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Home-bound Eid journey remains hazardous

Special Correspondent
 
Road Transport and Bridges Minister , also the Awami League general secretary, Obaidul Quader made a clear confession on Monday that Eid journey might not be comfortable with homebound people due to the ramshackle roads.
“Efforts are being made to repair the damaged roads in a short time,” he said while visiting the mobile court proceedings of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) on Manik Mia Avenue in the capital.
Obaidul said, “I can not claim that the journey of the home-goers will be very good and comfortable this year. But efforts are being made to make it comfortable.”
“If rain continues, it will be very difficult to deal with this challenge.
But our engineers will be ready for repairing damaged roads quickly,” he added.
The minister said, “The holidays of the officials concerned has been cancelled to reduce public sufferings in journeys.”
Eid-ul-Fitr, one of the biggest religious festivals of the Muslims, will be celebrated in the country either on June 26 (Monday) or June 27 (Tuesday) subject to the sighting of the Shawwal moon.
A major portion of the Eid holidaymakers started leaving the city after Thursday noon as the day was the last working day for the government and private officials and employees before Eid-ul-Fitr.
 
Hasina’s measure for smooth journey 
Earlier on June 07, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told the jatiya Sanhgsad that the government has taken all measures for people’s smooth journey during Eid-ul-Fitr as her government issued a 29-point directive to make the travel safe and comfortable in the highways.
In reply to lawmakers’ queries, PM hoped that peoples’ journey to their home during Eid-ul-Fitr would be better than the past due to government’s various measures.
The directives includes necessary guidelines for repairing the highways, keeping the national and regional highways free from traffic congestion, maintaining discipline at bus terminals, stop parking of vehicles everywhere, keeping CNG stations open round the clock, stop plying of three-wheelers in 22 nationals highways, special BRTC service and increasing the number of ferry services.
Hasina, also leader of the House, said the government has instructed garment owners to give Eid vacation and open the factories after Eid in alternative days to avoid any pressure on public transport during the Eid vacation.
PM also said, helicopter would be used for rescue operation and clear off the road in case of any major accident.
She said a central control room would be set up at Bangladesh Road Transport Authority head office four-day ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr and it will remain open next four days after the Eid.
 
Citizen group not happy with govt. measures
Rights activists on Sunday expressed concern that there are not enough initiatives on the part of the government to ensure safe journey of home-bound passengers during Eid-ul-Fitr celebration.
The National Committee to Protect Shipping, Roads and Railways (NCPSRR) said that about 1.29 crore people would leave Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj for their home districts to celebrate Eid with their near and dear ones, but the government’s measures to ensure safe journey during this disaster-prone month is not well-managed.
In a pre-Eid observation report, the organisation said public suffering on waterways and roads might mount this year due to lack of proper management as natural calamity might cause disruption in their travel anytime.
The report said about 55 per cent of Eid holidaymakers would use roads, 25 per cent waterways and 20 per cent railways, putting extra pressure on bus, train and launch terminals. But the authorities concerned did not take steps to stop plying of sand- and cement-laden vessels and mechanised boats carrying passengers at night on different rivers, including the Buriganga, despite the embargo imposed by the shipping ministry.
As many as 87 launches are operating on Shimulia-Kathalbari route across the Padma river regularly, but nearly 90 per cent of them are structurally and technically faulty, and their economic life has expired many years ago, the report said.
The NCPSRR also alleged that a large number of faulty, unfit and unregistered vessels are still plying across the country, which are being operated by unskilled and unqualified masters and drivers.
Besides, there still exist many risky turning points on roads and highways and a huge portion of dilapidated roads in different parts of the country, including Dhaka-Chittagong, Dhaka-Aricha, Dhaka-Tangail, Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Sylhet highways, posing a threat to safe journey.
Ahead of Eid, many bus operators have painted hundreds of faulty and unfit buses to give them a new look in the name of repair under the nose of the authorities , and unskilled drivers without any valid licence would drive them, making the journey of home-bound passengers risky, the report said.
Ashish Kumar Dey, general secretary of the committee, said heavy rains have made the country’s waterways and roads risky for lack of maintenance. He also expressed concern over mismanagement at launch and bus terminals and ferry ghats.
 
