The 13,000 acre island has modern amenities, fresh water year-round, a beautiful lake and proper infrastructure and enhanced facilities
Ambassadors and High Commissioners from Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America on Saturday visited Bhasan Char to see the facilities in place for the Rohingyas.
The envoys stationed in Dhaka were invited to participate in a government-led visit to Bhasan Char.
This visit by resident diplomatic envoys followed the UN team’s first visit to Bhasan Char that took place from March 17 to March 20.
The diplomats had an opportunity to see some of the facilities and services on the island.
They met with relocated Rohingyas, authorities, and others living and working there.
There might be a joint media release to be issued on Sunday or Monday based on what the diplomats have seen, a diplomatic source told UNB.
The diplomats returned to Dhaka after 5pm.
The Covid-19 health guidelines set from the Government of Bangladesh were followed during the visit.
The envoys look forward to continuing the dialogue with the Government of Bangladesh on its Bhasan Char project, as well as with the UN and other relevant partners following the visit.
They think further conversations are needed, especially between the Government of Bangladesh and UN to discuss the policy and technical issues in detail.
The government has planned to relocate 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhasan Char to decongest the overcrowded camps in Cox’s Bazar that have temporarily been accommodating nearly a million Rohingyas with thousands more being born each year.
The government said the deteriorating security situation due to prolonged stay of these frustrated people in Cox’s Bazar also compelled the government of Bangladesh to come up with a contingency plan and develop Bhashan Char from its own budgetary allocation.
The government invested more than US $350 million to develop the island.
The 13,000 acre island has modern amenities, fresh water year-round, a beautiful lake and proper infrastructure and enhanced facilities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
These include uninterrupted supply of electricity and water, agricultural plots, cyclone shelters, two hospitals, four community clinics, mosques, warehouses, telecommunication services, a police station, recreation and learning centers, playgrounds, etc.
In contrast to the makeshift structures of the camps in Cox’s Bazar, the accommodation in Bhashan Char is strongly-built with concrete foundation which can withstand natural disasters such as cyclones and tidal waves, said the government.
Super Cyclone Amphan proved the strength of the structures of Bhashan Char, they added.
Contrary to the apprehension of some quarters about the feasibility of the island, Bhashan Char stood firm against the massive storm.
Despite the heightened tidal wave, all 1,440 houses and 120 shelter stations in the island remained unharmed.
The island is connected with the mainland through waterways.