Bangladesh – Foreign crude company project costs hundreds of families their homes in Dhaka

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Location: Moheskhali, Cox’s bazar, Bangladesh

Language: Bengali

Sound: Natural

Duration: 00:5:54

Source: A24

Restrictions: A24 Subscribers

Dateline: 31-01-2022

Storyline:

More than 350 families living in the Moheshkhali, Cox’s bazar, are living in unbearable living conditions after being evicted from their homes and lands as a foreign company is eating up more lands for a crude transfer project. In December 2016, the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) signed a deal with the China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Company Limited (CPPECL) to build a Single Point Mooring (SPM) as actual work started in May 2016. The afflicted population of Moheshkhali have since been suffering, as many project victims reported that they had not received any eviction notice. Even though they were promised better accommodations and farming lands, the eviction victims reported that they live in poor quality “colonies” with families crammed together in small places. The authorities have compensated the farmers with lands that cannot be farmed, leaving them in a limbo on how to provide for their families.

Shotlist:

 – Various shots of the Moheskhali Island in Bay of Bengal under Cox’s bazar District (almost 400 km away from Dhaka)

– Various shots of SPM Project

– Various shots of the temporary shelter homes where the evicted families had been placed with a promise of providing alternative shelters within six months

– (SOUNDBITE) Mr. Shahabuddin, who lost his 30 acres of land for the project:

“I had almost 30 acres of land in the project site. Other people also had land. My relatives and I had a home here. There were almost 300-350 families here. Most of the families were temporarily sheltered in these colonies. All the big leaders of Moheskhali and the Cox’s Bazar promised that if we leave these lands for the government project, they would rehabilitate us. Nevertheless, no rehabilitation has taken place until now.

– Various shots of the temporary shelter homes where the evicted families had been placed

– (SOUNDBITE) an elderly man evicted from his land for SPM Project,

“In the east side I had lots of land. I used to cultivate Betal Leaf, Boro Paddy etc. I made a nice house. I got only Tk.300000. After that nothing was given to me.”

– (SOUNDBITE) a middle-aged woman evicted from her land,

“Some were given Tk. 50,000 [around $581] and some were given Tk 100,000 [around $1,163] with the promise of rehabilitation. They have placed us in this colony.”

– (SOUNDBITE) an elderly woman evicted from her land,

“They promised to give us a house and rehabilitation. We have two toilets. If one goes inside a toilet, at least 10 others would be queuing for their turn. We have two tubes well. At least 15 people would be standing in line for their turn to get water.”

– Various shots of the toilets, tube-well and skinny kids & women in the temporary shelter colony

(SOUNDBITE) Mr. Dipak Sharma Dipu, Environmentalist, Journalist Leader and local political analyst,

“The Chinese company that operates in name of development In Moheskhali cuts through a beautiful green hill. It destroyed living things. We are proud of Moheskhali because this is the only hilly island in Bangladesh. We talk about Moheskhali whenever we have the chance. We will not accept any development project that affects the beauty of Moheskhali. They have evicted almost 350 families from the project site. We cannot allow developmental projects to evict people from their own land.”

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