The government is planning to build a new diplomatic zone in Dhaka's Purbachal area due to a shortage of land in Gulshan and Baridhara diplomatic zones, said Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen yesterday.
"Necessary coordination with the authorities, including Rajuk and the Ministry of Housing and Public Works, is under process in this regard," Momen informed the parliament.
He said this in reply to queries from a lawmaker. His answer was tabled at the onset of the day's sitting.
Currently, 10 foreign embassies have applied to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for plots to set up their missions. In particular, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Oman, Kuwait, Myanmar and Afghanistan have requested for plots since opening their diplomatic missions in Bangladesh.
Moreover, there are indications that those among the 50 foreign missions in Dhaka that are not using the allocated or purchased plots may also be interested in getting land, said Momen.
Several embassies and high commissions have demanded for land in Baridhara diplomatic zone to move all their offices there. But the shortage of land in the area is an important factor in this regard, the minister said. The current diplomatic zones -- Gulshan and Baridhara -- do not have enough land to meet the demand.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh missions across the world do not have any legal desk to provide legal aid to expatriate workers, Momen said while answering queries of another MP.
The Bangladesh missions, however, provide all types of legal assistance to migrant Bangladeshis in case of any unexpected problem, he added.
He said the government provides fund to the missions abroad in cases where they need to help Bangladeshi nationals in jail or facing other problems.
Giving example, Momen said recently the foreign ministry has provided legal help to Bangladeshis detained in Kolkata and Assam in India.