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Project to improve road network in Rangamati

Published : 20 Feb 2021 11:06 PM | Updated : 21 Feb 2021 02:19 AM

The government has undertaken a project for improving road network on the mountain areas in Rangamati hill district to boost the local economy.

Bilaichhari upazila of Rangamati district is coming under the improved road network project for attracting tourists as well as improving quality of life of the local people.

The people of Bilaichhari upazila are lagging behind in education, health, trade and commerce due to inadequate transportation facilities and lack of sustainable infrastructure.

The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives has undertaken a project titled, “Road Development and Construction of Bridge Culvert from Technical Para in Rangamati District to Bilaichhari,” a planning commission official said.

“The project is ready to be placed for approval at the next meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC),” he mentioned.

“If approved, it will be implemented from this year until June 2024,” he said adding, “The total cost of the project has been estimated to cost Tk 338.54 crore.”

According to local government sources, the lack of sustainable infrastructure is a major obstacle to the development of the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Transportation and marketing of agricultural products is extremely difficult due to inadequate road connectivity, survey findings show.

As the transportation system is expensive and not easy, the employment opportunities of the people of this area in non-agricultural sector are limited. 

For all these reasons, the Chittagong Hill Tracts region is identified as an underdeveloped region in Bangladesh.

As a result, socio-economic development of the region has become urgent through the establishment of uninterrupted and easy communication system through the construction of sustainable infrastructure.

In this context, Dr Shamsul Alam, senior secretary and member of the General Economics Division (GED) of the Planning Commission, said, “The Eighth Five-Year Plan aims to strengthen the road network across the country. As such the project is consistent with the current plan.”

The total number of rural roads in Kaptai and Bilaichhari upazilas of Rangamati district is 978.7 km. Of these, 94.23 kilometers are paved roads. 

The amount of remaining unpaved roads is 883.84 km. If this project is implemented, 44.56 km of unpaved roads will be paved and emergency treatment and services will be ensured through construction of bridge culverts.

Rangamati district does not have direct communication with three out of 10 upazilas of the hilly Rangamati district. 

Bilaichhari Upazila has a lot of potential for tourism. The people of this area have to travel by water to communicate with the district. 

In addition, when the water level of Kaptai Lake decreases in winter, one has to walk 4 to 5 km to reach the nearest launch ghat. 

The main activities of the project are: Construction of bridges on 504 m upazila roads, construction of 10 bridges on 398 m rural roads, culverts on 43 m upazila roads, culverts on 18 m rural roads, development of 8.68 km upazila roads by BC, development of 35.88 km rural roads by BC, 25 km road defense work, three passenger camps and 21 acres of land will be acquired.