An on-going road development project is expected to create more jobs for rural people in 26 districts besides improving communication and enhancing road safety, the World Bank (WB) said in its recent project evaluation paper.
According to the study paper, the Second Bangladesh Rural Transport Improvement Project (RTIP II) already created employment opportunities in project areas, especially for poor women.
Besides, the WB said the RTIP II would create more jobs in the project areas as it would help improve and develop 33 markets that are the rural people's centers of economic activities.
"In each of these markets, a number of shops are reserved for women traders in Women's Marketing Sections (WMS)," the WB noted in its evaluation paper.
The project is being implemented through development and construction of upazila roads and union roads to improve accessibility in rural areas in two districts in the Rajshahi division and 24 districts in Chittagong, Dhaka and Sylhet divisions.
Under the road project, landing stations and jetties are being constructed at 10 locations while dredging is going on to restore 44 kilometers of waterways so the rural people who were isolated during winter would stay connected all year round.
The study paper said that the improving connectivity already reduced the average travel times and transportation costs by more than 50.0 percent and made it easier for local farmers and consumers to reach markets.
The $417 million project, which began in December 2012, is scheduled to be completed in April 2018.
Meantime, 2,533 kilometers of roads maintenance work were completed while another 309 kilometers repaired, according to WB evaluation paper.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)