People leaving Dhaka
Meanwhile round 70 lakh people are expected to leave the capital city of Dhaka for their village homes to celebrate upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr with their near and dear ones.
“We think nearly 6-7 million people will go to their village homes from Dhaka on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr,” said Deputy Commissioner (Media) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Masudur Rahman on Wednesday.
About DMP’s security measures at bus stations and launch terminals and railway stations of the capital, he said both plainclothes and uniform police have already strengthened their vigilance to prevent the activities of ‘Malam Party’ and ‘Agyan Party’ as well as other crimes for ensuring hassle-free journeys of the homebound people.
Senior highway police officials hoped that both the Dhaka-Chittagong and Dhaka-Tangail highways will witness comparatively less gridlock this time as there is a 3-4 holiday before the Eid day.
Superintendent of Comilla Highway Police Paritosh Ghose said the vehicular movement will slow down in Biswa Road crossing and Mahipal of Feni as the highway narrows to just two lanes there.
Besides, the construction of overpasses is underway at those points, he said.
As heavy vehicles will be restricted to the national highways, passenger-carrying vehicles can ply smoothly from Friday night, the SP added.
On the other hand, traffic will run at a slow pace on Dhaka-Tangail highway as work to turn it into four lanes is progressing, said SP of Gazipur Highway Police Shafiqul Islam.
He, however, hoped that there will be a smooth vehicular movement if there is no bad weather.
Both the highway police officials said they have taken adequate preparations to remove vehicles from the roads if any of them goes out of order.
Meanwhile, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) alongside other law enforcement agencies will take a foolproof security measures in the city during the upcoming Eid vacation as 15-20 lakh households, financial organisations, trading houses and shopping malls will remain empty during the Eid vacation.
The elite force together with other law enforcers has been providing security to the homebound passengers to ensure their safe and comfortable journeys.
It will also bring the major Eidgahs across the country under surveillance to avert any unpleasant incident.
Bank holiday
Bangladesh Bank (BB) and all banks, except some branches, those are connected with apparel factories, will remain close for five straight days starting from Friday, June 23, marking the holy Eid-ul-Fitr celebration. 
“Some branches of banks will remain open on June 23 and 24 to facilitate payment of salary, bonus and other allowances of apparel workers before the Eid-ul-Fitr, to keep smooth remittance inflow by expatriate and to keep pace 
with overseas trade,” BB chief spokesperson Subhankar Saha told BSS here today. 
The branches of banks located in Dhaka city, Ashulia, Tongi, Gazipur, Savar, Valuka, Narayanganj and Chittagong, especially those connected with apparel factories, will remain open for half day (from 9.30 am to 12 noon) on Friday and for full day (from 9.30 am to 4 pm) on Saturday, he added.
The holidays on account of the Shab-e-Qadr (Friday), weekly holiday (Saturday) and three-day of Eid-ul Fitr.
 
The hazardous journey 
Home-bound people got stuck on different highways and roads on Thursday due to serious traffic chaos as a large number of vehicles left the capital for many destinations of the country ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
In Gazipur, the Dhaka-Tangail highway experienced a long tailback, inflicting immeasurable sufferings to the home-bound passengers.
Highway police sources said two vehicles went out of order in two separate places on Dhaka-Tangail highway early Thursday morning, causing tailback on the highway.
Traffic was seen moving slowly at Chandra and Kaliakoir points of the district following heavy pressure of vehicles.
Besides, a heavy pressure of vehicles was noticed on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway at Chandana intersection point, keeping several hundred vehicles stranded on the highway.
In Savar, a 25-km tailback was created on Dhaka-Aricha highway from Radio Colony to Savar Bus Stand and Madhumoti to Aminbazar, causing immense sufferings to the home-bound people on Thursday.
Vehicles were moving slowly on Bypail-Abdullahpur highway and Dhaka-Aricha highway due to heavy pressure of vehicles as thousands of people have been leaving the capital to celebrate Eid with their sweet family and kith and kin.
A numerous cracks and potholes have developed on different roads due to the recent incessant rain, forcing vehicles to run slowly.
Abul Hossain, in-charge of Savar Traffic Police, said a long queue of transports were seen on the Dhaka-Aricha and Bypail-Abdullahpur highways as the pressure of vehicles increased today. Police are working to ease the traffic jam, he said.

