The Bhasan Char island was originally a sleepy and almost barren backwater inhabited by fishermen. Now it has been established as a suitable habitation for the displaced Rohingya refugees. It is now awaiting the relocation of the Rohingyas from camp life for the start of a temporary community living with modern facilities and amenities until they are repatriated to Myanmar, their homeland.
Despite Bhasan Char being adequately prepared to take in people, there are still vested quarters taking underhand measures to foil the programme to shift the Rohingyas from camps and deprive them of the potential benefit they might get. Besides, there is a possibility that Bhasan Char might one day become the biggest farming ground on the coast of the Bay.
There is enough land for grazing thousands of heads
of cattle as the place is considered to be one of the
largest cattle shelters in the country
According to a report published in this daily, encouraging response has been received in the experimental farming activities, including raising almost all kinds of cattle and cultivating crops there. There is enough land for grazing thousands of heads of cattle as the place is considered to be one of the largest cattle shelters in the country. All this potential land that can prove to be resourceful is being wasted being left vacant and unused.
In this regard, experts opine that if the Rohingyas are reluctant to shift to Bhasan Char from camps, the local landless may be rehabilitated there. But, this would still leave the question of providing a suitable habitation for the Rohingyas unanswered. On the other hand, the experimental farms on the land have shown positive results and the area is suitable for large scale livestock rearing. Already, over 7500 buffaloes are being reared there.
The primary concern regarding this island is its ability to provide safety during cyclones or other coastal disasters, but the threat to life and property has been negated to a great extent with the building of some 120 cyclone shelters and flood prevention work. There is also ample scope for farming vegetables and fruits on the island. It would be prudent if the authorities concerned can make use of the land to its full potential as soon as possible.