Govt plans big to upgrade country’s road infrastructures
Publish- August 18, 2020, 12:01 AM
Fahad Ferdous - UNB Staff Writer
Update- August 18, 2020, 05:57 PM
UNB File Photo
The government has taken a plan to increase allocation for the transport and communications sector to Tk 773.65 billion in 2022-23 fiscal year, with an average 14.65 percent increase each year, since road connectivity is considered as the most important factor for the rapid development of a country.
The government gives utmost importance to road connectivity as it thinks developed and well-connected transport system is a prerequisite to elevating the country to a developed one by 2041.
According to a government document, the allocation for the sector in the running 2020-21 fiscal year is Tk 584.88 billion, which was Tk 645.79 billion in the previous 2019-20 fiscal.
Official sources said the allocation in the current fiscal year saw a cut due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the government has announced 19 stimulus packages, worth Tk 1.03 lakh crore, for various sectors, which is 3.7 percent of the GDP of 2019-20 fiscal.
The allocation for the next 2021-22 fiscal will be Tk 707.33 billion for the road transport sector. The government has spent Tk 400.76 billion in 2017-18 fiscal year for the transport and communications sector while the allocation for 2018-19 fiscal was Tk 468.88 billion.
The government has taken a mid-term plan to upgrade all the national highways of the country to four-lane ones, strengthening those further alongside constructing bridges and culverts.
The Bridges Division is already implementing various projects like Padma Multipurpose Bridge, tunnel beneath the Karnaphuli River, Dhaka-Ashulia elevated expressway, Dhaka Elevated Expressway, Dhaka Subway and Dhaka East West Elevated Expressway.
As of March 2020, the document says, 80 percent construction work on the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project has been completed.
Aiming to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and transform Bangladesh into a developed country by 2041, the Road Transport and Highways Division has taken steps to upgrade all the important highways to four-lane ones or even more.
This division has also taken 10 projects for widening 1,140 kilometres of regional highways and another 10 projects for widening and maintaining the standard of district highways.
Besides, the document says, the government gives immense importance to the railway sector as well to transform the railways into a pro-people and modern mass transportation system.
In this regard, the government is implementing a 30-year masterplan (2016-2045) involving Tk 5,53,662 crore.
Under a mid-term plan, the Railways Ministry has taken an initiative for constructing new rail lines and bridges, rehabilitating the existing rail lines and bridges, constructing and remodeling new station yards.
The document mentions that the Ministry of Shipping has taken numerous plans and projects, aiming to make internal and foreign trade competitive and cost-effective through developing inland waterways, sea and land ports, important channels and necessary infrastructures on priority basis.
Steps have also been taken for introducing naval traffic management and information management, also under a mid-term plan.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism has prioritised the job of upgrading civil aviation to international standard for ensuring safe and reliable structures for passengers, tourists and transportation of cargos.
Steps are also there to improve the standard and ability of domestic and international airports, according to the official document.