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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

CHTDB’s development projects bring about remarkable change

  • 509km of roads in 15 years
  • 198 schools in 3 districts 
  • 50,890 families given solar panels
  • 1,300 youths receive computer training
Update : 21 Dec 2023, 09:25 AM

The land of natural beauty, the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), lies in the southeastern part of Bangladesh. With a diverse range of ethnic cultures and distinctive heritage, this vast area is home to a number of ethnic groups.

The Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board (CHTDB), since its inception in 1978, has been working for the betterment of the people in various sectors, including health, education, agriculture, infrastructure, tourism, water management, women empowerment, sports, culture, and information technology.

As part of its endeavour to change the lives of the local people, the CHTDB has implemented different development projects in Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban districts from 2009 until 2023.

Infrastructure

In the past 15 years, the board has constructed 509km of roads, 2,204m of bridges, and 663m of culverts. Moreover, 29,048m of irrigation drains and 450m of embankments have been completed to protect farmlands during the rainy season.

The undated image shows a development project under Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board (CHTDB) in Rangmati. Photo: Dhaka Tribune

Agriculture

To contribute to the area's agricultural development, the board distributed six power tiller machines in Rangamati and 79 in Bandarban among farmers. It also distributed 65 water pump machines, 80 rice threshers, and four combined harvesters among local farmers. The board also implemented a project, titled “Increase Cotton Production and Poverty Alleviation of Farmers in CHT”, in 26 upazilas.

Education

The CHTDB has constructed 27 school buildings in Rangamati, 64 in Khagrachhari, and 107 in Bandarban in the last 15 years. Additionally, the CHT Development Board funded the construction of Bandarban University.

The CHTDB provides district-based education scholarships to the students of three hill districts every year to develop the talent of backward students in CHT. As part of its endeavour to promote education, the CHTDB has awarded scholarships to 15,546 students in the past 15 years. Since the 2017-18 financial year, the board has been receiving an allocation of Tk2 crore in this regard.

Health and religion

The CHTDB constructed a 1,672-square-metre hospital in Bandarban during the same time. It also built 230 churches, pagodas, mosques, and temples in the three districts.

Women and child development

The CHTDB has constructed 4,800 paracenters to broaden access to essential social services for children and their families living in these areas. Some 120,000 children have been given pre-school education, while women, girls, and children from 260,000 families received medical assistance in preventing anaemia and nutritional deficiency. Similarly, the CHTDB has brought 1,200 students into formal education in the past 15 years.

To reduce poverty, the board involved 200 farmer families in a project to cultivate coffee on 800 farmlands and cashew nuts in 1,200 gardens.

Installation of solar panels

Approximately 50,890 houses in remote areas of the three hill districts have come under electricity coverage through installation of solar panels. The CHTDB distributed and installed 5,314 solar community systems in the districts. 

The undated image shows a development project under Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board (CHTDB) in Rangmati. Photo: Dhaka Tribune

Information technology

The board brought 1,300 youths under its computer training program to promote self-employment. Between 2021 and 2023, the CHTDB trained another 40 youths in social media marketing, affiliate marketing, search engine optimization, graphics designing, audio-video editing, animation, web development and design, multimedia software, and outsourcing. The scheme ended in June 2023.

Construction of Bangabandhu’s mural

The CHTDB constructed the tallest mural of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at a cost of Tk2.7 crore. Regarding the development activities, residents of the Langadu Bogachattar area, Hasan Ali and Rafiq, said the people in the area used oil lamps at night before the CHTDB installed solar panels at houses. Electrification has significantly helped rural students, they added.

The undated image shows a development project under Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board (CHTDB) in Rangmati. Photo: Dhaka Tribune

Another resident, Jesmin Akhter, stated that they were pleased with the government's 15-year development drive.

Ghilacchari Union Parishad Chairman in Rajsthali, Robert Tripura, said his village is located in a distant area that has been brought under electrification now. He praised the CHTDB for such development projects in rural areas.

A headman of Bilaichhari Upazila told Dhaka Tribune that 120 families live in his area, and the CHTDB has built a community centre there.

CHTDB Chairman Supradip Chakma said: “The board has been continuing its infrastructural development projects in the area and is contributing greatly to the construction of schools and colleges.”

He said the board has constructed several roads and bridges to improve communication. As a result, perishable goods can now be transported to Dhaka and other cities in a day.

He said the local people want more educational institutions in the hill tract areas to bring more people into literacy. Alongside this, the board has plans to bring another 2 to 2.5 lakh families under rural electrification coverage.

He added that if harmony among all the communities living in the area prevails, then tourism and the economy will continue to progress.

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