Comment

Special Correspondent
 
Road Transport and Bridges Minister , also the Awami League general secretary, Obaidul Quader made a clear confession on Monday that Eid journey might not be comfortable with homebound people due to the ramshackle roads.
“Efforts are being made to repair the damaged roads in a short time,” he said while visiting the mobile court proceedings of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) on Manik Mia Avenue in the capital.
Obaidul said, “I can not claim that the journey of the home-goers will be very good and comfortable this year. But efforts are being made to make it comfortable.”
“If rain continues, it will be very difficult to deal with this challenge.
But our engineers will be ready for repairing damaged roads quickly,” he added.
The minister said, “The holidays of the officials concerned has been cancelled to reduce public sufferings in journeys.”
Eid-ul-Fitr, one of the biggest religious festivals of the Muslims, will be celebrated in the country either on June 26 (Monday) or June 27 (Tuesday) subject to the sighting of the Shawwal moon.
A major portion of the Eid holidaymakers started leaving the city after Thursday noon as the day was the last working day for the government and private officials and employees before Eid-ul-Fitr.
 
Hasina’s measure for smooth journey 
Earlier on June 07, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told the jatiya Sanhgsad that the government has taken all measures for people’s smooth journey during Eid-ul-Fitr as her government issued a 29-point directive to make the travel safe and comfortable in the highways.
In reply to lawmakers’ queries, PM hoped that peoples’ journey to their home during Eid-ul-Fitr would be better than the past due to government’s various measures.
The directives includes necessary guidelines for repairing the highways, keeping the national and regional highways free from traffic congestion, maintaining discipline at bus terminals, stop parking of vehicles everywhere, keeping CNG stations open round the clock, stop plying of three-wheelers in 22 nationals highways, special BRTC service and increasing the number of ferry services.
Hasina, also leader of the House, said the government has instructed garment owners to give Eid vacation and open the factories after Eid in alternative days to avoid any pressure on public transport during the Eid vacation.
PM also said, helicopter would be used for rescue operation and clear off the road in case of any major accident.
She said a central control room would be set up at Bangladesh Road Transport Authority head office four-day ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr and it will remain open next four days after the Eid.
 
Citizen group not happy with govt. measures
Rights activists on Sunday expressed concern that there are not enough initiatives on the part of the government to ensure safe journey of home-bound passengers during Eid-ul-Fitr celebration.
The National Committee to Protect Shipping, Roads and Railways (NCPSRR) said that about 1.29 crore people would leave Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj for their home districts to celebrate Eid with their near and dear ones, but the government’s measures to ensure safe journey during this disaster-prone month is not well-managed.
In a pre-Eid observation report, the organisation said public suffering on waterways and roads might mount this year due to lack of proper management as natural calamity might cause disruption in their travel anytime.
The report said about 55 per cent of Eid holidaymakers would use roads, 25 per cent waterways and 20 per cent railways, putting extra pressure on bus, train and launch terminals. But the authorities concerned did not take steps to stop plying of sand- and cement-laden vessels and mechanised boats carrying passengers at night on different rivers, including the Buriganga, despite the embargo imposed by the shipping ministry.
As many as 87 launches are operating on Shimulia-Kathalbari route across the Padma river regularly, but nearly 90 per cent of them are structurally and technically faulty, and their economic life has expired many years ago, the report said.
The NCPSRR also alleged that a large number of faulty, unfit and unregistered vessels are still plying across the country, which are being operated by unskilled and unqualified masters and drivers.
Besides, there still exist many risky turning points on roads and highways and a huge portion of dilapidated roads in different parts of the country, including Dhaka-Chittagong, Dhaka-Aricha, Dhaka-Tangail, Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Sylhet highways, posing a threat to safe journey.
Ahead of Eid, many bus operators have painted hundreds of faulty and unfit buses to give them a new look in the name of repair under the nose of the authorities , and unskilled drivers without any valid licence would drive them, making the journey of home-bound passengers risky, the report said.
Ashish Kumar Dey, general secretary of the committee, said heavy rains have made the country’s waterways and roads risky for lack of maintenance. He also expressed concern over mismanagement at launch and bus terminals and ferry ghats.
 
