A rural road network project has been implemented in Rajshahi division aimed at removing physical bottlenecks for improving rural accessibility and enhancing the sustainability of rural transport and market services, reports BSS.
Implementation work of the Tk 4.25 billion (Tk 425-crore) project, titled "Improvement of Rural Roads, Bridges, Culverts and other Infrastructure of Backward Upazilas" were completed recently.
A total of 53 disadvantaged upazilas in Rajshahi, Naogaon, Natore, Chapainawabganj, Pabna, Sirajganj and Bogura districts were brought under the six-year project implemented by Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), said Abdul Maleque Sarker, Additional Chief Engineer of the LGED.
With the project intervention, more than 105.70-kilometre (km) upazila roads, 323-km union roads and 502.74-km village roads were improved besides construction of 1,000-meter bridges and culverts on the improved roads connecting important places of upazila and every union with Union Parishad and next higher road network.
Apart from that, 15.75-km submergible roads and 4-km road protection infrastructures were constructed. The rural level improved infrastructures have already started reducing transport costs, improving marketing system, increasing production and marketing facilities of agricultural products which are contributing a lot to socio-economic development of the project area.
Roadside tree plantation activities on the 85-km improved roads were done 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 vast Barind tract.
A total of 15 village markets were improved to create short and long term employment opportunity, socioeconomic development and alleviate poverty.
Improvement of the physical facilities of rural markets is ensuring fair price of agricultural products and thereby providing incentives to increase agricultural production, assist enhancement of rural economic and commercial activities.
The scheme of rural infrastructure development and creation of short and long-term employment opportunities in the farm and off farm sector will ultimately assist alleviation of rural poverty by involving rural people in economic and social activities.
Participation of beneficiaries including women and local government institutions in planning, implementation and maintenance activities of the project will be intensified.
To this end, community people were imparted training on campaigning and awareness building on health and nutrition.
Engineer Maleque Sarker said implementation of these schemes would in fact further strengthen the overall activities of rural markets at the grassroots level.
With infrastructure development of the selected area, rural communication network has been improved facilitating overall socio-economic advancement.
Chairman of Tanore Upazila Parishad Lutfor Haider Rashid said the improved transportation network is facilitating reducing the transportation cost and creating marketing facility of the produce.
As a whole, the project has started contributing enormously to raising the standard of living and livelihood condition in the remote villages, he added.