Haiti -- A Lesson
Haiti lies in ruins. The whole world looks on in horror at the aftermath of the earthquake with thousands of people either dead or missing. People are so scared that they refuse to sleep under roofs and prefer to reside under the open sky at the moment. This poor nation has been affected so severely by the earthquake that it is impossible to conduct rescue operations properly. Due to the intense magnitude of the shocks all the high rises have collapsed and roads are blocked. Haiti's earthquake is a red flag for a country like Bangladesh. Though Bangladesh is situated in an earthquake prone region, it doesn't have the required preparation and the kind of equipment needed to face such a catastrophe. Moreover, big cities like Dhaka and Chittagong are in great danger right now as most of the high rises don't comply with the necessary building code and other technical requirements as prescribed by the geologists. Our capital city is a place of almost 1.3 crore people who are in grave danger along with the rest of the country. We should keep in mind that a catastrophe like an earthquake doesn't hit frequently but when it hits, it is like a doomsday for the affected inhabitants and it may take more than a decade to recover.
Reports have emerged that in 2008, geologists and seismologists warned the Haitian government of the possibility of an earthquake, but no action was taken. In Bangladesh, we had a flurry of activity last year after a few mild shocks, but all of that seems to have died down. Haiti proves that there is no room for complacency. The disaster management plans must be up to date, and the recommendations of experts implemented without delay. Civil society must keep up the pressure on the government to implement disaster preparedness measures.
Md. Anisuzzaman Sarker
A New Year's Package Deal
I absolutely agree with Aasha Mehreen Amin regarding the article “A New Year's Package Deal”. I would like to add a few more things to it. We all make mistakes and we need to learn from them. We need to be positive and optimistic in our lives. We should take note of our weaknesses and appreciate the good deeds and reject the bad ones. Regrets minimise the sprit of good will. The new decade will undoubtedly throw many more challenges our way. I strongly believe that if we remain true to our principles and trust in the Almighty and His guidance we can surely overcome any crisis in our lives. He is our creator and He will save us from any danger. We should go back to our religion and values and keep trying to live our lives with dignity.
Rubaida W Sharmin
Violating the “Three-Lane System” in Dhaka City
The present government introduced the three-lane system in Dhaka city late last year to reduce the horrible traffic congestion in the city. The city dwellers thought that their driving woes would be eased but the result is completely the opposite. Due to poor enforcement of traffic rules, partial implementation of plans and reckless driving it can't be properly implemented. Traffic policemen have again started controlling vehicular movement manually ignoring the automated system at most intersections. On the other hand, the authorities did not install the required number of automated signals at over 600 points. Almost all the busy roads and areas remain jam-packed with hundreds of stranded vehicles due to reluctance of the traffic men in taking action against lane violators, illegal parking and obstruction of vehicular movement.
Although the overall traffic situation marked slight improvement last month following introduction of lane system on major roads in the capital, over the last few days it was seen that reckless driving continued everywhere on the city roads. Bus drivers collected and dropped passengers at will. We observed poor enforcement of traffic rules and absence of traffic monitoring activities, which led to horrific traffic gridlock.
It is regrettable that each and every plan to ease our commuting woes seems to fall flat due to lack of insight and efficient implementation.
Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP)
Research at Our Universities
University is the highest centre for the students to develop their creativity and versatility. At the heart of the University's mission is a fundamental moral commitment to intellectual discovery and development. Students must benefit through research-led teaching. Our creativity and spirit of discovery should deliver cultural, social, economic and political benefits to the community. These days research is conducted in an increasingly globalised context, where interdisciplinary engagement, international collaboration and industry partnerships are highly valued.
However, the question must be asked whether such an atmosphere exists at the universities in our country.? University life must spark a thirst for knowledge in the student. But unfortunately there is a lack of emphasis on research at many of our universities. We need to remember that investing in luxurious buildings alone cannot ensure the standard of a university -- only research activities in various disciplines can do that. Will our academicians and policymakers pay attention to this area in order to turn our universities into centres of excellence?
Department of English
International Islamic University Chittagong
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