In presence of Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan and Post, Telecommunication and IT minister Mustafa Jabbar, BSCCL Chairman Saiful Islam shakes hands with secretary to Shipping Ministry Md Abdus Samad after signing an agreement over purchasing services of Bangabandhu-1 on at the ministry on Sunday. Photo:PID

Staff Correspondent

Bangabandhu Satellite-1 (BS-1) will start providing commercial services from next September.
In this regard, Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL), the authorised body responsible for the management of BS-1, signed an agreement with Shipping Ministry at the conference room of the ministry in the capital on Sunday.
The agreement was signed in presence of Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan and Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar. BSCCL Chairman Saiful Islam and Secretary for Shipping Ministry Md Abdus Samad signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides.
According to the agreement, from September onward, the shipping ministry will be provided with necessary technological assistance and information by BS-1, in order to accelerate the country’s internal and overseas naval communication. According to a shipping ministry source, they are buying BS-1 services at a very nominal price, comparing to cost of foreign satellite services.
He said as per the agreement we will get satellite service and high-speed broadband in Bay of Bengal provided by Bangabandhu Satellite-1. At the event, Shahjahan Khan said, “During the launching of Bangabandhu Satellite, some people said it will not be useful for the country. They even alleged that the government is laundering money in name of this satellite.”
“But today signing of this agreement has opened a way of earning for the satellite. So far I know the government is expected to get back the total cost by next eight years,” the minister said.
According to the shipping ministry source, the agreement will help monitoring all ocean going vessels and many more. All vessels staying at the Bay and different rivers of the country will be able to get weather information, internet facilities, besides maintaining 24-hour communication with the shore.
He said from now on vessels will not depend on wireless systems. Sailors and passengers both will get internet facilities while on voyage.
According to BSCCL, the company will earn Tk 42 crore annually by providing the service to shipping ministry. A BSCCL official seeking anonymity said, “Once the satellite is ready for operation, it will easily find all the vessels in the ocean. Everyday more than 35,000 inland and 110 deep sea going vessels roam within the country’s maritime boundary. All these will come under this service.”
He said, “From now on BSCCL will provide necessary service to ports, ferry ghats, ships and other infrastructures under the shipping ministry. Besides, different river port and lighthouses of the country will also get satellite service through BSCCL.”
BSCCL managing director Saiful Islam said, “By next September, we will start providing our services which will be the start of our income. In addition, it will reduce dependency on foreign satellites.”
Shipping ministry will use one out of 40 transponder of BS-1, he added.
Post, telecommunication and information minister Mustafa Jabbar, ICT secretary Shyam Sunder Sikder among others were also present in the signing ceremony.
India denies any
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main boundary pillars 81 and 82 along zero line,that is, agreed and settled international boundary, has also been undertaken.
“This has been done with the objective of apprising the local residents on both sides of the border of the exact alignment of the international boundary. State Government of Manipur has been involved in the entire exercise,” said the Spokesperson.
This work is in consonance with the India- Myanmar Boundary Agreement of 1967 to which both the governments of the two countries “are fully committed,” he added.