People leaving Dhaka
Meanwhile round 70 lakh people are expected to leave the capital city of Dhaka for their village homes to celebrate upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr with their near and dear ones.
“We think nearly 6-7 million people will go to their village homes from Dhaka on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr,” said Deputy Commissioner (Media) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Masudur Rahman on Wednesday.
About DMP’s security measures at bus stations and launch terminals and railway stations of the capital, he said both plainclothes and uniform police have already strengthened their vigilance to prevent the activities of ‘Malam Party’ and ‘Agyan Party’ as well as other crimes for ensuring hassle-free journeys of the homebound people.
Senior highway police officials hoped that both the Dhaka-Chittagong and Dhaka-Tangail highways will witness comparatively less gridlock this time as there is a 3-4 holiday before the Eid day.
Superintendent of Comilla Highway Police Paritosh Ghose said the vehicular movement will slow down in Biswa Road crossing and Mahipal of Feni as the highway narrows to just two lanes there.
Besides, the construction of overpasses is underway at those points, he said.
As heavy vehicles will be restricted to the national highways, passenger-carrying vehicles can ply smoothly from Friday night, the SP added.
On the other hand, traffic will run at a slow pace on Dhaka-Tangail highway as work to turn it into four lanes is progressing, said SP of Gazipur Highway Police Shafiqul Islam.
He, however, hoped that there will be a smooth vehicular movement if there is no bad weather.
Both the highway police officials said they have taken adequate preparations to remove vehicles from the roads if any of them goes out of order.
Meanwhile, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) alongside other law enforcement agencies will take a foolproof security measures in the city during the upcoming Eid vacation as 15-20 lakh households, financial organisations, trading houses and shopping malls will remain empty during the Eid vacation.
The elite force together with other law enforcers has been providing security to the homebound passengers to ensure their safe and comfortable journeys.
It will also bring the major Eidgahs across the country under surveillance to avert any unpleasant incident.
Bank holiday
Bangladesh Bank (BB) and all banks, except some branches, those are connected with apparel factories, will remain close for five straight days starting from Friday, June 23, marking the holy Eid-ul-Fitr celebration. 
“Some branches of banks will remain open on June 23 and 24 to facilitate payment of salary, bonus and other allowances of apparel workers before the Eid-ul-Fitr, to keep smooth remittance inflow by expatriate and to keep pace 
with overseas trade,” BB chief spokesperson Subhankar Saha told BSS here today. 
The branches of banks located in Dhaka city, Ashulia, Tongi, Gazipur, Savar, Valuka, Narayanganj and Chittagong, especially those connected with apparel factories, will remain open for half day (from 9.30 am to 12 noon) on Friday and for full day (from 9.30 am to 4 pm) on Saturday, he added.
The holidays on account of the Shab-e-Qadr (Friday), weekly holiday (Saturday) and three-day of Eid-ul Fitr.
 
