The government has implemented eye-popping development in the communication sector by constructing roads, bridges, and overpasses, thus changing people’s lifestyles drastically.
Since 2009, during the three consecutive terms of the Awami League-led government, several mega projects have been completed in Comilla, like the rest of the country, in all fields, including communication, technology, sports and culture.
Apart from these projects, the authorities have implemented development and modernization schemes at Comilla Railway Station, Comilla University, and Victoria Government College. In addition, special initiatives have been taken to renovate the three bus stands in the city.
Second Meghna-Gomti Bridge
There are many small and large bridges on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway, which is the lifeline of Bangladesh. Among them, the Meghna-Gumti bridge is in Daudkandi in Comilla, the Meghna bridge in Gajaria in Munshiganj and the Kanchpur bridge in Narayanganj.
However, before the 90s, vehicles and passengers used to cross these three big rivers by ferry. In addition to various problems, the passengers lost a lot of time. Due to the construction of these bridges, a new milestone was added to the country’s communication system.
However, even though the pressure of people and vehicles increased over time, the perimeter of the bridges did not increase. But at this time, the entire highway has turned into four lanes. At least 30,000 vehicles are using this highway every day, for which traffic jams were a constant on the bridges. Many times the cars on one side were stopped and the cars on the other side were moving. During Eid, people at home were subjected to indescribable suffering.
Therefore, the Road Transport and Highways Division (RHTD) took new initiatives to prevent traffic congestion.
In continuation of this, the government decided to build alternative bridges while keeping the previous bridges intact. The construction of the second Meghna-Gumti, second Meghna, and second Shitalakshya bridges began in the same period.
Among these, the construction of the second Meghna-Gumti Bridge started in January 2016, but it faltered due to the Holy Artisan attack for about four months. Later, the work started again in full swing. It was completed after three years and five months at a cost of Tk1,950 crore.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina officially inaugurated the 1.41km-bridge on May 25, 2019. Since then, millions of people in the eastern-southern districts have benefited from it. Comilla residents are happy to be able to enter the capital in just two and a half hours. Due to the advanced communication system, many people are working in Dhaka and returning to Comilla every day.
For the first time in Bangladesh, the bridge has been built on Japan’s modern technology and steel narrow box girders. As the bridge is established on a durable and strong foundation, there is no danger of damage. There is a four-lane approach road, and due to the electronic toll collection (ETC) system on the bridge, vehicles do not have to stop in front of the plaza to pay the toll.
Badrul Huda Zenu, former president of the Conscious Citizens Committee (Sanak, Comilla), said that the opening of the second Meghna-Gomti bridge has added a new dimension to the communication system of the country. Now there is no more the familiar 40-50km traffic jam.
Chairman of Daudkandi Upazila Parishad Major (Retd) Mohammad Ali Sumon said that Bangladesh is on the highway of development under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina. The renovation of the first Meghna-Gomti bridge—built in 1995 at a cost of Tk460 crore—and the construction of the second are bold and revolutionary steps by the present government. Not only the people of Comilla, but the people of the whole country are getting the benefits.
Padua Bazar Overpass
The Padua Bazar-Bishwa Road Railway Overpass has opened a new horizon in Comilla’s communication system. Built under the Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane project, this overpass with a length of 344 metres has been constructed by the Bangladesh Army at Tk30.46 crore.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina officially inaugurated it on April 5, 2018. The overpass has ended decades of traffic jams on the highway, and accidents have been reduced.
The work on this overpass started in March 2016 and was completed in December 2017. Ever since the launch, the ever-familiar traffic congestion of Dhaka-Chittagong and Comilla-Noakhali-Chandpur vehicles is no longer seen.
Anjuman Sultana, an Awami League MP from a reserved women’s seat, said that the railway crossing of Padua Bazar Bishwa Road was once a matter of great concern for drivers and passengers. The overpass has been implemented due to the planned initiative of the present government.
