PM opens Digital Island Moheshkhali

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DHAKA, April 27, 2017 (BSS) – Moheshkhali, one of the remotest islands of the country, started its journey as a “Digital Island” as a project in this regard was launched today.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the scheme titled “Digital Island Moheshkhali” that connected the Moheshkhali upazila of Cox’s Bazar with high-speed internet network.

Opening the project digitally from her official Ganabhaban residence here this morning, the prime minister announced that such a digital system would be introduced in other isolated areas like Moheshkhali in phases.

“We’ve a plan to introduce digital system in other isolated areas like Moheshkhali in phases … more facilities will come before us when Bangladesh’s first satellite would be launched into orbit,” she said.

She said with the launching of digital system in Moheshkhali, the island has been connected with the mainland of Bangladesh as well the entire world.

Congratulating the people of Moheshkhali on the occasion of the launching Digital Island Moheshkhali, the premier said it would make a huge contribution to socioeconomic development of the upazila.

Due to this project, she said, the entire world would come under the grip of the people of Moheshkhali and they could know the world and maintain contact with other people living at home and abroad.

Sheikh Hasina said they would get better education and medicare facilities, while a huge employment opportunity would be created through it.

.The Prime Minister said Moheshkhali was once a very neglected and isolated island as no government in the past gave proper attention to its development.

“Moheshkhali was a treasure of huge resources, but we couldn’t utilize it properly,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said after assuming office, her government took massive programmes for the development of Moheshkhali.

“This project will ensure overall socioeconomic uplift of the island people and now they would no more consider themselves neglected,” she said.

Spelling out her government’s strides for developing remote areas, the Prime Minister said the essence of the government’s economic policy is that the development would be carried out from the grassroots.

“Our goal is development of all regions including isolated areas as well as the uplift of the common people and we are working to achieve that goal,” she said.

Referring to Bangladesh’s stunning progress in digitization, Sheikh Hasina said there was a pledge of the government to build a Digital Bangladesh. “But it’s no more a dream, it’s now a reality, as our vision has been effectively materialized and it is now being developed further,” she added.

The Prime Minister also thanked all concerned including Korea Telecom, International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Post and Telecommunications Ministry, the ICT Division and Access to Information (a2i) Programme for working for the implementation of “Digital Island Moheshkhali” project.

Referring to victory of the maritime boundary cases against India and Myanmar, Sheikh Hasina said all marine resources will have to be utilized using ICT to achieve desired development of the country.

On the occasion, the premier also exchanged views with the people of all strata including political leaders, students, teachers and government officials of Moheshkhali through videoconferencing and assured them of ensuring more digital facilities in future.

State Minister of ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Chief of Mission of the IOM Sharat Chandra Das and Cox’s Bazar Deputy Commissioner Ali Hossain also spoke on the occasion joining the videoconferencing from Moheshkhali while CEO and Chairman of Korean Telecom Chang-gyu Hwang spoke from Seoul of Korea.

Project Director of the a2i project Kabir Bin Anwar moderated the programme from the Ganabhaban.

Prime Minister’s Adviser HT Imam, State Minister for Post and Telecommunications Tarana Halim and Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Ahn Seong-doo were present at Ganabhaban.

The government of Bangladesh, Korea Telecom and International Organization for Migration are jointly implementing the project at a cost of over Taka 22 crore.

As part of the project work, a 21-kilometre-long optical fibre cable has already been installed in the island, while implementation of the total project works would end by September 2018.

The implementation of the project will not only provide high speed broadband connection to each and every institution of the island but also improve the access to information technology for the marginalized people living there.

This broadband connectivity will also enable 4 lakh people of the island to get access to e-services in the areas of agriculture, education and health as well as other services of the government.

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