16 Mar 2024, 12:49

Infrastructure development infuses dynamism into Rajshahi's rural livelihoods

By Md Aynal Haque

RAJSHAHI, March 16, 2024 (BSS)- The newly constructed physical infrastructures have infused dynamism into the livelihoods of rural people in the region, including its vast Barind tract, for the last couple of years.

As a whole, the infrastructure improved rural accessibility together with upgrading quality and enhancing sustainability of rural transport and market services through removing the physical bottlenecks.

On behalf of its 'Greater Rajshahi District Rural Infrastructure Development Project', Local Government Engineering Development (LGED) has constructed connecting roads, bridges, culverts and rural markets and growth centres.

Project Director Abu ZafarTaufique Hasan said they have implemented the project in 32 upazilas of Rajshahi, Naogaon, Chapainawabganj and Natore districts at a cost of around Taka 623.27 crore with the main thrust of increasing rural income and reducing rural poverty through sustainable economic growth, rural development and improved infrastructure.

There were various types of infrastructure development and awareness building works, including upazila and union road, bridge and culvert on the upazila, union and village roads, rural market, tree plantation, sanitary latrine, tube well installation, livelihood and pro-poor institutional development, under the uplift scheme.

He said 63-kilometer upazila roads, 185-kilometer union roads and 363-kilometer village roads were improved. Besides, 472-meter bridges on upazila road, 392-meter bridges on union road and 511-meter bridges on village road were constructed.

Apart from constructing 14.5-kilometer submersible roads and widening 27-kilometer roads, 232-kilometer roads were either maintained or rehabilitated.

In addition to this, 13 rural markets and one mango market were established with intervention of the recently implemented project.

The project has been contributing a lot towards reducing transportation cost together with improving the marketing system, increasing production and marketing facilities of agricultural products for socio-economic development through improving the overall transport network of the four districts.

It has also been assisting in the field of alleviating rural poverty by involving rural people in economic and social activities through development of rural infrastructure and creation of short and long-term employment opportunities in the farm and off farm sector.

The improved transportation network has been facilitating and reducing the transportation cost besides creating marketing facilities of the produce in and around the respective areas.

Grassroots people, including the marginalized and ethnic minority ones, are seen availing the scopes of improving their overall living and livelihood conditions as a result of implementation of the project in the region.

Apart from this, community people were imparted training on campaigning and awareness building on health and nutrition. Interests of the beneficiary market labourers group and women market traders along with poor women traders are being protected through road maintenance.

Roadside tree plantation activities on the improved roads were implemented successfully contributing a lot towards reducing carbon emission at a substantial level together with reducing the adverse impact of climate change in the vast Barind tract.

 As a whole, the improved works are working for capacity building and institutional development through providing training to the Union Parishad representatives and community groups.

"I'm one of the direct beneficiaries of the improved infrastructures as these are helping me to earn extra money from farming outputs," said Monirul Islam, a grassroots farmer of Dhamila village under Godagari upazila.
He said many of the farmers are seen cultivating vegetables and fruits commercially and becoming financially solvent after the best uses of the improved infrastructures all as the modern technologies.
Islam expressed gratitude to the government, particularly Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, for uplifting the rural roads for welfare of the public in general.

Abdul Kader, Nachole Upazila Chairman in Chapainawabganj district, told BSS that the improved infrastructural development has been contributing a lot towards improving living and livelihood conditions of the grassroots populations in the wider perspectives.


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