Five minutes ‘Stabdh Rangpur’; in budget demand for allocation of funds for Teesta

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Rahmatullah Apu

Rangpur Bureau

News Editor

Eati Akter

Sub- Editor

Teesta Save River Save Sangram Parishad has demanded allocation of money in the current budget to implement the Teesta Master Plan with its own funding like Padma Bridge. People from all walks of life held a 5-minute ‘Stabdh Rangpur’ program to meet this demand. On Thursday (June 1) at 11:15 a.m., Chief Adviser of Sangram Parishad and Mayor of Rangpur City Corporation Mostafizar Rahman Mostafa inaugurated the ‘Standing Rangpur’ program. During the inauguration of the current budget session, if money is not allocated for the implementation of the Teesta Master Plan announced by the Prime Minister, the mayor warned of a larger movement and said, “We do not want to see a tug-of-war over the Teesta.” Riverside people do not understand whether India or China will give money. No one has the right to play with the fate of two crore people. The Prime Minister himself has promised to implement the Teesta Master Plan. Projects worth thousands of crores of rupees are being implemented but Rangpur region is not getting any projects, this disparity has to be removed. He also said that if the Padma Bridge can be built with the country’s money, then why not the country’s funding for the implementation of the Teesta Master Plan. So many projects are going on but why is the government not giving only 10 thousand crores for Teesta. While the Teesta Master Plan is the most profitable for the country, if this project is implemented quickly, lakhs of people and thousands of crores of wealth will be saved from erosion and crop loss. This time, if the government does not allocate money in this budget for the implementation of the Teesta Master Plan, then the people of Rangpur will show the government a red card. Nazrul Islam Haqqani, president of Save Teesta River Save Struggle Council, said that every year thousands of people lose everything and become refugees in their own country due to river erosion and floods. Thousands of hectares of cropland are disappearing. There is only one slogan on the faces of the people of the Teesta banks – save the Teesta, save the river, save the farmer’s life, start the Teesta excavation work, implement the master plan quickly. He said that the work of the master plan cannot be suspended while waiting for the Teesta agreement. 3 lakh crores of work is going on in the mega projects of southern region including Dhaka. Although the mega project was accepted on the basis of equality and justice, there was supposed to be a mega project worth 37 thousand crore rupees for two crore people of Rangpur division, but it did not happen. In some years in the annual development program for Rangpur division only 0. 98 percent allocation was retained. One of the goals of the Great Liberation War was to eliminate discrimination. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman fought against death discrimination. But the people of Rangpur have always been victims of discrimination. Meanwhile, at 11:00 PM, the ‘Stabdh Rangpur’ program started with the National Anthem. At that time, he stopped at the place where he was staying, including on both sides of the road. Along with political, social, cultural, voluntary organizations, businessmen, teachers, students, laborers, workers, various professional organizations participated in the program expressing solidarity with this demand. Besides the spontaneous support of people from all walks of life, the demand to save the people of Teesta became stronger. The five-minute ‘Stabdh Rangpur’ program was held at the same time in various upazilas and unions of the division along the Teesta River, including 29 points in Rangpur, said Shafiar Rahman, general secretary of the Teesta Bachao Nadi Bachao Sangram Parishad. The demand for the implementation of 6-point demand with the allocation of funds in the current budget immediately came up for the participation of all, regardless of party affiliation, in the program. At this time, the leaders of the organization urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to implement six demands. Their demands are – 1. Speedy implementation of Master Plan on Teesta River Protection. Completed Teesta agreement with India on the basis of fair share as a common river, construction of reservoirs to maintain the flow of water in the Teesta river throughout the year. 2. Protection of interests of farmers affected by Teesta erosion, flood and drought. 3. Rehabilitation of landless and homeless victims of erosion. 4. Scientific mining for protection of Teesta river, development of farmers cooperatives and agro-based industrial factories to protect the interests of Teesta river and Teesta riverside farmers in the master plan. 5. Establishing pre-river linkages and de-pollution with branches and sub-branches of Teesta River. Navigation resumes. 6. Compensating those affected in the implementation of the master plan and ensuring employment of the people of Teesta Par on priority basis in the proposed project area.

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