“One significant factor that has stimulated the economic achievements of Bangladesh is the unshakable leadership of Prime-Minister Sheikh Hasina. The upward development curve of the country is her key contribution. The current stimulating economy of the country in last 50-year track record is a clear testament to this scuccess.”
This is what Kaushik Basu former Chief Economist of the World Bank opines. His evaluation is fitting. Because the competent daughter of Bangabandhu Jononetri Sheikh Hasina is the architect of roadmap following which Bangladesh is gradually marching towards improvement and prosperity. If we analyze the economic indicators during the last decade it is obvious that Bangladesh has progressed in healthcare, education, empowerment of women and all other socio-economic sectors. It has become a developing country from a least developed country. Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is marching rapidly towards becoming a middle-income country. Bangladesh once known to the world as a bottomless basket is now a middle-income country and a model economy. The wave of development in all sectors including information technology, agriculture, and communication has been unprecedented. It can be said that the country is progressing in all spheres – power, tele-communication, social safety, cultural and human resource development, and what not under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina. It’s not an over-statement that with all the mega-projects Bangladesh is now at a unique height. These projects symbolize the strength and capability of the government. Of these the first one worth mentioning is the Padma Multipurpose Bridge that has been built by using own money today stands over Padma River invalidating the corruption slander of the World Bank and the suspicions of all. This 6.15 kilometre long and 18.2 metre wide bridge has connected all 29 districts of the south-west with the whole country. The bridge will also facilitate train services. Test-run of trains are already on. Honourable Prime Minister will formally inaugurate the services. This bridge has increased the GDP of the country by 2%. In addition to connecting the people of the south-west who are lagging behind with the capital city Dhaka and the commercial capital Chittagong that is with the economic life-line of the country this bridge will connect the whole economy of the country.
The first metro-rail of the country is MRT-6 in Dhaka. The Uttara- Agargaon metro-rail has opened a new horizon in the communication sector of Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has adopted a long-term plan for upgrading the public-transportation system of the capital city right after Awami League formed government in 2009. In connection with this plan, the Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project or, the Metro-Rail project was approved by the ECNEC in 2012. At that time six-routes of the metro-rail was proposed and at first the Government started the construction of MRT Line-6 in 2013 by signing a loan-agreement with JICA. After the feasibility study and design finalization Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the construction work of MRT-6 on 26th June 2016. On 2nd August 2017 the construction of flyover and stations from Uttara to Agargaon started. The trial run of the trains started on 29th August last year. The formal inauguration of the metro-rail services from Uttara to Agargaon was formally inaugurated this year. MRT Line-6 from Uttara to Kamalapur is expected to end within 2025. This metro-rail is a milestone in the communication system of Bangladesh. It has energized the communication system of the capital city Dhaka where around one and half crore people reside.
Another icon of development and progress made by the Government of Sheikh Hasina is the Dhaka Elevated Expressway. On 2nd September Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Kaula (near Airport) to Tejgaon part of the elevated expressway. All vehicles except motorbike and three wheelers will ply via this expressway. The implementation of this project will substantially reduce the traffic congestion of Dhaks city as vehicles will reach from Shahjalal International Airport to Framgate within 10 minutes.
Karnafully River Tunnel is another ambitious project of this Government. The construction of the two-tube multilane tunnel is almost over and it will be inaugurated in October 2023. This tunnel will facilitate the creation of two-towns in one city concept and pave the way to the establishment of new Industries and rapid urbanization. All these will enhance the overall prosperity and glory of the country. In addition, this tunnel will enable road connectivity with South-East Asian country Myanmar and also with China. Overall, with the ease of communication systems, modernization, booming of industries and thriving of the tourism sector this tunnel will contribute to the reduction of unemployment and economic development of the country.
Another mega-project of the Shiekh Hasina Government is the Ruppur Neuclear Power Plant. This power plant, the first of its kind, is being built in Ishwardi Upazila under Pubna District. This priority project of the government is being implemented with technical assistance from Russia. The most expensive project of the country ever has been estimated to be about taka 1 lakh 13 thousand and 92 crore 91 lakh. This project will produce around 2 thousand 400 mega- watts of electricity. It will also create employment for 24-25 thousand people when in full operation.
Among the other development projects of the government the Dohazari-Ghumdhum Rail line, Rail-connectivity of the Padma Bridge, Rampal Thermal Power plant, Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway, etc. are worth mentioning.
Development is a continuous process and it requires good governance, stability and continuity. We never thought that Universal Pension system will be introduced in Bangladesh. It is only due to the vision of her excellency Sheikh Hasina the daughter of Bangabandhu that this revolutionary programme has been initiated. Besides, Home for Landless-Homeless project, allowance for the Senior Citizens, Widowed, and the differently able population, and many more humanitarian projects has changed the standard of life of the marginalized people. Today the destitute can at least two meals a day.
The National Election is scheduled to be held at the beginning of next year. To keep the momentum of development it is imperative that Jononetri Sheikh Hasina be elected again. Her vision-2041 which has been adopted to raise Bangladesh’s status as a developed country will require that Awami League forms the Government again. As Bangabandhu in his historic 7th March Speech said, “Noone will ever be able to suppress the Bangalee nation”, in the same way, nobody will be able to resist the procession of development led by Sheikh Hasina.