Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal today said the pre-condition for any country's economic advancement is improved communication system and there is a need to further improve the roads in the country.
According to the findings of various research institutions of the world, Bangladesh is poised to leave behind Singapore and Dubai in the next five years. Before that there is a need to improve the roads across the country, he said.
The Planning Minister was addressing a seminar titled 'Construction of standard road infrastructures in Bangladesh: problems and potentials' at the NEC Conference Room in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.
Talking about the structure of roads in Bangladesh, Mustafa Kamal said that the roads with bitumen would not last long in the country as water is harmful for bitumen and the country experiences heavy rain in the rainy season.
In this connection, he said that there is a need to make concrete roads having a lifespan of 20 years and there is no need for conducting maintenance works in the first 10 years in such roads.
He added that the contractors who are able to construct roads having a lifespan of 20 years should be awarded the bids to reduce the sufferings of people.
Considering the expenditure, the concrete roads may cost higher than bitumen roads in the initial stage, but in terms of sustainability, they are much better than the bitumen roads. Besides, overpasses and underpasses are needed to be constructed wherever those are necessary, he added.
The Planning Minister said although the Roads and Highways Division has some limitations, it will have to work to reach the country to its desired level.
He said apart from skilled manpower, the country still has weaknesses in both physical and non-physical infrastructures and there is a need to further improve those.
Kamal also underscored the need for associating the local people with the development projects to yield better outcomes.
Chaired by Senior Secretary of the Planning Division M Ziaul Islam, the seminar was also addressed, among others, by IMED Secretary Mofizul Islam, Road Transport and Highways Division Secretary Nazrul Islam, Chief Engineer of the Roads and Highways Department Ibne Alam Hasan, columnist Syed Abul Moksud, BUET Prof Shamsul Haque and architect Mobassher Hossain.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)