The hazardous journey 
Home-bound people got stuck on different highways and roads on Thursday due to serious traffic chaos as a large number of vehicles left the capital for many destinations of the country ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
In Gazipur, the Dhaka-Tangail highway experienced a long tailback, inflicting immeasurable sufferings to the home-bound passengers.
Highway police sources said two vehicles went out of order in two separate places on Dhaka-Tangail highway early Thursday morning, causing tailback on the highway.
Traffic was seen moving slowly at Chandra and Kaliakoir points of the district following heavy pressure of vehicles.
Besides, a heavy pressure of vehicles was noticed on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway at Chandana intersection point, keeping several hundred vehicles stranded on the highway.
In Savar, a 25-km tailback was created on Dhaka-Aricha highway from Radio Colony to Savar Bus Stand and Madhumoti to Aminbazar, causing immense sufferings to the home-bound people on Thursday.
Vehicles were moving slowly on Bypail-Abdullahpur highway and Dhaka-Aricha highway due to heavy pressure of vehicles as thousands of people have been leaving the capital to celebrate Eid with their sweet family and kith and kin.
A numerous cracks and potholes have developed on different roads due to the recent incessant rain, forcing vehicles to run slowly.
Abul Hossain, in-charge of Savar Traffic Police, said a long queue of transports were seen on the Dhaka-Aricha and Bypail-Abdullahpur highways as the pressure of vehicles increased today. Police are working to ease the traffic jam, he said.

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PM wishes per capita income USD 12,000 by 2041

Special Correspondent
 
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wishes country’s per capita income would be around US$ 12,000 by 2041 when the size of the economy would be 2.5 trillion dollars. She said this in parliament on Wednesday in a written reply to a question from treasury bench member Didarul Alam. 
The scripted answers of the Prime Minister were put on the table as the session, chaired by Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, went on with debate on next year’s proposed budget placed by the finance minister on June 1 last.
Sheikh Hasina said four private economic zones were given final licenses to set up industries while ten others were given pre-qualification licenses.The Premier said the Kaliakoir Hi-tech Park is being constructed with a target to arrange employment for one million people in IT sector by 2021. Bangladesh would be the centre point the economy of Asia region by 2041 and play a remarkable role in local supply chain and global value chain as well as establishing regional sub-regional communication and connectivity, she said.
She hoped that the open economic policy of the present government would open up a new era of success through creating a win-win situation in the areas of trade, commerce and investment at regional, sub-regional and international level. Referring to the projection of some global research organizations, Hasina said Bangladesh would be the world’s 29th largest economy by 2030 and 23rd by 2050 from 31st at present. She also said since the independence of Bangladesh, power plants of 13,596MW generation capacity have been installed, of which 8,340MW came in the last eight years.The PM’s statistics imply that a little over of 61 percent of the power generated by plants now has been achieved since 2009, when the Awami League took office. Hasina provided the figures, responding to a query by ruling MP from Noakhali Mamunur Rashid Kiron. The prime minister said the existing power generation capacity, including the captive power plants, stands at 15,351MW.
But since some old plants have been de-commissioned they can supply 13,179MW of power to the national grid, she added. According to the Power Development Board or PBD, Bangladesh’s power generation capacity touched the 9,000MW mark for the first in June last year. 
On May 27 this year, PDB reported electricity hitting an all-time record of 9,356 MW. The projected demand, however, on that day was 9,800MW.
Officials say Bangladesh’s power generation capacity almost tripled in the last eight years but demand outpaced supply. During summer, there’s often a gap between demand and supply.
Around 80 percent of the population is now under grid-coverage, up from 47 percent in 2009, according to government data.

