World-class road communications envisioned

Aiming at developing world-class road communication networks in the country, the government plans to upgrade all the two-lane and four-lane highways into six lanes by 2030, with these six-lane highways ending up as eight-lane ones by 2041. 

Officials of the Roads and Highways (R&HD) said work on several such projects has already been started while some others are awaiting implementation.

Ashish Kumar Dey, General Secretary of the National Committee for the Protection of Water and Railways, said, "We have to move forward on the path of development if we want to keep pace with the world. For this, we have to build a world-class road communications network.”

“As part of the move, the international road network will be extended and strengthened. By the implementation of these projects, Bangladesh will be able to go much ahead,” he said.

Officials concerned said that priorities are mainly being given to the work of 198 projects, including 17 mega projects of the road department. Besides, in the new highway development plan, there are special measures to prevent road accidents. Therefore, the new roads will have separate lanes for smaller vehicles.

They said, if these projects are implemented, the scenario of the country will be changed, and Bangladesh established as a model in case of developed road communications. 

In this regard, the Road Transport and Bridges Minister has recently said that the government has taken up a multi-dimensional plan to develop the country's highway network system, and as per the planning, all the highways will be upgraded from two to eight lanes in phases.

He also said that all the narrow portions of the highways will be widened.

According to R&HD officials, there are 198 development projects in the Road Department and Tk 64,580 crore has been allocated for implementation of these projects.  

At the same time, plans have been taken to ensure security on roads and highways.

Officials of the Ministry for Road, Transport and Bridges said that the government considers developed and easier communications systems are the most important for a modern Bangladesh. As part of this, the Prime Minister's Office has already given instructions on land acquisition keeping the 'Perspective Plan-2041' in mind during the process of upgrading any highway to four lanes. The World Bank also has announced to cooperate with the government in the implementation of the plan 2041.

According to sources, the final draft of the implementation of Bangladesh Second Perspective Plan (Vision 2021-2041) has been prepared at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her government office (PMO). 

The Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning and other concerned ministries and departments have been directed to implement this vision.

The sources said instructions have been given to develop physical infrastructure by paying equal importance to roads, waterways and airways. 

According to the draft, to make ‘my village, my city’ concept a reality, it is very important to develop road communication facilities like the internet, schools, colleges, administrative buildings, water, electricity and gas facilities. As a result, if all the facilities of the city are to reach the villages, first of all, the roads have to be developed. It is difficult to implement the vision-2021-2041 if the communication system is not easy and developed.