PM Sheikh Hasina has urged all to maintain the pace of the development
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said her government aims to improve the people's living standards and free the country from poverty.
The premier said this after opening the second Meghna, and second Gumti, Bridge on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway; via a videoconference call from her official residence Ganobhaban on Saturday, reports UNB.
"We are taking Bangladesh on the trajectory of development by reducing poverty. We always have one goal — to develop people's lifestyles, free them from poverty, and make the country economically self-reliant," she said.
"These bridges will help boost regional cooperation," she added.
The prime minister said the government is developing roads, rail routes, waterways, and air communications; that the people of the country are reaping the benefits of the government's various programmes.
Talking about the construction of the Metro Rail—to ease the suffering of people living in Dhaka—the prime minister said once the work is complete, there will be no pain.
She said there will be 16 Metro Rail stations and the system will be capable of transporting 60,000 passengers per hour.
Deeming Bangladesh the role model of development in the world, the prime minister urged all to maintain the pace of the development.
Later, Sheikh Hasina spoke to a cross-section of people—in Munshiganj, Cumilla, Gazipur, and Tangail—through the videoconference call.
On March 16, she inaugurated the Shitalakkhya Bridge—Second Kanchpur Bridge—on the Shitalakkhya River, another bridge of the same project.
About the project
Japanese contractors—Obayshi Corporation, Shimizu Corporation, JFE Engineer Corporation, and IHI Infra Systems Company Limited—started building the second Kanchpur Bridge, along with the second Meghna and second Meghna-Gumti bridges on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway, in January 2016.
The total estimated cost of the three bridges was Tk 8,486.94 crore. Of the amount, Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) provided Tk 6,430 crore.
As per the contract, the Japanese firms began working in January 2016 and they were scheduled to complete it by June 2019. However, the progress of the work was halted for around four months after the Holey Artisan attack in July 2016.
Later, the government extended the deadline by six months by re-setting it in December 2019. However, the construction of the bridges was complete around seven months ahead of schedule.