RAJSHAHI, Nov 14, 2017 (BSS) - Implementation works of a big project are progressing fast aiming at enhancing the accessibility of the rural people to the markets and economic opportunities in the region with ultimate goal of uplifting their living and livelihood condition.
The project being implemented by Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) has already started widening the access to markets and economic opportunities. It will also boost the earnings, access to basic services like health and education of the rural poor.
Ali Ahmed, Additional Chief Engineer of LGED, here told BSS that the seven-year project titled "Sustainable Rural Infrastructure Improvement" is being implemented in 21 districts covering 140 upazilas under Rajshahi, Rangpur and Khulna divisions at a cost of around Taka 989.73 crore.
Main thrust of the project is to increase rural income and to reduce rural poverty through sustainable economic growth, social and gender development and improving infrastructure in the project area.
Under the project, around 678-km Upazila roads and 173-km union roads are being upgraded bitumen standard to provide connectivity between agricultural production areas and growth center markets.
Besides, 53.57-kilometer upazila roads and 18.16-kilometer union roads are being upgraded.
The rural road network will ultimately promote overall development of the transportation system. Thereby, socio-economic condition of the rural people will be elevated by providing assistance for higher agricultural production and their marketing.
Cross drainage structures, such as bridges and culverts with a total length of 4,500 meters are being constructed. Provisions for road safety such as road signs, delineators and bollards near the approach to the bridges and reflectors added to tree trunks and provision of loading and unloading zones were incorporated into the design of Upazila roads.
Roadside tree plantation activities on the 320-kilometer improved roads are progressing successfully that will ultimately help reduce carbon emission at a substantial level and that is very important to face the adverse impact of climate change in the region.
The project has a target of improving infrastructure of 88 Growth Center Markets (GCMs) including creation of 50 women markets. The markets will have various necessary privileges like paved trading areas, sheds, improved water supply system, adequate drainage and sanitation facilities and market offices.
Indirect project benefits likely to facilitate poverty reduction are increased in farm income, higher crop yields resulting from improvement in the availability and use of fertilizer and other inputs.
Engineer Ali Ahmed said around 85 percent works on the project have so far been completed and its implementation would in fact further strengthen the overall activities of local government bodies.
Upon successful implementation by June, 2018, the project will contribute enormously to raise standard of living of rural people in the remote villages, Engineer Ahmed expected.