450 km highways upgraded to four-lane in 12 years: Quader


Dhaka, Oct 29: Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Thursday said about 450 kilometres of highways were upgraded to four-lane across the country in the last 12 years.

“In the last 12 years, around 450 km highways were upgraded to four-lane across the country and works continue to upgrade another 450 km to four-lane,” he said.

Quader, also the Awami League general secretary, revealed this information while speaking at a discussion on the 8th Five-Year Plan through videoconferencing from his official residence here.

He said not only the Road Transport and Bridges Ministry is involved in the implementation of safe roads, but also various ministries and agencies are involved in this process.

The issue of coordination among all stakeholders in ensuring safe roads should clearly be brought into the planning documents, said the road transport and bridges minister.

He said: “Now road accidents are the biggest concern for us and ensuring safe roads are the biggest challenge too.”

Quader said the government is working with a timeframe for the construction of six metro rail routes by 2030, while works on one route is progressing fast.

Physical works of two other routes will begin soon and the works of Dhaka Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project is also progressing fast, he added.

He said an initiative has been taken to introduce bus rotationalization aiming to restore discipline in city transportation and coordination is urgent for an efficient transport system too.

About the construction of Padma Bridge, the road transport and bridges minister said 34 spans of the bridge have already been installed with 5.1 km being visible now.

He said digging works of one tube (out of two) of Bangabandhu Tunnel beneath the Karnaphuli River has also been completed.

Besides, he said, about 56 percent work of the first phase of the elevated expressway has been completed.

About the BNP’s allegations, Quader said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir alleged that the government was walking on the path of depoliticization and hatching intrigues.

“We said it before and we are still saying that the government does not want depoliticisation, but it wants a more capable and strong opposition in the interest of the country’s democracy and healthy politics,” he added.

The AL general secretary said the AL never hatches any conspiracy against anyone but it had been the victims of plots many times.

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government believes in democracy and it is advancing towards the next election with the confidence of the people. “The role of the opposition is very important in this progress,” he added.

Quader urged BNP to play a strong and responsible role as an ally in the democratic process.

Chaired by Planning Commission member and senior secretary Shamsul Alam, the meeting was joined, among others, by Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan and Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar.