The poverty ridden people need extensive projects to alleviate poverty28 November 2021 Editorial Desk
A mega plan to construct eight expressways connecting the seaports and some land ports to boost regional connectivity and uplift the economy in the future is on cards. A news report published in a national daily on Saturday, quoting officials, said that the proposed 2,352 kilometres of expressways would cost Tk 4,70,400 crore at the current market prices. But the cost is likely to increase manifold in the future as prices of construction materials and land will most likely increase. As the expressways would allow only the long-distance passenger and freight vehicles to reach their destinations paying tolls bypassing Dhaka's traffic congestion, they would reduce traffic pressure in the capital as well, observed officials.
Communication experts suggest that this is the right time to construct expressways in Bangladesh. If we do not construct superhighways now, it would be difficult in the future as Bangladesh's population is huge compared to its land area. They mentioned that some of our neighbouring countries have already built expressways. There are 11 expressways in Pakistan, 22 in India and 37 in Malaysia. Apart from the plan for expressways there are also several other plans for regional connectivity, including Asian Highway Connectivity (AHC), South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity, and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Connectivity, say officials.
In Bangladesh, the conditions of national highways have remained like those of local roads as there are markets and other establishments adjacent to the highways and slow-moving vehicles ply on them. Many countries and regions in the world, including Dubai, are now reaping the benefit of well-planned-out road infrastructure projects implemented earlier. Regional connectivity is common in Europe and a few other regions while Asia is still far behind in this regard. It is believed transport connectivity along with trade facilitation measures may spur regional trade and commerce by reducing cost of transportation.
Despite acute poverty and bank robbery, the government' interest in mega projects is going high on the agenda. All the mega projects are incomplete while cost is sky rocketing. We need extensive projects for reducing acute poverty. The government has enough experience to mega projects for mega corruption with foreign exchange reserve built by expatriate workers.