More than 450 Rohingya from Ukhia camps in Cox’s Bazar have left for Bhasan Char in Noakhali under the eighth phase of relocation.
Some 140 Rohingya families left for Naval Jetty in Chattogram by 19 buses from Ukhia Degree College ground in two shifts on early and late Friday afternoon.
Earlier, Rohingya families assembled at Ukhia Degree College ground arriving from the camps amid security measures provided by law enforcers, said Shamsuddoza Nayan, additional relied and refugee repatriation commissioner.
Covered vans carrying goods and products and the required convoys of security personnel were also en route to Chattogram till the afternoon.
This is the second time Rohingyas are being relocated to the southern island since the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UNHCR for refugee management in Bhasan Char
Earlier, in November, 379 Rohingyas left Ukhia camps under the 7th phase and reached Bhasan Char the next day.
The relocation process has been suspended since last April owing to inclement weather in sea during the monsoon season.
Referring to the government decision to relocate 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhasan Char, Cox’s Bazar Relief and Refugee Repatriation Commissioner said nobody is being forced to relocate to the island.
“Only those who are willingly agreeing to relocate after learning about the facilities there, are being taken to the island.”
The relocation process will continue until the one lakh target is met, he added.
Since December last year, around 20,000 Rohingyas have been taken to Bhasanchar in eight phases.
Besides, 306 more Rohingyas were taken to Bhasan Char after being rescued from deep sea while they were trying to go to Malaysia illegally in May last year.
In August 2017, several lakhs of Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh in the face of carnage and persecution by the Myanmar military.
A total of 11 lakh Rohingyas including those who arrived earlier have currently been residing in various camps in Cox’s Bazar.
The government undertook a project in November 2017 to relocate 1 lakh Rohingyas to Bhasan Char and the Bangladesh Navy was given the responsibility to implement the project called Ashrayan-3.
According to official data, the Bhasanchar Asrayan Project was implemented at a cost of Tk 3,095 crore from the government’s own funds for the relocation of Rohingyas under the supervision of the Navy.
An infrastructure of 120 cluster villages suitable for 100,000 Rohingyas has been built on an area of 13,000 acres in Bhasan Char.
The Bangladesh Navy is responsible for the implementation and management of the entire housing project in Bhasan Char.