• Monday, Jan 30, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

1,804 more Rohingyas relocated to Bhashan Char

  • Published at 04:20 am December 29th, 2020

In the first phase, as many as 1,642 Rohingyas were relocated to the island on December 4

Some 1,804 more Rohingyas have arrived at Bhashan Char in Noakhali from the camps in Cox's Bazar in the second phase of the relocation process.

The persecuted Myanmar citizens reached the island in the Bay of Bengal on Tuesday afternoon, after a three-hour journey from Chittagong.

"They arrived here and we welcomed them to their new homes," Commodore AA Mamun Chowdhury, the director of the Bhashan Char Project, told Dhaka Tribune from the island.

"We hope their stay on the island will be much more comfortable than in Cox's Bazar," he added.

Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Earlier in the morning, the Rohingyas left Chittagong by five ships of the Bangladesh Navy, Lt Commander MKZ Shamim, who was supervising the relocation process, told Dhaka Tribune from Chittagong Boat Club.

Escort vessels with armed personnel ensured the safety and security of the Rohingyas and the ships carrying them, said officials.

Also Read- In pictures: Second batch of Rohingyas moved to Bhashan Char

Upon arrival, the Rohingyas were taken to a welcome camp after they were disinfected and their temperature was checked, as a safety precaution for Covid-19.

Later, they were taken to a warehouse, Project Director Commodore Chowdhury welcomed them to the island and apprised them of different facilities on the island.

After the briefing, the Rohingyas were sent to the houses allocated to them.

The second batch of Rohingyas will join 1,645 of their fellow citizens, who were relocated to the island on December 4. 

Actually, 1,642 Rohingyas arrived in Bhashan Char on that day. Since then, three babies were born to take the number to 1,645.

Earlier, all the preparations were completed to conduct the relocation under the supervision of the Bangladesh Navy.

The Rohingyas, who have volunteered to be relocated to Bhashan Char developed by the Bangladesh Navy at the cost of Tk3,100 crore, were brought to Chittagong on Monday night, according to officials.

Also Read- 1,642 Rohingyas arrive at Bhashan Char, settle in

Buoyed by the success of the first relocation, the government is continuing its effort to relocate some 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhashan Char in phases to provide them with a better living place. Located 34 kilometres from the mainland, the island under Hatiya upazila of Noakhali surfaced 20 years ago and was never inhabited.

Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Contractors say its infrastructure is like a modern township, with multi-family concrete homes, schools, playgrounds, and roads. It also has solar power facilities, a water supply system and cyclone shelters.

On Monday, Commodore AA Mamun Chowdhury told Dhaka Tribune that they were expecting more than 1,000 people for the relocation purpose in the second phase. 

However, the number is much more than his expectation.

He also said that the response from the Rohingyas with respect to the voluntary relocation was more than expected.

Also Read- Rohingyas satisfied with Bhashan Char facilities

"We had thought that 700 people would come, but now the number has risen as more Rohingyas have volunteered to come," Commodore Mamun added.

To a question, the project director said: "All the Rohingyas relocated earlier are doing well."

Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar district and most of them entered Bangladesh since August 25, 2017, amid a military crackdown on Rohingyas in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, which the UN called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing" and other rights groups dubbed as "genocide."

Bangladesh has been urging the global community to mount pressure on Myanmar for effective repatriation of the Rohingyas.

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