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Mega project to develop haor infrastructure

Published : 22 Nov 2021 10:25 PM

The government has undertaken a special project worth Tk 3,490 crore to develop rural infrastructure in wetland (Hoar) areas including building five elevated roads to ensure sustainable economic growth.

The project proposal states that the road communication system in the haor areas is underdeveloped.

The communication system here is mainly rural submerged roads, which can only be used during the dry season. 

During the monsoon season, boats are the main means of transportation there. Due to such an underdeveloped communication system, production and transportation of agricultural products, development of rural infrastructure, creation of employment opportunities, availability of social facilities, especially education and health are being hampered.

The project titled “Development of flyovers and physical infrastructure in Haor area” has been proposed to the Planning Commission at the estimated cost of Tk 3,490 crore, a planning commission official said.

If the project is implemented, there will be cooperation in agricultural production and marketing of agricultural products through development of an overall communication system in the haor areas, he mentioned.

Ramendra Nath Biswas, Member (Secretary), Department of Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Institutions, Planning Commission, who is in charge of the project, said, “The development of physical infrastructure in the area will create opportunities for fast and easy transportation of goods, agricultural products, fisheries, and so on throughout the year.

This will give impetus to rural economic activities, he said adding that, “The project will contribute to poverty alleviation by creating short and long term employment opportunities for the rural poor. The project has therefore been recommended for approval.”

However, the project is expected to develop 118.13 km of all-season roads, 39.39 km of submersible roads, 10.71 km of five elevated roads through the haors and 175 bridges culverts on various roads for the development of communication systems in the haor areas.

Another official of the Planning Commission said the PEC (Project Evaluation Committee) meeting was held on July 27 last year after receiving proposals from the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives. 

The project has been recommended to be presented at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) as it complied with the recommendations given at the meeting, he added. 

Once approved, it will be implemented by June 2025 by the Department of Local Government Engineering (LGED), he mentioned.

However, a survey project was approved on 13 November 2017 for construction of bridge culverts with roads promised by the Prime Minister in Tahirpur, Dharmapasha, Jamalganj and Dirai upazilas of Sunamganj district and Sarail, Nabinagar and Nasirnagar upazilas of Brahmanbaria district. 

A year-long survey was conducted by the Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Service (CEGIS) to develop sustainable infrastructure while maintaining the biodiversity of the haor areas.

The main activities of the project are construction of 97.86 km All Season Upazila Road, 20.27 km All Season Union Road, 16.53 km Submersible Upazila Road and 22.8 km Submersible Union and Village Road. 

Besides, 10.81 km elevated road and 5,688m bridge culvert will be constructed.