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Dhaka Tribune

PM: Construct quake-tolerant buildings

Update : 01 May 2015, 04:44 AM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged the country's engineers to make sure that quake-tolerant infrastructures and buildings are built in the country following the building code.

"Since Bangladesh is a quake-prone area, you [engineers] will have to give special attention so that quake-tolerant infrastructures and buildings are built in the future and everyone follows the building code," she said.

The Prime Minister was addressing the inaugural session of the International Conference on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for Sustainable Development at the Osmani Memorial

Auditorium in the city. Institute of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh (IDEB) and CPSC, Manila jointly organised the three-day conference.

Sheikh Hasina said to all engineers: "The responsibility of ensuring the quality of works lies at the field level. You'll have to give special attention so that the proper standard of work is ensured." Nearly 85% of development works are implemented through them, including roads, bridges, culverts, educational institutions, mills and factories, and various infrastructure.

The PM expressed hope that the diploma engineers would expedite the country's development works through ensuring the optimum utilisation of resources.

"If the development works are not properly implemented, it is not only a national loss, but also may invite human disaster. The devastating earthquake in Nepal caused huge human and property losses. I came to know that cracks have developed in a number of buildings in our country too," she added.

She said rapid development of scientific and technological advancement is bringing dramatic socio-economic progress within states.

"Our aim is to reduce poverty and accelerate the standard of living of common people utilising science and technology," she said.

Mentioning that Bangladesh is one of the densely populated countries in the world, the PM said: "Ensuring basic needs including food, clothing and shelter, for 160 million people is a challenging task. Sustainable utilisation of our resources is essential for a lasting development."

She said every year nearly 0.1 million hectares of arable land is lost to unplanned construction of houses, roads and other establishments. "We'll have to take immediate measures to prevent unplanned urbanisation as well as give special attention to save farmlands."

Hasina expressed her belief that nothing is more important than skilled human resources. "We, therefore, are implementing huge programmes to turn our manpower into human resources through imparting them science and technology-based education. However, it's not possible to accomplish such task with government efforts alone. Private entrepreneurs should also come forward to supplement the government efforts."

The PM said her government was the first to introduce SSC (Vocational) course in 1800 non-government schools. Besides, a process is on to launch 25 polytechnic institutions, including three for women.

"The government has decided to expand vocational education through establishing one technical school in each upazila," she added.

Hasina also noted that measures have been taken to produce skilled manpower through thirty-seven technical training centers and imparting training to the foreign-bound workers. "Thirty more technical training centers are awaiting launching."

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