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No anti-people development project, says PM

WT24 Desk

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday asked the authorities concerned to take such development projects that will not affect people, Agencies report.

“We’ll definitely undertake development projects, but the development will have to be for people. There should be no development (project) harming people,” she said.

The Prime Minister made the remarks during a presentation of Moheshkhali-Matarbari Integrated Infrastructure Development Initiative (MIDI) Project at her office in the city.

PM’s Speech Writer Md Nazrul Islam briefed reporters after the event.

The Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to provide proper compensation in time to the people whose lands acquired for development project.

She said the aim of her government is to improve the living standard of people and all of them can lead a beautiful life.

Talking about the development of Cox’s Bazar, Sheikh Hasina said the coastal district was once very neglected and its people used to lead an inhuman life.

“Once there was nothing in Cox’s Bazar and the people of the entire region used to depend on only salt and betel leaf cultivation,” she was quoted as saying.

Hasina said now her government is developing Cox’s Bazar as a tourist hub. Besides, the government is setting up industries in char areas, including Matarbari of the district, after discussion with the community people there, she said.

The Prime Minister said the largest coal-fired power plant of the country, a coal jetty and an LNG terminal are being built at Matarbari.

Besides, a multipurpose seaport, special economic zone, road, rail and other relevant projects are being taken there, she added.

Various countries like Japan, China, India and Korea have already expressed their interest to make investment in Matarbari, said the Prime Minister.

Once the projects are implemented, she said, Matarbari will play a big role not only in the development of the region, also in the country’s economy.

Mentioning that the world’s largest unbroken sea beach is in Cox’s Bazar, the Prime Minister said the government is setting up an economic zone alongside developing it as a tourist centre.

The construction work on Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane highway has already been completed, while the work on setting up rail lines up to Cox’s Bazar is progressing fast, she said adding that high-speed train will be introduced on the route.

Hasina said work is underway to develop Cox’s Bazar Airport as an international one.

At the outset of the function, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority, Paban Chowdhury handed over a master plan on the MIDI Project to the Prime Minister.

Ministers and secretaries concerned as well as high officials of the different ministries and departments were present at the event moderated by Principal Coordinator on the SDG Affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office Md Abul Kalam Azad.

The officials concerned said the Costal Economic Corridor from Mirsarai to Teknaf is very important for Bangladesh’s economic progress.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial Estate ( Feni Economic Zone, Mirsarai Economic Zone, Sitakundu Economic Zone), Moheshkhali-Matarbari Integrated Infrastructure Development Initiative (MIDI) Project and Sabrang Eco Tourism Park have been included in the Corridor, they said.

Noting that the MIDI project is a Fast Track one, they said the work on formulating draft on the Land Use Survey the project site is underway by JICA.

The Japan government has proposed implementing 15 projects out of 37 identified ones in the project site with their investment. The amount of the proposed investment of JICA is about 20 billion US dollars, the officials said.

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