DHAKA: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday opened for traffic two bridges on the Teesta and Titas rivers in Rangpur and Brahmanbaria saying her government was striving to build better communication networks nationwide to accelerate economic activities and facilitate peoples’ movement.
“A better communication system will better peoples’ economic condition,” she said opening the two bridges from her Gonobhaban residence through a video conference, joined by officials and cross sections of people on the other ends at Gangachanra of Rangpur and Bancharampur of Brahmanbaria.
The premier added: “Keeping this in mind the government has chalked out its plan to develop the country’s road infrastructure.”
Sheikh Hasina said contemporary history suggests that the people get the fruits of development “when Awami League comes to power” as she highlighted the country’s development during the tenure of her government.
Local Government Minister Engineer Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain and senior secretary of the ministry Jafar Ahmed Khan also spoke at the function, conducted by premier’s principal secretary Nozibur Rahman.
State Minister for LGRD Moshiur Rahman Ranga, state minister for social welfare Nuruzzaman Ahmed were present, among others, at Rangpur end while former minister ABM Tajul Islam, local parliament members were present on the Bancharampur end of the video conference.
The 850-meter long bridge on the Teesta linked Gangachara Upazila with Lalmonithat and cost Taka 123 crore while the 771 meter bridge in Brahmanbaria connected Bancharampur with Homna and Muradnagar upazilas and was built at a cost of Taka 99.86 crore.
The new bridge on the Teesta reduced Gangachar’s distance with Dhaka via Lalmonirhar by 40 kilometer.
The Y type bridge on the Titas connected Bancharampur with Homa and Muradnagar.
Both the bridges were named after Sheikh Hasina in recognition to her constant stride for construction of the bridges and development of the area.
Sheikh Hasina said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman reconstructed about 300 bridges destroyed by Pakistani army during the Liberation War and rebuild 250 dilapidated roads. “He (Bangabandhu) had taken the war ravaged country to an (advanced) stage in only three and a half years,” she said.
The premier said Bangladesh’s people in reality virtually saw no progress in their life in the subsequent years after Bangabandhu’s assassination when only few people who grab state power illegally became wealthy along with some beneficiaries. “Sufferings of the people in the grassroots worsened day by day (during that period),” she said.
The prime minister said her government was working for th country’s development under a long term plan chalked out over the years after her return to the country in 1981 from exile.
Sheikh Hasina expressed the hope that the two bridges would play important role in the socioeconomic development of the areas.
The prime minister said Rangopur, particularly Gangachara, was the most ‘Monga’ affected area in the northern region where famine was a common phenomenon every year.
After assuming office in 1996, she said, the Awami League government took immediate steps to stamp out famine from the area and the people there “forgot what ‘monga’ was” during that tenure of her government.
“But, unfortunately the phenomenon came back in 2001 when BNP-Jamaat assumed office . . . again ‘monga’ disappeared from the northern region for last ten years (as her government is in office),” the premier said.
The prime minister said people of the area got rid of Monga due to generation of economic activities, improvement of the communication, supply of electricity and diversification of agricultural production.