Metres on Fire!
I am very pleased to read the Star's last cover story on the price hike of electricity. Day by day, the failure of the present government in the power sector is becoming apparent as the price of electricity is getting higher and higher. How can we believe that the cost of electricity has been increased six times in only three years? The unplanned system for power planning is mostly responsible for these price hikes. The government has been setting up many rental power plants, which has made our power sector very dependent on oil. In order to pay for the oil imports, individuals and institutions now have to bear the brunt. Our power plants should run on gas. Otherwise the poorer sections of the population will have to starve to pay the electricity bill. Production will be hampered. To maintain our economic stability, the government should move away from these oil-powered plants to more sustainable solutions.
Writing the Right
I'm writing this email in response to the amazing piece written by Sharbari Ahmed. I absolutely loved it, and most importantly, I could relate with it on so many different levels. It has really inspired me, and frankly speaking, there are very few pieces to date that have inspired me or moved me in any way. I want to convey my share of the many compliments that await her. Keep writing more of these. Now I can look forward to a good Friday.
Thanks to the Star for publishing yet another informative and relevant cover story about the dangers of adulterated food. Most people in our country are oblivious of the food they are eating, but even more unaware of the food they are feeding their children. We are moving away from eating fresh fruits and vegetables to consuming junk and processed food. But then again, what does it mean to eat fresh vegetables in a country where everything is infused with chemicals. If we give up processed foods, is the alternative much better? From fruits to fish, almost everything we buy from the markets has chemicals like formalin, sodium hydrosul-phide, calcium carbide, itu-fen. How do we, as consumers, start a movement for organic food, which can also promote local produce and benefit our small farmers?
The Taj Trouble
There is no doubt that the Taj Mahal constructed in Bangladesh is a joke that has no real resemblance to the original, but something must be said about its popularity. When I first went there, I was overwhelmed to see the sheer number of people who visit the place everyday, especially to the weekends. For a majority of the people who visit the place, it is one of very limited options for entertainment. We all know about the lack of open spaces in Dhaka. What are people supposed to do and go when they want a respite from their busy lives? The government as well as the private sector should pay attention to the demand for tourist attractions and open spaces and cater to the public. We should also do more to preserve the sites that already exist but are run-down and decayed. Only a few kilometres away from the Taj Mahal is the Sonargaon museum. I was very sad to see its state and it seemed that the oldest thing there were from the 19th century. But what of our history before then? Has it all been erased? I urge the authorities concerned to make a real effort to build new sites and to protect the old ones.
Bangladesh became independent in 1971 as a non-communal country. The constitution of our independent nation aimed to build a nation where there will be no communal terrorism. But after 39 years of our independence, we observed a brutal communal terrorism at Cox's bazaar last week. Some miscreants have shattered our non-communal identity by destroying Buddhist temples and statues and setting fires to the houses of minority groups living nearby.
This is not only inhumane but also barbaric. We have violated the secular provisions of our Constitution. If the government fails to bring the miscreants to the book, they will make our country a place of communal terrorism.
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