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16 July 2024

Business Insider Bangladesh

Govt building 268km roads to smooth rural connectivity in Cox’s Bazar

BI Desk || BusinessInsider

Published: 00:49, 22 June 2024  
Govt building 268km roads to smooth rural connectivity in Cox’s Bazar

Photo: Collected

To mitigate some of the risks facing both the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals (FDMNs) and their host communities, the government is implementing a project for smoothing the rural connectivity in Cox’s Bazar district.

Under the project titled ‘Emergency Multi-Sector Rohingya Crisis Response Project (EMCRP)’, the government is building 268 kilometers roads in several upazilas, including Ukhia and Teknaf under Cox’s Bazar district.

The government is also building 40 resilience new cyclone shelters, 10 new cyclone shelters, one relief administration and distribution centre, 34 multipurpose community service centres, six haat-bazaars (markets), two fire service offices, one LGED building, nine fire-fighting warehouses and many drains, culverts and bridges inside the camps.

Under the project, the government is also setting up lightning arresters and solar street lights.

Talking to BSS, Project Director of the EMCRP, being implemented by Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), Javed Karim said the project is helping build and rehabilitate basic infrastructure, improve community resilience and help prevent gender-based violence against the forcibly displaced Rohingya population.

He said the mass fleeing of hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas in order to avoid the death or persecution in the northern Rakhine province of Myanmar (Burma) for neighboring Bangladesh since August 2017 has caused the advent of the World’s fastest growing refugee crisis.

“About 10.00 lac Rohingyas have crossed the border from Myanmar to several camps across Cox's Bazar District in Teknaf and Ukhia Upazilas, placing an immense strain on the existing infrastructure and on an already resource-constrained social service delivery system and the environment,” he added.

He said the large influx of the Rohingya population outnumbers the host community by about 3:1 in the affected Upazilas, posing significant risks of exposure to natural disasters, tremendous pressure on social service delivery system including road communication, crowding and congestion in haat-bazar.

Executive Engineer of LGED Cox’s Bazar Md Mamun Khan said LGED has done extensive work under the project at the local level for socio-economic development.

He informed that 268 kilometers road development and rehabilitation works are being done.

Among the roads, he said, work of around 200 kilometers has been completed.

“Four bridges and 45 school-cum-disaster shelters in Ukhia Upazila have been handed over. Also, a modern jetty is being constructed at the Cox's Bazar- Maheshkhali link gate. Two rubber dams have been constructed. Apart from these, several other works are going on,” he added.

He also said that multipurpose community service centres, satellite fire service centres, 268 lightning arresters, 2500 solar street lights and 35 nanogrids for energy supply have been installed inside the camp.

The works of another 35 nanogrids for energy supply are in progress, he added.

Mamun Khan, however, said that EMCRP is using the Bangladesh Center for Communication Programs (BCCP) as a medium for awareness in this regard.

“Through BCCP, we have been able to convey messages from lower to higher levels. Beneficiaries have responded positively to these developments. Beneficiaries are now thinking that everything is being done for them,” he added.

A local shopkeeper of the Taipalong village under Ukhia upazila Md Imran said due to the government initiative, the communication system and other facilities in the area are improving day by day.

“We are now moving one place to another place easily. The road communication and other facilities in our village are now better than earlier,” he added.

Thanking BCCP, Imran said villagers are now more aware for protecting the public assets.

Development Project Proposal (DPP) of the EMCRP got the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approval on October 30, 2018. The Revised Development Project Proposal (RDPP) was approved on October 06, 2020.

The total estimated cost of the project is Tk 1,394.47 crore. Of the amount, the government is providing Tk 12.80 crore and the rest Tk 1,381.67 crore is coming from the World Bank and German Development Bank.