Comment

Special Correspondent
 
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wishes country’s per capita income would be around US$ 12,000 by 2041 when the size of the economy would be 2.5 trillion dollars. She said this in parliament on Wednesday in a written reply to a question from treasury bench member Didarul Alam. 
The scripted answers of the Prime Minister were put on the table as the session, chaired by Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, went on with debate on next year’s proposed budget placed by the finance minister on June 1 last.
Sheikh Hasina said four private economic zones were given final licenses to set up industries while ten others were given pre-qualification licenses.The Premier said the Kaliakoir Hi-tech Park is being constructed with a target to arrange employment for one million people in IT sector by 2021. Bangladesh would be the centre point the economy of Asia region by 2041 and play a remarkable role in local supply chain and global value chain as well as establishing regional sub-regional communication and connectivity, she said.
She hoped that the open economic policy of the present government would open up a new era of success through creating a win-win situation in the areas of trade, commerce and investment at regional, sub-regional and international level. Referring to the projection of some global research organizations, Hasina said Bangladesh would be the world’s 29th largest economy by 2030 and 23rd by 2050 from 31st at present. She also said since the independence of Bangladesh, power plants of 13,596MW generation capacity have been installed, of which 8,340MW came in the last eight years.The PM’s statistics imply that a little over of 61 percent of the power generated by plants now has been achieved since 2009, when the Awami League took office. Hasina provided the figures, responding to a query by ruling MP from Noakhali Mamunur Rashid Kiron. The prime minister said the existing power generation capacity, including the captive power plants, stands at 15,351MW.
But since some old plants have been de-commissioned they can supply 13,179MW of power to the national grid, she added. According to the Power Development Board or PBD, Bangladesh’s power generation capacity touched the 9,000MW mark for the first in June last year. 
On May 27 this year, PDB reported electricity hitting an all-time record of 9,356 MW. The projected demand, however, on that day was 9,800MW.
Officials say Bangladesh’s power generation capacity almost tripled in the last eight years but demand outpaced supply. During summer, there’s often a gap between demand and supply.
Around 80 percent of the population is now under grid-coverage, up from 47 percent in 2009, according to government data.

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Khaleda wishes and end to sufferings

Special Correspondent
 
Former prime minister, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has emphasised an end to pains and suffering of the oppressed.
She expressed her wishes in a Twitter message on the eve of Lailatul Qadr (Night of Decree).
Khaleda Zia, who called for formation of a poll-time supportive government to restore democracy in the country, however, did not make any direct reference in the message to the country’s political situation. “On this holiest of nights, we pray to Allah to take away the pain of those who are suffering and to bless the oppressed to attain freedom,” she tweeted on Thursday.
The BNP chief recently submitted Vision-2030 outlining the country’s future mode of governance on democratic and welfare-oriented lines.
Meanwhile, a Dhaka Special Judges Court will hear June 29 the Zia Charitable Trust and Zia Orphanage Trust graft cases filed against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia. Special Judge Dr. Md Aktaruzzaman fixed the date after Khaleda’s lawyer sought time prayer on Thursday noon.
Earlier, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia appeared before the court in connection with Zia Charitable Trust and Zia Orphanage Trust graft cases.
On April 15 and June 8, Khaleda Zia also appeared before the court in the same cases. On July 3, 2008, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against Khaleda, her son Tarique Rahman and four others for embezzlement of over Tk 2.1 crore by forming a “fake” trust which existed only on paper.
The anti-graft watchdog filed another case in 2011, accusing four persons, including Khaleda Zia, of abusing power in setting up Zia Charitable Trust.

Comment

Special Correspondent
 
Former prime minister, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has emphasised an end to pains and suffering of the oppressed.
She expressed her wishes in a Twitter message on the eve of Lailatul Qadr (Night of Decree).
Khaleda Zia, who called for formation of a poll-time supportive government to restore democracy in the country, however, did not make any direct reference in the message to the country’s political situation. “On this holiest of nights, we pray to Allah to take away the pain of those who are suffering and to bless the oppressed to attain freedom,” she tweeted on Thursday.
The BNP chief recently submitted Vision-2030 outlining the country’s future mode of governance on democratic and welfare-oriented lines.
Meanwhile, a Dhaka Special Judges Court will hear June 29 the Zia Charitable Trust and Zia Orphanage Trust graft cases filed against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia. Special Judge Dr. Md Aktaruzzaman fixed the date after Khaleda’s lawyer sought time prayer on Thursday noon.
Earlier, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia appeared before the court in connection with Zia Charitable Trust and Zia Orphanage Trust graft cases.
On April 15 and June 8, Khaleda Zia also appeared before the court in the same cases. On July 3, 2008, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against Khaleda, her son Tarique Rahman and four others for embezzlement of over Tk 2.1 crore by forming a “fake” trust which existed only on paper.
The anti-graft watchdog filed another case in 2011, accusing four persons, including Khaleda Zia, of abusing power in setting up Zia Charitable Trust.

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