Category Archives: News/Events

Hardinge Bridge- Celebration of 100 years

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Photo: Hardinge bridge at  Pabna

Physical work of the 1.8-km Hardinge Bridge had started in 1909 and completed 1915, bridge was partially damaged during the Liberation War, but Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took initiatives to reopen it. The bridge, runs between the railways stations Bheramara and Paksey in Pabna, was named for Viceroy of India, Lord Hardinge.

The construction on the bridge had begun on 1910 under the British Railway Department and it took two years to complete. British Engineer Mr. Gayle was in charge of the bridge’s construction. The first train moved on the bridge on January 1, 1915 as an engineering test while the bridge was officially inaugurated by Lord Hardinge on March, 4 that year. Recently in Pabna, the one hundred year anniversary of the historic bridge was observed acknowledging the architectural genius that went into constructing the bridge a hundred years ago.

On august 22, 2015 Hardinge bridge  centenary has been celebrated. International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) and Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) jointly arranged a function on the occasion at a programme in a city hotel. Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith and Railways Minister Mazibul Hoque spoke at the function held with professor Dr Jamilur Reza Choudhury in the chair. Professor Dr K Nogami of Tokyo Metropolitan University also spoke at the function, attended by delegates from various countries. Architect Kazi Anisuddin Iqbal, Director, FPD (Forum for Physical Development) attended the program.

Annual conference of Center for Urban Studies (CUS) on “Recent Researches on Urbanization of Bangladesh”

On 16 May, 2015 Center for Urban Studies (CUS) held an Annual conference along with the celebration for completing 43 rd anniversary of their  journey as a non-profit research and training organization. The annual conference was held on “Recent Researches on the Urbanization of Bangladesh”. The young researchers and scholars from universities and research organizations were invited to contribute papers based on their recent research and/or theses for presentation in the Conference. The program was held in Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Building Auditorium and about 16 papers on urbanization prospect of Bangladesh were presented there. It was a lively and very interesting arrangement for the young researchers and future pioneers of Bangladesh.

Nasira Karim Audhuna, Research Associate, Forum for Physical Development of Bangladesh; Email-fpdbd.info@gmail.com 

 

ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE : OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH IN CONSTRUCTION SECTOR

Construction activities have been increasing day by day in all over Bangladesh. Size of projects is also becoming larger and involvement of manpower in this sector is very high. Construction technology is also changing, technical knowledge is increasing. Unfortunately, numbers of occupational hazards are also increasing which ideally should have a reverse effect. i.e., the more technology is upgraded the risk factors should have been reduced. It has been observed that our workers are not properly trained about the safe working procedures, even the professionals are found unaware of safety requirements. In recent time some devastating accident occurred in different projects which concerned our citizens. Realizing this crisis, Forum for Physical Development of Bangladesh has arranged a series of Round Table Conferences on “Occupational Safety and Health in Construction Sector” with participation of relevant professionals. The main focus of these Round Table Conferences will be awareness building on construction safety.

Author: Nasira Karim Audhuna, Research Associate, Forum for Physical Development of Bangladesh; Email: fpdbd.info@gmail.com.bd

For more and detail description of each conferences please go through the following links

ROUND TABLE CONFERENCES ON RENEWAL PROSPECT OF RURAL HABITAT

Forum for Physical Development (FPD) has started its journey to represent the idea of professionals in front of general citizen with a social commitment. This non- profitable organization destined to create a useful platform for the Professionals who want to contribute to the development of the country. FPD collects the ideas and comments of different professionals on different topics through Discussions, Seminars, and Lectures and make available for the Policy makers of the country and also publish them for the concerned citizens. In the words of Dr. Toufiq. M. Seraj, Chairman of FPD, “Our main aim is to create a platform in where the skilled, experienced and qualified people from multi-disciplined professions can represent their acquired knowledge towards the general people.”Also, Architect Anisuddin Iqbal Executive Director of FPD,  “In that case, we will do a publication by accumulating the information found on several round table conferences focusing the most significant subjects. And also, identifying some strategies to solve the problem, we will encourage the policy-makers.”

Recently, FPD was working on “Renewal Prospect of Rural Habitat in Bangladesh”. The mentioned topic was taken up as it needs vivid discussion and should involve professionals from diverse disciplines. To collect ideas on this regard and accumulate solutions from different point of view four round table conferences had been organized by FPD. Experts and Professionals have been invited to share their opinions so that new solution can come out. The idea of these conferences was to contribute in the National Housing Policy of Bangladesh by providing some noticeable policy guideline regarding resettlement of rural housing. According to Dr. Toufiq. M. Seraj, “You know that National Housing Policy is still not implemented. We will try to formulate multi-sector policy guideline through this forum and publish that. Our present discussion on Renewal prospect of rural habitat is not only a single sector issue. Utility services, disasters, environment etc are related with this.”

