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US$ 350 million spent behind Bhasan Char island to relocate Rohingyas

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Bangladesh has developed the remote island named Bhasan Char over the years for accommodating huge number of inhabitants, keeping in mind the growing number of refugee population and the chaos that take place in the existing refugee camps in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh.

Way before the 2017 influx of the Rohingya refugees, Bangladesh had been planning and executing a project to relocate the refugees to a remote island. The deteriorating situation due to drug smuggling, human trafficking and conflicts between refugee groups in Teknaf and Ukhiya upazilas of Cox’s Bazar district, where the refugees has been living for decades, has prompted the country to take up this project since 2015.

Later, the Rohingya influx in 2017 — which brought-about new humanitarian, socioeconomic and security crises for Bangladesh — accelerated the pace of the project.

According to the official sources, US$ 350 million was spent behind the project, and the remote island is now finally ready to welcome inhabitants. Bangladesh has plans to relocate 100,000 Rohingya to this place.

Bhasan Char currently has provisions for yearlong supply of fresh water, uninterrupted power supply, agricultural plots, 120 cyclone shelters, two hospitals, four community clinics, mosques, telecom services, teaching centers, playgrounds and a police station. However, there are concerns too about the risks posed to the island, as the experts say that Bhasan Char is vulnerable to cyclones and floods.

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