More than 3.5 million (35.82 lakh) cases are now pending in courts across the country, according to statistics placed by Law Minister Anisul Huq in the parliament this week. Some 1.3 million of these are civil cases and 1.7 million are criminal cases pending at lower courts. A total of 96,114 civil cases, 317,000 criminal cases, and 93,107 writs and appeals were pending at the High Court Division. A total of 14,023 civil cases, 7,655 criminal cases, and 135 contempt petitions were pending at the Appellate Division.
The minister was replying to a question from treasury bench MP Habiba Rahman Khan. The minister also said that the government has measures like increasing the number of judges and resolving the courtroom crisis at its disposal to address the crisis. The highest number of cases (5509) were pending with family courts in Dhaka.
The World Heritage Centre of Unesco has declared the largest mangrove forest on earth, the Sundarbans of Bangladesh, as a “World Heritage in Danger”. The declaration came last week as Unesco was discontent with the measures taken to protect the Sundarbans in the face of ongoing construction of the controversial Rampal thermal power plant and other development projects.
However, the centre also requested the government to invite them to assist to prepare a set of corrective measures to secure the Sundarbans from any potential environmental danger. Though the government always claimed Rampal would not pose danger to the Sundarbans, Unesco was never convinced. In 2017, a government delegation attended the 41st meeting of the World Heritage Committee to discuss the issue.Now it would seem Unesco assessed that government did not make enough progress towards a Structural Environment Assessment (SEA) for the southwest region of the country, as promised at that meeting.
For the first time in Bangladesh, a deposit of magnetite (iron ore) has been discovered at Isabpur village in Hakimpur upazila of Dinajpur, bringing new hopes for the country’s economy. The Geological Survey of Bangladesh (GSB) made the groundbreaking announcement this week following extensive examinations after drilling a well for two months.
A 400-foot thick iron layer was found 1,750 feet beneath the surface and it stretches over an area of 6-10 square kilometres, said GSB Deputy Director Mohammad Masum. He also said the percentage of iron in the magnetite is 65 while it is often below 50 in countries like Canada, China, Brazil, Sweden and Australia. The GSB official said they also found presence of gold, copper, nickel and chromium in the layer. “Limestone was also found at a depth of 1150 feet,” he added.
Production of hilsa in Bangladesh has gone up by 160 percent over a 15-year period, signalling success for a number of government initiatives including the seasonal ban on catching brood fish, and fries every year. State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock, Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru, told parliament during a question-and-answer session on Tuesday, about the remarkable increase in ilish production.
Production of the country’s beloved ilish (hilsa) stood at 517,000 tons in 2017-18, up from 199,000 tons in 2002-03. The estimated market value of the 517,000 tons of ilish stands at Tk200 billion, calculated at Tk 400 per kg. Ashraf also informed the House that per capita consumption of milk, meat, and eggs has been rising since fiscal year 2008-09.