Professional opinion regarding the resettlement of rural habitat was, it is a very important issue that should be taken under immediate consideration. In their point of view, it is necessary to renew the rural settlement to discourage unplanned and rapid urbanization. So, it is required to make the villages more livable. There are so many positive outcomes regarding this prospect along with its upcoming urgent need. It has been raised in the conferences that, in every year, about 1% to 2% cultivable land is decreasing in Bangladesh due to building housing in rural areas.  Also, employment opportunities are declining in villages. So it is high time to think about the betterment of rural people. In addition, if employment opportunities can be provided in the rural places then rural to urban migration can be restricted that will help to lessen extra pressure on city life. Overall, if resettlement can be initiated in rural areas of Bangladesh so many noticeable possible outcomes will take place in the development of the country. For example, change will come in lifestyle of the rural people; next generation will follow the way of new life, national economic growth and living standard of people hoped to be enhanced than in present.

At the end of these four round table conferences some important issues have generated regarding the renewal prospect of rural habitat. At first, the concept that had attracted almost everyone was the Concept of “Compact Township (CT)”. Professor Dr. Selim Rashid, University of Illinois, U.S.A., gave the idea of Compact Township in the first conference. According to him CT should be a properly planned residential area containing planned housing, apartment, hospital, school, college, shops, rural industries, local government administrative body and other civic facilities. Again, it was also being emphasized that it has to be kept in mind that Compact Township should not disturb the harmony of rural lifestyle.

For compact township (CT) to be initiated first and foremost thing is to find a suitable location. Several recommendations have been derived thought the round table conferences regarding this matter.  Growth centers in rural areas were given priority in terms of choosing the location for CT. It has been raised in the discussions that that compact towns will be established focusing significant Hut-Bazars or where the infrastructures have already been improved with connection to well-designed roads and good rail transportation system. Also, it has been said that CTs have to be build above the flood level. This two issues were considered as if there will proper communication and transportation system it will be possible to build good urban-rural linkage  and development of CT above flood level will reduce the extra cost that will generate from disaster preparedness. Also, professional were emphasized on using the locally available material i.e. bamboo, fence, tin, pale etc for the construction of building in CT. In addition they emphasized on

Creating employment opportunities in CTs was one of the major concerns of the professionals.  It has been said in the conferences that, there would be economics of scale in CTs like other towns. Small business organizations would be developed there; in parallel way, small industries would be grown spontaneously. It was raised through discussions that regional production based products and agricultural industry can be encouraged to establish in rural areas.  Income of the rural people can be increased by cooperative societies in agriculture, livestock, poultry and fishery. Professionals present in the conferences also emphasized on education development for transforming agro based rural society to modernized community. Again, actions should be taken to protect small farmers from being landless. It has been said in the discussion that in village, every house should have own income generating source like Srilanka where each household has its own income source. It has also been raised in the discussions that garments industries can be decentralized towards Rangpur or Kurigram in where ‘Monga’ affected people live so that new income sources can be initiated there. Overall, the villages have to be self-sustained in terms of external environment, societal structure and economic increment.

Several environmental aspects have been considered in respect to resettlement of rural habitat.  For instance, professional said that sustainable habitat has to be ensured keeping harmony in connection with local climate and environment, agriculture and electricity production might be ensured through solar energy. Also, it has been raised bio-gas can be produced through waste management process. Environment friendly waste management should be ensured for every family. In addition they suggested, bio-gas can also be formed from the wastes of domestic ducks and hens. Main fact is that, it should be kept in mind that bio-diversity should not be changed due to housing resettlement. Several land management and administrative issues have also been focused during the discussions. Professionals emphasized on ensuring the creation of effective local government to deal with local problems. They said that to increase local resilience land can be redistributed among the landless people through the land conservation and this decisions will be made through local government.

Professional present in the conferences also emphasize on gathering local people’s opinion before taking any initiative for the resettlement. They said that, resettlement of rural housing can be a successful step if active participation of local people and quality of life standard can be ensured. According to them, rural population is self sufficient to face the natural calamities such as flood, cyclone etc in the light of experience of older people. So having followed the knowledge, experience and strategy of local people, rural housing has to be developed. So at first, opinion of local people should be taken.

