Bangladesh is going to construct ‘border roads’ in hilly areas along the India-Myanmar border with a view to ensuring better security through improved road communications,agencies report.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved a project titled ‘Construction of Border Roads’ involving over Tk 16.99 billion to this end, reports UNB.
ECNEC chairperson and prime minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the meeting held at the NEC conference room in Dhaka.
While briefing reporters after the meeting, planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the road and highways department and the special works organisation of Bangladesh army have been given the responsibility to implement the project.
The project will be completed in six upazilas of Khagrachhari, Bandarban, Rangamati and Cox’s Bazar districts by June 2021.
The project will be implemented at Naikhongchhari upazila in Bandarban, Juraichhari, Borkol and Rajstali upazilas of Rangamati, Ukhiaupazila of Cox’s Bazar and Baghaichhari upazila of Khagrachhari.
Out of the proposed 317-kilometre roads, some 40 kilometres will be constructed on the Ukhia-Ashartoli-Fooltuli route, 52 kilometres on the Sajek-Shildah-Betling, 95 kilometres on Sajek-Dokanghat-Thegamukh, and 130 kilometres on Thegamukh-Loitongpara-Thachhi-Dumdumia-Rajsthali route.
Bangladesh has around 540 kilometres borders — 330 kilometres with India and 210 kilometres with Myanmar. On implementation of the project, border guards are expected to be able to ensure strict measures in hilly border areas, curb illegal drugs and arms smuggling through improved road communications.
This project will also help expand trade and commerce, develop tourism facilities in hilly areas, facilitate marketing of agricultural products to boost economic activities and generate employment opportunities.
The planning minister said 16 projects were approved today with an overall estimated cost of more than Tk 96.80 billion. Of the approved 16 projects, 12 are new while four are revised ones.