to join the human chain. The university Proctor Md Muzibur Rahman, acknowledged hearing of the incident unofficially, and said he is looking into the matter. l

Safe migration through legal procedure underscored n Our Correspondent, Barisal

People set fire to the national flag of Pakistan at Satmatha in Bogra town yesterday, protesting Islamabad’s reaction to the execution of Quader Molla FOCUS BANGLA

Police arrest two siblings for murder n FM Mizanur Rahaman, Chittagong

Police arrested two siblings in Hathazari upazila, in connection with the killing of a real estate agent, during separates drives in Chittagong early yesterday. The arrested are Shah Alam, 28, and Monir Hossain, 35, sons of Asraf Ali of Sikdarpara area under Hathazari upazila, police sources said. Liakat Ali, officer-in-charge of Hath-

azari police station, told the Dhaka Tribune that a team of police, led by Assistant Superintendent Nizam Uddin, conducted a drive in Dakksin Madarsha under the upazila and arrested Shah Alam around 4:30am. According to the confessional statement of Shah Alam, police apprehended his brother Monir Hossain from Dakksin Burischar in the same upazila with a 9mm pistol, two rounds of am-

munition. One magazine and six machetes were also recovered from Monir’s house. Shah Alam, in his confessional statement before the court, said they had killed Kasru over a land dispute. On November 6, the two brothers slaughtered Amir Kasru, 27, a real estate agent, and dumped his body in a bush in Katakhali under Hathazari upazila of Chittagong. l

Discussants at a programme stressed the importance of assuring the safety and security of migrant workers by maintaining legal procedures with transparency and accountability. Migration is as old as humanity and we live in an era of unprecedented human mobility, the speakers said, so we need to start thinking about it in new, smarter ways. The development organisation Brac, the Barisal district administration, and the employment and manpower office jointly organised the programme at Ashwani Kumar Hall in Barisal city, marking International Migrants’ Day. Md Shohidul Alam, deputy commissioner of Barisal, presided over the discussion with the slogan “avibasir abodan, samunnato desher maan (the contribution of migrants glorify the prestige of the motherland).” It was conducted by Zakir Hossain, field coordinator of the Brac migration pro-

gramme. Nurul Amin, divisional commissioner, was present as chief guest. Demographics, disasters, demand, disparities, dreams and desperation contribute to the migration story. Migrants are often forced to travel to the most dangerous places – shoreline, mountain slope, riverside and deserts, discussants said.  Tightened border surveillance and reduced opportunities for unskilled migrants drive people into the hands of manpower smugglers, whose unscrupulous trade is the fastest-growing sector in the organised crime world. The contribution of migrants to growth and development is enormous, in both their host and home countries, but sadly many have been subjected to exploitation, harassment, abuse and even human trafficking, they observed.  The participants also stated that the lack of awareness puts migrant workers at risks.  The most common forms of exploitation include overwork, monthly income below the minimum

wage, lack of social security and sexual abuse. Speakers emphasised the need for unconditional assistance from embassies, and for recruiting agencies to be transparent and accountable, to achieve the safe migration of manpower and safe repatriation of the workers during crisis periods. They also focused on the essentials of changing migration management,  migration market development, preparations for regional and global events information dissemination and counseling for safe migration. They suggested launching an awareness campaign and comprehensive action plan for the protection of migrant workers, including the revision and application of the legal framework, and the training of migrant workers in labour rights.  Shawkat Ali, deputy director divisional public library, and Jalaluddin, vice president of Islami Bank, were among those who addressed the event. l

Environmental lab inaugurated at Cuet n CU Correspondent Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (Cuet) inaugurated a new laboratory at the campus yesterday, which according to Cuet authorities is the country’s first modernised and technology based “Environmental Lab.” The lab was established at the Architecture department with the  financial assistance of the World Bank’s Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project, said an official press release.

Prof Dr Jahangir Alam, vice-chancellor of Cuet, inaugurated the lab while Prof Mohammed Rafiqul Islam, pro vice-chancellor, was present as a special guest at the inaugural session. Addressing as the chief guest, Prof Jahangir said the lab would be helpful for the students and the researchers in receiving a world class educational facilities. A workshop on “Building Performance Monitoring Tools and Techniques” was held at the lab after the inaugural ceremony.

Different scientific instruments including a laser non-contact thermometer, a pen type digital thermometer, a thermo hydrometer, a data login light meter, a lax meter and an integrating sound level meter would be available at the lab. Among others, Prof Dr Md Saiful Islam, chief of the University Academic Innovation Fund Secretariat, Dr Md Hazrat Ali, dean of the Architecture and Planning faculty, were present at the inaugural programme. l

December 19, 2013  
December 19, 2013