Friday, 2 December, 2022

SFD inaugurates third Shitalakkhya Bridge project

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 9th October, 2022 11:35:46 PM
  • Print news

Today, under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and a selection of government officials, the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) inaugurated Shitalakkhya Bridge project. Financed by SFD through a loan of approximately 45 million USD, the project has been launched to provide underserved people and communities across Bangladesh greater access to vital resources and all-important basic services.

To mark the inauguration of the infrastructure project, an opening ceremony was held in the Prime Minister's Office and attended by Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Bangladesh, H.E. Mr. Essa Yousef Essa Alduhailan, and a delegation of SFD officials led by Dr. Saud Alshammari, SFD’s Head of Operations in Asia.

Located in Narayanganj District, the 1.29km bridge (the main bridge spanning 400m and adjoining bridges on both sides of the road spanning 890m) will link Bandar Upazila with the historic city of Sonargaon. The project will develop Bangladesh’s transport infrastructure. Comprised of four lanes—including designated lanes for pedestrians and separate lanes for vehicles— the development of Shitalakkhya Bridge will contribute to the enhancement of Bangladesh’s transport infrastructure.  

It will improve the country’s road transport network by facilitating the transport of goods, alleviating traffic jams, and spurring the economic growth of rural areas by linking them to main roads. Ultimately, it will raise the living standards of over two million Bangladeshi citizens and residents, in addition to bolstering the nation’s industrial and agricultural sectors.

Calling attention to the importance of international partnerships to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her deep gratitude to the Kingdom — represented by SFD— for its ongoing efforts to support the growth and development of Bangladesh’s infrastructure. Shitalakkhya Bridge project, she affirmed, underlines the strength of Bangladesh’s ties with Saudi Arabia, with the innovative undertaking bringing both nations even closer together.

Ambassador Essa Yousef Essa Alduhailan echoed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s sentiments, reiterating the crucial role global collaboration plays in effecting positive change for those in need. Underscoring the significance of Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia’s long-running partnership, the ambassador emphasized that Shitalakkhya Bridge project will help to advance progress and boost the Bangladeshi economy.

Dr. Saud Alshammari also highlighted the significance of Bangladesh’s partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Charting the success of their ongoing cooperation — an effective partnership that can be traced all the way back to 1977 — he stressed that the launch of the Shitalakkhya Bridge project will lay the groundwork for a brighter future for the people of Bangladesh, advancing social progress and creating economic opportunities that will benefit the country and wider region in the long run.

Since 1977, SFD has financed 16 projects in Bangladesh by providing 17 soft loans estimated at more than 494 million USD. These projects have been launched and implemented to bolster a range of vital industries and fields, including the water, health, energy, and transport sectors. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has also provided a grant— estimated at over 107 million USD — to Bangladesh to help it overcome the challenges and damages caused by natural disasters.