Moon Desk: Physical bottleneck towards improving rural accessibility coupled with enhancing the sustainability of rural transport and market services has been removed to a greater extent as a result of implementation of a rural road network project in the region.
The six-year project titled “Improvement of Rural Roads, Bridges, Culverts and other Infrastructure of Backward Upazilas” was implemented in Rajshahi division a couple of years back.
Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) has implemented the scheme in 53 disadvantaged upazilas of Rajshahi, Naogaon, Natore, Chapainawabganj, Pabna, Sirajganj and Bogra districts at a cost of around Taka 425-crore.
KM Zulfiker Ali, Additional Chief Engineer of LGED, told BSS that 105.70-km upazila roads, 323-km union roads and 502.74-km village roads were improved.
Besides, 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 were constructed.
Apart from, 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 opportunities, 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 contributes to alleviate 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 is also being intensified.
Community people were imparted training on campaigning and awareness building on health and nutrition.
Engineer Zulfiker Ali 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, the rural communication network has been improved facilitating overall socio-economic advancement.
Jahangir Alam, Chairman of Godagari upazila Parishad, said the improved transportation network is playing a vital role towards reducing the transportation cost and creating marketing facilities for the produce.
As a whole, the project has started contributing enormously to raising the standard of living and livelihood conditions in the remote villages, he said.