Unveiling her plans to develop the city’s commuting system, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said her government has a plan to construct an elevated ring-road around Dhaka.
“The ring-road will completely be an elevated one to make ease movement of the commuters,” she said while inaugurating North U-loop of Hatirjeel Project at a function at Rampur-Badda Pragati Sarani in the city.
“Every city in the world has traffic congestion and Dhaka city is not an exception. We plan to rid the people of the problem by taking many effective projects,” she said.
After inauguration, the prime minister took a ride on the U-loop and visited the developed site of the Hatirjeel.
Housing and public works minister Mosharraf Hossain presided over the function while home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, army chief General Aziz Ahmed, local parliament member AKM Rahmat Ullah and director of the Hatirjeel Coordinated Development Project Major General Abu Sayed Muhammamd Masud also spoke on the occasion.
The prime minister said the government is working to build a modern and developed Dhaka city for the people to get rid of the sufferings in their travel.
Bijoy Sarani Flyover, Zillur Rahman Flyover, Mayor Hanif Flyover and Kuril Flyover were constructed while two-level Magbazar-Mouchak flyover has been completed, she said.
She said initiatives have been taken to construct Dhaka-Chittagong expressway and express railway. Efforts are also being made to create ‘Dhaka Circular Route’ and ‘Eastern Bypass’.
The prime minister said first eight-lane highway has been started from Jatrabari to Kanchpur. Dhaka-Chittagong and Dhaka-Mymensingh Road were upgraded to four-lane. Four-lane highways would soon be upgraded to six-lane, she added.
Sheikh Hasina said construction of the country’s first metro rail from Uttara to Motijheel is underway. The metro rail will be opened from Uttara to Agargaon by 2019 and the remaining portion will be opened by 2020.
The prime minister said construction of Gazipur-Airport Bus Rapid Transit has begun. A 16.40-km underground rail from the Airport to Kamalapur and 10.20 km metro-rail from Purbachal to Kuril would be constructed.
Sheikh Hasina said feasibility study is being carried out for construction of 19.60 km MRT line-5 from Hemataypur to Gabtali-Mirpur-Gulshan and Bhatara. MRT-5 will have a 13.60 km underground subway in the city area.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has been implementing a 20-year Strategic Transport Plan (STP) to resolve the traffic congestion in Dhaka City.
Pointing out her government decision to implement the Hatirjheel project, the prime minister said the project is playing a special role in reducing traffic congestion as well as beautification of the Dhaka city.
The Hatirjheel project has protected the Dhaka city from being submerged by waste water and helped the city to fill with greenery.
Sheikh Hasina said habitats of people are on the rise due to economic reasons. The government has a plan to build township around Dhaka to reduce pressure in the city.
The government also has a plan to put in place a one-hour speedy train service to communicate between Dhaka and the port city Chittagong as well as northern and eastern cities.
The prime minister also disclosed her plan on development of a water transport system on four rivers around Dhaka.
Pointing out her government’s initiative to implement the Hatirjeel Project, the prime minister said roads, bridges, viaduct and overpass were constructed on both sides of the lake, making the communication system easy for the people of the surrounding areas.
Now, commuters from Rampura and Moghbazar can easily travel in few minutes to Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue. The connecting canals of the Hatirjeel would be excavated to link the water body with the rivers, she said.
The prime minister reiterated her plan for demolishing the box culverts which were constructed in the city though occupying canals.
“If we get opportunity in future, we will demolish all box culverts, including the one at Panthapath, revive canals and if necessary, elevated roads would be constructed on the canals,” she said.
Secretary of the housing and public works ministry Shahidullah Khandakar, engineering chief of Bangladesh Army Major General Siddiqur Rahman and chairman of Rajuk Abdur Rahman were present on the occasion.
The prime minister said her government has already undertaken a project, to be implemented by local government department, for renovation and purification of the ponds and canals in villages all over the country.
Sheikh Hasina said the air routes of the country would be rejuvenated. In view of this, she said, Syedpur Airport would be developed as a regional airport for use of the Indian eastern states, Nepal and Bhutan.
Airports in Rajshahi and Barisal would also be developed while Cox’s Bazar Airport would be made the most attractive and scenic with facilities for landing wide-bodied aircrafts for refueling.
‘We have many plans for development of this country as it was liberated with some dreams,’ she said adding that continuation of the Awami League government helped completing many projects.
Sheikh Hasina said the people had given her the mandate in 2009 to work for them. The country’s development activities are now visible as the government has remained in power for two consecutive terms.
The prime minister said Bangladesh’s economic progress mostly suffered after brutal killing of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mijubur Rahman. Bangladesh would have been a developed country within ten years of independence if Bangabandhu was alive, she said.
After coming to power in 1996, the Awami League government led the country towards genuine progress and made extensive development in every socioeconomic areas.
‘I think it’s my duty to translate the dreams of the Father of the Nation. So, my lone goal is to materialize the dreams of the Father of the Nation and reach the benefits of the independence to every house,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina said communication facilities were improved in rural areas, reducing the difference between cities and villages. “In future, we will upgrade the village to the level of the city”, she said.
‘We will build Dhaka like capital cities of the developed countries,’ she added.