Govt firm to turn ‘Blue Economy’ concept into reality

Hasina opens Coast Guard Training Base in Patuakhali

c-guard pm finalBangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said her government is committed to giving the concept of Bangabandhu’s ‘Blue Economy’ into a reality. Security of maritime resources is important to ensure their proper exploration and optimum use, she said, adding a strong law enforcement agency can ensure security of the marine resources. The Coast Guard is performing the prime role in ensuring the security of the people of the vast maritime and coastal areas, she said while commissioning of the Coast Guard Training Base ‘Agrajatra’ in Patuakhali on the day. Sheikh Hasina hoped that members of Bangladesh Coast Guard will make their constant efforts for safeguarding the maritime and coastal areas of the country. She said the Coast Guard through its sincere service and performance has turned into a symbol of trust and security to the people of coastal area. A smartly-turned out contingent of Coast Guard gave salute to the Prime Minister. As the Prime Minister arrived at the Quarter Deck, State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan and Director General of the Coast Guard Rear Admiral Moqbul Hossain received her. Ministers, PM’s advisers, ambassadors, parliament members, chief of Bangladesh Navy and high civil and military officials were present. The Prime Minister handed over the Commissioning Certificate to the Commandant of the Base Captain Kausarul Alam. The Prime Minister also unveiled name plaque of the base. Due to foggy weather, arrival of the Prime Minister from Dhaka to the coastal district delayed for about three hours. The Prime Minister said the motto of the Coast Guard is ‘Guardian at Sea’. “So the government is making stride for expansion and modernization of the Coast Guard,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh maritime boundary is equivalent to its main land. “The government has established its rights to the maritime resources,” she said. Against the backdrop of the settlement of maritime dispute with neighboring countries, she said, the role of Coast Guard has got more importance. The new training base of the Coast Guard will play an outstanding role in the progress of the Bangladesh Coast Guard, she hoped saying the base will also be important for socioeconomic development of the region. Sheikh Hasina said as training is very crucial for every organization, the government has given priority to training of every force. “Commissioning of the Agrajatra is another step forward towards progress of the Coast Guard,” she said. The Prime Minister said International Maritime Bureau (IMB) had earlier ranked Chittagong Port as the world’s one of the risky ports. “But Awami League government after taking office in 2009, initiated for ensuring the security of the port and outer anchorage,” she said. After execution of the security measures, the IMB delisted Chittagong port from the list of risky port declaring it as a safe port in 2012, she said, adding the Coast Guard has played a pioneering role in this regard. Sheikh Hasina said international community has commended the Coast Guard for its continuous stride to provide security in the Chittagong port area and commercial vessels at the outer anchorage. She hoped that the Coast Guard will also be able to ensure security of the Paira Sea Port in Patuakhali. She also urged the Coast Guard to be more active to combat piracy, check smuggling and fishing of Hilsha fry and gravid fishes. “The role of the force is also increasing gradually against human and drug trafficking,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh Coast Guard is being developed for giving more services to the people of the coastal people. The force now has a zone, three bases, 18 stations, 10 outpost, 57 different categories of water vessels and eight pontoons along with a 1,282-member workforce. Construction of 18 more vessels and eight pontoons is underway for the force which will be inducted in the Coast Guard very soon. “Recently the government has approved in principle for acquisition of eight large scale offshore patrol vessel,” she said. The Prime Minister said her government since 2012 has introduced gallantry award– ‘Bangladesh Coast Guard Padak’ and ‘President Coast Guard Padak’– for outstanding and courageous services of the Coast Guard members. The awards are contributing a lot to enhance mental strength and professional excellence of the Coast Guard, she said. From the same venue the Prime Minister inaugurated and laid foundation of a number of projects of the district. She inaugurated infrastructure development project of Patuakhali Pourasabha, Uttar Karkhana Government Primary School-cum-Cyclone Centre, RCC Guarder Bridge at Kalapara, Choto Charkajal Government Primary School-cum-Cyclone Centre at Galachipa and Kachabunia Government Primary School-cum-Cyclone Centre at Patuakhali Sadar. She laid the foundation of Ansar and VDP Battalion Headquarters at Kalapara, Hostel of Government Shishu Paribar (girls) at Patuakhali Sadar, Female Police Barrack at Patuakhali Police Lines, Gahinkhali Bazar-cum-Cyclone Centre and connecting road at Rangabali, 10-bed Maternal and Child Welfare Centre at Boga, Baufal, new six-storied buildings at Patuakhali Sadar Police Lines, and Fire and Civil Defense Station at Dashmina. She also planted a ‘Safeda’ sapping on the premises of the base. –Our Monitor (Photo: PID)

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