Commissioning of the Second Teesta Road Bridge has unfurled a new horizon of economic progress side by side with improving regional communication networks in the northern region, reports BSS.
The people of Rangpur and Lalmonirhat started dreaming of more development when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the bridge constructed on the Teesta at the juncture of these two districts through videoconferencing from Ganabhaban on Sunday.
Talking to BSS, president of Rangpur Chamber Mostafa Sohrab Chowdhury Titu said commissioning of the bridge has unlocked a new entrance to economic progress along with improving communication system in the sub-Himalayan region.
Easier communication using the bridge has created a real opportunity to expand regional and international trade and promote agriculture, health, education and other sectors to change socio-economic condition of the common people.
“The bridge has reduced over 40-km distance between Dhaka and Rangpur with Burimari Land Port (BLP) in Lalmonirhat further brightening prospect of increasing international trade among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN),” he said.
He said the bridge would ease transportation of export-import goods in less time and costs to encourage joint investments for industrialisation to further enhance international trade and commerce among the BBIN nations through the BLP in the region.
Senior vice-president of Rangpur Chamber Mostoba Hossain Ripon said, earlier, the Teesta was an obstacle for the people of six upazilas of Lalmonirhat and Rangpur to direct road communication and the situation use to worsen during the rainy seasons.
“Construction of the bridge on the Teesta has removed the decades-old barrier by establishing direct road communication making movement of people easier and fulfilling another long-cherished hope of around 18-lakh people,” he said.
Importer Enamul Haque said transportation of imported goods and journey of foreigners from BLP to Dhaka, Rangpur and other parts of the country using the Burimari-Lalmonirhat-Barobari land route was uncomfortable in the past.
“With commissioning of the Second Teesta Road Bridge, we are using the Burimari-Kakina-Mohipur-Rangpur-Dhaka land route to transport our imported products from BLP to respective destinations in a shorter time at less costs,” Haque said.
Chairman of Rangpur-based research organisation ‘Northbengal Institute of Development Studies’ Dr Syed Samsuzzaman said commissioning of the bridge would contribute largely to speed up regional progress and bring socio- economic benefits to people.
Talking to BSS, students Shihab Uddin, Abdul Malek, Sumitra Rani and Arifa Begum of different villages in Lalmonirhat expressed happiness over commissioning of the bridge to establish direct communication with Rangpur, Dhaka and other parts of the country.
They had to travel extra 40 kilometres distance to go to their educational institutions in Rangpur city from Kaliganj, Aditmari, Patgram and Hatibandha upazilas and other areas of Lalmonirhat before commissioning of the bridge, they said.
Nurul Islam, a resident of Patgram upazila in Lalmonirhat, said relatives of many patients of their area had to cross an additional 40-km road distance for the Teesta on way to Rangpur Medical College Hospital (RMCH).
“With commissioning of the Second Teesta Road Bridge, the people of our area are reaching the RMCH quickly at reduced costs though many critically sick patients died before reaching the hospital in the past,” Islam added.
Farmers Akmal Hossain and Kashem Ali of Kaliganj upazila said they would get fair price of their agriculture products onwards as the new bridge has eased transportation of the same.
Kaliganj Upazila Engineer Parvez Newaz Khan said Local Government and Engineering Department has constructed the 850-metre bridge at around Taka 123-crore.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated its construction works on April 12, 2012, he said.