Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday asked the authorities concerned to take development projects in such a way so that the people did not get affected due to the projects.
‘We will definitely undertake development projects, but all will have to keep this in mind that the uplift is made for the people,’ she said.
The prime minister made the remarks during the presentation of Moheshkhali-Matarbari Integrated Infrastructure Development Initiative Project at the prime minister’s office in Dhaka in the morning.
After the event, PM’s speech writer Md Nazrul Islam briefed reporters about the programme.
Sheikh Hasina said that the aim of her government was to improve the living standard of people.
‘When we will undertake development schemes, we’ve to give attention so that the life and livelihood of the poor people do not get affected,’ she said.
In this regard, the prime minister instructed the authorities concerned to give proper compensation to the people whose lands were acquired for development.
While talking about the development of Cox’s Bazar, Sheikh Hasina said that the coastal district was once very neglected and its people used to lead an inhuman life.
‘There was a time while 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 said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government was developing Cox’s Bazar as a tourist hub.
‘Besides we’re setting up industries in char areas including Matarbari of the district on the basis of discussion with the community people there,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that the largest coal-fired power plant of the country, coal jetty and an LNG terminal were being built in Matarbari.
‘Besides a multipurpose seaport, special economic zone, road, rail and other relevant projects are being taken there under which 37 schemes have been identified,’ she added.
The PM said different countries including Japan, China, India and Korea had expressed their interest to invest in Matarbari.
‘Once the projects are implemented, Matarbari will play a big role not only in the development of the region, also in the country’s economy,’ the PM added.
At the outset of the function, Paban chowdhury, executive chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority, 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 on the occasion.
Principal coordinator on the SDG affairs at the prime minister’s office Md Abul Kalam Azad moderated the event.
Pointing out a huge potentiality of Cox’s Bazar, the prime minister said the world’s largest unbroken sea beach was located in this district.
‘Centring Cox’s Bazar, we’re setting up an economic zone side by side with developing it as a tourist hub,’ she said.
‘The construction work of Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane highway has already been completed, while the work on setting up rail line up to Cox’s Bazar is progressing fast,’ she said, adding that high speed train would be introduced on the route.
Sheikh Hasina said the work was underway to develop Cox’s Bazar Airport as an international one.
Talking about influx of 11 lakh Rohingyas into Cox’s Bazar, the prime minister said that it was a big problem for the Cox’s Bazar people.
‘We’re holding talks with Myanmar for repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas and we have also sought for help from the international community to this end,’ she said.
The prime minister also paid tributes to the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and said, ‘Bangabandhu presented independence and a constitution to us and he dreamt of building a hunger-and-poverty-free Sonar Bangla.’
Sheikh Hasina said Sheikh Mujibur Rahman also wanted to bring economic emancipation for the people.
‘But his dream was not fulfilled as he was brutally killed with most of the family members on the fateful night of August. We’re now working relentlessly to complete his unfinished work,’ she said.
Officials familiar with the project said that the Costal Economic Corridor from Mirsarai to Teknaf was very important for Bangladesh’s economic progress.
They said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial Estate ( Feni Economic Zone, Mirsarai Economic Zone, Sitakundu Economic Zone), Moheshkhali-Matarbari Integrated Infrastructure Development Initiative Project and Sabrang Eco Tourism Park had been included in the corridor.
The officials said that the largest coal-fired power plant of the country, coal jetty and an LNG terminal were being built in Matarbari.
Besides, a multipurpose seaport, special economic zone, road, rail and other relevant projects were being taken there under which 37 schemes had been identified, they added.
Following the approval of the prime minister, the MIDI project had been included in the Fast Track scheme, they said, adding that the work on formulating draft on the Land Use Survey in the project site was underway by the JICA.
The Japan government had proposed to implement 15 projects out of 37 identified in the project site in their investment and the amount of the proposed investment of the JICA was about 20 billion US dollar, the officials said.
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