Some major constrains regarding the implementation of the projects has also been discussed in the conferences. They consider that, though the idea of Compact Township sounds good but it will be difficult to execute as motivation local people will not be a easy task. People will not leave the habitat where they are living for generations. For this, at first it is necessary to select the target group and make them aware of the projects. Again, one of the major obstacles for such initiative can be the responsibility distribution and raising awareness of rural people. In addition, it is a major problem that there is no sufficient khas land except forest and char area. It will be a difficulty while acquiring land for rural resettlement. Rural people would not agree to give up their traditional values and inherited land. So, planners, policy maker and other governing bodies have to work in root level and government has to give subsidy in different aspect and also it has to use its remittance in this sector.

Author: Nasira Karim Audhuna, Research Associate, Forum for Physical Development of Bangladesh; Email: fpdbd.info@gmail.com

For more and the detail description of each conferences go to the following links.

 

5TH Round Table Discussion: EARTHQUAKE RISK MITIGATION IN BANGLADESH

In the context of unplanned development and risky buildings construction, it was necessary to discuss earthquake issue in order to inform the general people about the risk. Forum for Physical Development of Bangladesh (FPD) and Bangladesh Earthquake Society (BES) came together to arrange a series of round table conferences on different aspects of earthquake. Out of the five predefined round table conferences, the fifth conference was held on 21th October, 2010 at Rafflesia Hall. The conference was presided by Professor Dr. M. Shamim Z. Bosunia and moderated by Executive Director, FPD, Architect Kazi Anisuddin Iqbal. The list of the participants attended the conference is as follows; Continue reading 5TH Round Table Discussion: EARTHQUAKE RISK MITIGATION IN BANGLADESH

4TH Round Table Discussion: EARTHQUAKE RISK MITIGATION IN BANGLADESH

Recently several newspapers published some primary steps for preparedness for earthquake and risk of Earthquake. But expert’s opinion regarding present condition and our steps to encounter earthquake in Bangladesh has not been clearly published. In that context, FPD organized a series of five round table discussions jointly with Bangladesh Earthquake Society (BES) to convey the opinion of expert professionals of different walks of the society in the context of earthquake condition and safety measures for earthquake in Bangladesh. The fourth round table discussion was regarding “Earthquake Risk Mitigation in Bangladesh” Continue reading 4TH Round Table Discussion: EARTHQUAKE RISK MITIGATION IN BANGLADESH

3RD Round Table Discussion : SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF EARTHQUAKE IN BANGLADESH

Allow me to start our Round Table Discussion on Earthquake risk in Bangladesh. This is 3rd session of our series discussion on this issue. You all know Earthquake has become an important topic of talk in our country. Recent two shakes made us more anxious than ever. We have noticed lot of publicity by electronic printed media. Different angle of thoughts came out from professionals/ experts which sometimes differed a lot from each other. I am afraid, such differences made our citizens more anxious. This is the ground for FPD to launch this series, which we like to carry on and conclude through a scientific seminar and publication. I like to invite all of you present here to put your opinions free and frankly so that we can get some in-depth knowledge about this issue. I ask our moderator Kazi Anisuddin Iqbal to let start the session. Continue reading 3RD Round Table Discussion : SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF EARTHQUAKE IN BANGLADESH

2nd Round Table Discussion : PRESENT CONDITION AND PREPAREDNESS IN RESPECT OF EARTHQUAKE IN BANGLADESH

Forum for physical development (FPD) and Bangladesh Earthquake society (BES) jointly arranged a series of round table discussions on September 29, 30 and October 2 and October 3, 2009. The second round table discussion was regarding Present Condition and Preparedness in respect of Earthquake in Bangladesh. Continue reading 2nd Round Table Discussion : PRESENT CONDITION AND PREPAREDNESS IN RESPECT OF EARTHQUAKE IN BANGLADESH

1ST Round Table Discussion : MAGNITUDE & INTENSITY OF EARTHQUAKE IN BANGLADESH

Recently several newspapers published some primary steps for preparedness for earthquake and risk of Earthquake. But experts opinion regarding present condition and our steps to encounter earthquake in Bangladesh has not been clearly published. In that context, FPD organized a series of five round table discussions jointly with Bangladesh Earthquake Society (BES) to convey the opinion of expert professionals of different walks of the society regarding context of Bangladesh in earthquake and safety measure measures for earthquake in Bangladesh. Continue reading 1ST Round Table Discussion : MAGNITUDE & INTENSITY OF EARTHQUAKE IN BANGLADESH