Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the Bangladesh Navy personnel to discharge their duties with utmost sincerity being imbued with the patriotism to tap abound resources from vast sea areas of the country, BSS reports.
Bangladesh has possessed a vast sea area blessed with plenty of natural resources through peacefully negotiation with the neighbours. So Bangladesh Navy has to play due role to exploit the resources and protect the sovereignty of the maritime areas, she said.
Bangladesh Navy has to work to implement various programmes of ‘blue economy, she said, hoping that Navy personnel will discharge their duties more effectively and successfully being inspired with the spirit of the liberation war.
The prime minister was addressing a function at BNS Issa Khan Parade Ground on the occasion of awarding National Standard to BN Dockyard and inauguration of Bangabandhu Complex at Bangladesh Naval Academy in Chittagong on Wednesday.
The Premier said BN Dockyard has been awarded the National Standard for its unique services to develop and modernize of the Bangladesh Navy.
“It’s a glorious chapter in the history of Bangladesh Navy,” she said, giving thanks to all concerned for the success of the dockyard.
On her arrival at BN Dockyard, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Nizamuddin Ahmed and Commodore Superintendent of the Dockyard Commodore Moinul Haque received her.
The prime minister was given state salute as national anthem was played at that time.
An attractive parade of different units of Bangladesh Navy was also arranged on the occasion. The premier inspected the parade and took salute.
Sheikh Hasina handed over the National Flag to the Commanding Officer of the BN Dockyard Imtiyaz Uddin.
The premier said BN Dockyard is the main driving force of operational activities of Bangladesh Navy and protection of the sovereignty of large maritime areas of the country.
“The dockyard is performing its duties with utmost patriotism and professional competence for proper maintenance and modernization of the three-dimensional and hi-tech warships and submarines,” she said.
The prime minister said BN Dockyard has achieved self-reliance in proper maintenance of the warships according to the international standard (ISO 9000). Floating dock of the dockyard BNFD Sundarban and BN Slipway have already completed docking and maintenance of more than one thousand local and foreign ships, she said.
The premier said with their own manpower, technology and technical capacity, the BN Dockyard is keeping the warships operational for longer period through proper maintenance, saving large amount of foreign currency.
Sheikh Hasina said newly built Bangabandhu Complex at Bangladesh Naval Academy which is equipped with modern facilities, would ensure global standard training for the members of the navy.
“A dream of Father of the Nation to build an international standard training academy for navy has been materialized through the inauguration of the complex”, she said.
The prime minister said Father of the Nation had procured a number of modern warships soon after independence aimed at building a strong navy, adding that in 1974, he commissioned the largest training naval base BNS Issa Khan and awarded naval ensign to Bangladesh Navy.
At the same time, Bangabandhu government enacted the ‘Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act’ in 1974 to ascertain the maritime boundary of Bangladesh, she said.
“We are following the footprint of Father of the Nation with continuing the progress and modernization of the navy,” she added.
The prime minister said her government during 1996-2001 tenure had taken massive development and welfare programmes for Bangladesh Navy. In last nine years, she said the force has been more modernized and strengthened of its capacity. Bangladesh navy is now a three-dimensional force after induction of submarine to its fleet.
Bangladesh Navy now has highest number of warships and rich naval aviation with patrol aircraft and helicopter along with specialized force SWADS. Process is going on to procure more modern aircraft and helicopter to strengthen vigilance and patrol in the sea, Sheikh Hasina said.
The prime minister said works are going on in Patuakhali to build the Bangladesh Navy’s biggest naval base with aviation facilities and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Naval Base in Dhaka.
Works are also progressing to build a submarine base in Kutubdia to look into the proper operation and maintenance of the navy submarine and for berthing, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said construction of fleet headquarters along with berthing facilities of ships has begun at Sandwip Channel of Sitakunda, Chittagong, adding that it will more strengthen the security of the maritime areas.
The premier said sea route is the mode of more than 90 percent trade of Bangladesh. The navy is successfully discharging its duties to ensure security and safety of the large maritime areas of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Navy is playing a praiseworthy role in ensuring security of the commercial vessels and checking human trafficking, smuggling, security of the fishermen and economic development of the country, she said.
She thanked Bangladesh Navy for constructing temporary shelters at Bhasanchar for forcibly displaced citizens of Myanmar.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh Navy is a well-known force in the world. Ships of the navy are taking part in many military exercises abroad and conducting many training exercises on their own in the country.
“Only the warships of Bangladesh in the subcontinent are successfully deployed in the Mediterranean Sea under Multinational Maritime Taskforce, brightening the country’s image across the world,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is moving ahead due to the constant stride of her government. In last nine years, she said, her government has implemented massive development programmes in every sector. Ninety percent of the works are being implemented with own resources, she added.
The prime minister said poverty rate reduced to 22 percent while per capita income rose to US$ 1,160 with growth of the GDP is now 7.28 percent, adding that Digital Bangladesh is now a reality and the country has entered the era of 4G from 3G.
She said Digital Centers were established in every union. Ninety percent people have access to electricity. People are getting health services at their doorsteps while their life expectancy is now stands 72 years.
Pointing out the ongoing development of the present government, the premier said Padma Bridge is being constructed with own resources. Construction works of metro rail, Paira Port, tunnel under Karnaphuli and LNG terminal are going on in full swing and Bangabandhu Satellite would be lunched very soon, she added.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has acquired the status of a low middle incoming country and formally started its journey to enter the group of the developing countries from LDCs.
“The acknowledgement is an epoch making milestone for Bangladesh’s development and one step forward on the way to build ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Bangabandhu,” she said.
The premier said Bangladesh must go ahead and will remain in the world keeping its head high. Bangladesh must continue its development and everybody should work together in this regard.
Bangladesh would be a middle income country by 2021 when the nation would celebrate the golden jubilee of independence and much ahead of 2041, it would also be a developed nation, she hoped.
The prime minister said the National Standard would inspire the officials, engineers and employees of the BN Dockyard to render their services more effectively to enhance the capacity of the Bangladesh Navy.