Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has reiterated her firm conviction that the people of Bangladesh will be able to cast their votes independently in the next general elections.
“The election commission (EC) may announce the election date and time (election schedule) in one or two days — the people will cast their votes freely,” she said.
The premier made the remarks after she virtually inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of 10,041 structures and houses under 157 development projects including Sheikh Hasina Swarani (Purbachal Expressway) and the first elevated expressway in Chattogram.
She opened and laid the foundation stones of the development schemes from her official residence Ganabhaban through video conferencing.
Of the projects, 4,644 were various development infrastructures and 5,397 houses for the landless and homeless people under the Ashrayan-2 project across the country involving Tk 97,471 crores under 24 ministries and divisions.
Among the schemes, 15 projects including the Purbachal Expressway, which was recently renamed Sheikh Hasina Swarani, were completed under the housing and public works ministry while different agencies of the shipping ministries are implementing 15 projects.
The four projects are under the primary and mass education ministry.
Under one of the four projects, the authority has constructed buildings for 2023 government primary schools across the country while she also opened at least 1,259 buildings of different educational institutions under the education ministry across the country.
The four day-care centres implemented under a project of the Women and Children Affairs Ministry were also inaugurated.
The premier, as well, opened two technical training centres in Manikganj and Narayanganj, which were built under a project of the Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry.
A total of 101 centres across the country were connected virtually to the programme.
A video documentary on the overall development of Bangladesh under the current Awami League government was screened at the function.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud and Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque among other ministers were present on the dais.
In Dhaka, the long-awaited 12.5 km Purbachal expressway which was named after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (from Kuril flyover point in Dhaka to Kanchan Bridge in Narayanganj) was constructed at a cost of Tk 14,000 crore.
The expressway has no stopover points, traffic signals, or any other obstacles, so vehicles can ply its entire length in as little as six or seven minutes. It is expected to ease road communication between the capital, Chattogram, and Sylhet.
The premier also opened 100 feet wide and 26km long canals on both sides of the Sheikh Hasina Swarani from Kuril to Balu River.
Constructions of a 6.20km long eight-lane expressway, four lanes service road, six lanes expressway from Balu river to Kanchan in Narayanganj and four lanes service road were completed.
Under the project, 184.79 acres of land was acquired.
Construction of five intersections over Sheikh Hasina Swarani, 12 bridges, six underpasses, 13 other bridges on the canals, 36.8 km walkways, 12.5km boundary wall, two sluice gates and 11 substations have been completed alongside the installation of 1,170 street lights under the project.
In Chattogram, three development projects of the Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) and one of the Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) involving Tk 6,000 crore were opened.
The CDA projects are the – 16 km-long Chattogram elevated expressway, Foujderhat-Bayezid Link Road, and Bakalia Express Road.
The CDA projects were named after former city mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury, Jane Alam Donash and Bangamata Fazilatunnesa Mujib.
The elevated expressway in Chattogram was constructed at a cost of Tk 4,298.95 crore.
The CPA constructed the Patenga Container Terminal at a cost of Tk 1,230 crore with its own finance.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud built 51 houses for the landless and homeless people in his locality with his own initiative.