Govt to build 11km elevated road over Kishoreganj haors

The government is set to undertake a nearly Tk 3,500-crore project to construct an 11-kilometer elevated road over haors in Kishoreganj to connect the northeastern backwater to the mainland.

The initiative is expected to add vigor to tourism in the country’s northeastern region.

The project also aims to support agricultural production and marketing by facilitating an overall communication system in the haor areas by developing a haor-condition tolerant infrastructure.

The project Development of Elevated Way and Infrastructure in Haor Area proposed by the local government division will be placed at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) today.

The Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) is the implementing agency.

According to LGED sources, the Dharmapasha, Tahirpur, Biswambharpur, and Jamalganj Upazilas of Sunamganj district and Barhatta Upazila of Netrokona district would come under an improved communication system through the development project.

In addition to the 10.8km elevated road, a 97.86km all-season Upazila road and 20.27km union road will be developed under the project as well.

Besides, a 16.53km Upazila submersible road, 22.86km union and village submersible road, 57 bridges, and 118 culverts will be constructed.

The Bangladesh University of Technology and Engineering (BUET) carried out a feasibility study on the proposed elevated road.

Md Hadiuzzaman, professor of the department of civil engineering at the BUET, hoped that vehicular movement on the proposed elevated road would be possible by 2026.

Haor areas remain isolated as a vast amount of agricultural land gets submerged during the rainy season every year.

To make matters worse, people face communication issues even in the dry season due to the lack of roads, said Hadiuzzaman, a member of the team that conducted the feasibility study.

Once the project is implemented, the development of physical infrastructure in the haor areas will facilitate fast and easy transportation of goods, agricultural products, and fishery resources throughout the year. As a result, rural economic activities will accelerate.

Moreover, at least six to seven two-story towers will be built on either side of the elevated road to offer tourists a chance to enjoy the scenic beauty of vast haors.

Including the elevated road project, a total of 10 projects will be placed at the Ecnec meeting.

Among others, the China-funded Tk 5,883 crore digital connectivity project will seek approval. It is among 27 projects that will be implemented under financing from Beijing. China assured $20 billion in loans for the projects during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Dhaka in October 2016.

The project aims to equip every corner of the country with the latest ICT infrastructure, turning almost all government services digital and increasing the use of ICT at field levels.

Under the project, the government will establish 109,244 broadband and user connections, 10,000 digital labs, 57 specialized labs, a central cloud platform, IT infrastructure, and training facilities.