The Shashangachha flyover was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 5, 2018. However, it was initially opened for traffic on March 12 of the same year. The 631.5 metre-long flyover has been constructed by the Bangladeshi company Spectra Engineering Limited with the funding of the Japanese organization Jica.
The residents of the city feel that the movement of vehicles and ambulances entering the city from Alekharchar Bishwa Road has been eased due to its implementation.
At one time, one of the sufferings of the people of Comilla was the railway crossing. Due to the rail traffic on the Dhaka-Chittagong and Comilla-Sylhet routes, most of the time all the vehicles entering the city were hit by the signal.
According to railway sources, an average of 56 trains run through the Shashangachha railway line every day. If each car is stuck for 10 minutes, at least 9 hours would have been wasted for the passengers. Not only this, but the presence of multiple bus stands a few yards west of the railway crossing further increases the level of traffic congestion.
So a kind of anarchic situation prevailed in the tangle of CNG, autos and other vehicles. After realizing this, Comilla City Corporation was the first to take the initiative to construct the flyover.
Shaheed Dhirendranath Dutta Stadium
During the tenure of the current ruling Awami League government, the sports sector of Comilla has received a touch of modernity. The aesthetic atmosphere of the traditional Shaheed Dhirendranath Dutta Stadium can easily attract any sports lover.
About Tk30 crore has been spent on the renovation of the field, while the modern swimming pool has increased its beauty. As a result, this stadium with a capacity of 18,000 spectators has become more lively than at any time in the past.
Located on the eastern bank of the city’s Dharmasagar and between the Central Eidgah and Zilla School, the stadium is currently a venue for First Class and List “A” cricket. Local and regional players are getting opportunities to practice and play matches here regularly. Since many tournaments, including BPL, have been held in recent times, its value is increasing day by day at the national level.
Nazrul Institute Centre
There are thousands of memories of the national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam in Comilla. Therefore, the government established the Comilla Nazrul Institute Centre at Dharmasagarpar for the biography and literary practice of the poet of rebellion and equality. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina officially inaugurated the centre on April 20, 2013.
For the past decade, this institution has become a unique address for cultural workers in art and literature. Now various organizations and institutions can hold programs and seminars in a modern and aesthetic environment at a low cost.
The centre is open to everyone from 10am to 4pm. Recitals and training courses are held on a regular basis. Although the seminar hall has 150 seats, the beautiful open stage adjacent to Dharmasagar can also host a large audience. Also, there is a modern research centre and a library on Nazrul’s biography and works.
Comilla’s prominent writer Halim Abdullah said that the institution is spreading the light of art and literature among the masses.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has approved the formation of the Comilla Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) to ensure an environment-friendly, sustainable, and people-oriented affordable water supply and sanitary sewage system.
The process of starting work on the Tk22,000 crore project began after getting the government’s green signal on August 14 this year.
Contacted, Comilla City Mayor Arfanul Haque Rifat said: “If this project is implemented, the Wasa authorities will look at the entire issue of water supply and sewage disposal in the city. He expressed hope that the work would be completed in a short time.
LGRD Minister and Comilla-10 (Laksam-Manoharganj) Constituency lawmaker Tajul Islam said that the Comilla Wasa will supply water to Laksam, Nangalkot, Feni, Noakhali and Mirsarai industrial areas of Chittagong.
The government is implementing the Knowledge Park project in Lalmai with the aim of bringing about radical change in the ecosystem of the region. If this project, worth Tk175 crore is implemented, at least 1,000 people will be employed and 300 men and women will get training every year.
Moreover, it will play a special role in creating freelancers and young entrepreneurs.
The project is being financed by the ICT Division. On September 2, Finance Minister and local lawmaker AHM Mustafa Kamal and State Minister for ICT Affairs Junaid Ahmed Palak laid the foundation stone of the project at Duttapara. Project Director AKM Fazlul Haque said it will be implemented by June 2024.
Source: Dhaka Tribune.