Dhaka, Aug 29: Hoping that the Cox’s Bazar airport would be the world’s most attractive place for refueling, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her government wants to turn Bangladesh into the centre of communications for the entire world.
“We want to make Bangladesh as the centre of communications for the entire world capitalizing its geographical position,” she said while inaugurating expansion work of the Cox’s Bazar Airport runway.
She virtually opened the expansion work of the country’s longest runway from her official Ganabhaban residence this morning.
Sheikh Hasina said the runway would have to be developed in such a way that the world’s largest planes could land at the airport easily and quickly for refueling.
The Prime Minister said, “I believe that, after completing expansion work of the runway, the Cox’s Bazar Airport will be the most comfortable place for the planes travelling from the East to West or the West to East. “
Stating that separate places have been being important at different times, she said, “Once upon a time Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok were important while Dubai is currently considered as an important place”.
In this regard, she also hoped that Cox’s Bazar would be the next most important place for the entire world.
A video documentary regarding activities for development of the civil aviation sector by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and her elder daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the function.
State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali and its Secretary Md Mokammel Hossain spoke on the occasion while Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman gave the welcome address joining virtually the function from the Cox’s Bazar Airport end.
Cabinet members, local lawmakers, public representatives, political leaders and government officials were present at the airport.
PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah and PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim were present at the Ganabhaban end.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has wanted to turn Cox’s Bazar into one of the most modern cities having all the facilities to attract more tourists, especially foreigners as they could enjoy Bangladesh the most.
“We have a lot of plans (regarding overall development of Bangladesh) while it is more about Cox’s Bazar. We will develop Cox’s Bazar in such a way as it becomes the world’s best sea beach and tourist spot and the most modern city,” she added.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh for the first time is going to expand the runway of Cox’s Bazar Airport reclaiming land from the sea using modern equipment.
Extending greetings to those who took the initiative of expanding runway by reclaiming land from the sea facing protest of environment activists, she said the runway would be eye-catching and many people would throng Cox’s Bazar only to see it.
The runway would be upgraded to 10,700 feet from the existing 9000 upon completion of its work, she said, hoping that the work would be completed in due time.
The Premier mentioned that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had said Bangladesh could make a bridge between the East and West considering its geographical location.
In this connection, she said, “International air routes have passed over Bangladesh especially over the Cox’s Bazar.”
The Prime Minister said that Cox’s Bazar was one of the most favorite places of Bangabandhu and used to take all of his family members there every winter while he was out of jail.
Sheikh Hasina said that her government has a plan to transform the Sonadia Deep into an eco-park protecting the natural beauty and sea-species alongside developing the Shahparir Deep, Saint Martin Island and Maheshkhali Deep to make Cox’s Bazar as one the most attractive tourist places.
As part of the move, the government is constructing a marine drive from Cox’s Bazar to Teknaf and a rail line from Chattogram to Cox’s Bazar, she also said.
The Prime Minister said they are planning to build a designated place in the Cox’s Bazar for only the foreigners as they can enjoy their moments.
She said her government has tried to introduce Biman to other international routes alongside the existing ones, adding that Bangladesh had dream liners to operate on the routes of New York, Toronto and Sydney.
The Prime Minister said it would not be wise to only depend on the West rather have to focus on South Asia and Southeast Asia which will help increase the volume of commerce and businesses.
Mentioning that the government has been developing all the airports, she said they are upgrading Syedpur Airport as the regional airport so India, Bhutan and Nepal can use it.
She added that many states of India including Meghalaya and Assam can use the Sylhet international airport while Indian state Tripura can use the Chattogram international airport.
The Premier said they have added 16 ultra modern aircrafts such as four Boeing-777, two Boeing-737, four Boeing-787-8, two Boeing-789-9 and four Dash-8 to the Biman fleets in the last twelve and a half year.
Stating the repentant situation of the Biman in the past (during Zia, Khaleda and Ershad governments), she said that once upon a time, water leaked to the plane and there were no arrangements of entertainment in the Biman.
She said Bangladesh had achieved membership of the International Civil Aviation on September 21 in 1973 under the dynamic leadership of the Father of the Nation, adding that Bangladesh signed bilateral agreements with the Netherlands, Afghanistan, Russia and Yugoslavia.
The Prime Minister said Bangabandhu made Bangladesh a least developed country in his only three and a half year in power by facing numerous hurdles while the post 1975 governments did nothing for the development of the country as they did not believe the independence of the country.
She reiterated her commitments of building a Sonar Bangladesh free from hunger and poverty as envisioned by the Father of the Nation.