Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed the LGRD and Cooperatives Ministry to devise a master plan for the upazilas to protect cropland and check unplanned construction of dwelling houses and other establishments there.
“We can outline a master plan for each upazila to protect cropland as well as the educational institutions and playgrounds. If we can do it properly, people will accept it,” she said.The premier gave the directive while visiting the LGRD and Cooperatives Ministry at the Secretariat on Sunday.
She said agricultural land is being destroyed due to construction of buildings on cropland, and stressed the need for checking it for the greater national interest.
The master plan for the upazilas should have a complete layout of housing, hospitals, markets, schools, colleges, playgrounds, agricultural farms and industries, she added.
Highlighting her government’s various initiatives and future plans, the premier expressed her desire to strengthen the local government bodies through decentralisation of power.
“We want to strengthen local government bodes by decentralising power. There is no alternative to it to ensure services for the huge population. Otherwise development will not be sustainable,” she said.
Referring to the Bangabandhu’s initiative to constitute 60 districts, Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu made every district as an administrative unit to carry out development work.“We should also do something like that to properly carry out development work at the grass roots level,” the premier added.
BSS adds: LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Tazul Islam gave welcome address while state minister Swapan Bhattacharjee and Secretary SM Golam Faruk and senior officials of the ministry and Prime Minister Office (PMO) were present.
The premier said her government is mulling over preparing annual budget separately for every district and upazila considering its size, population and geographical aspects to reach the services to the doorsteps of the people and ensure optimum utilisation of public money.
“We give highest budgetary allocation for the LGRD ministry. We’ll be able to alleviate poverty to a larger extent if the LGRD Ministry functions properly,” she said, adding that the country will go ahead if the country is freed from poverty.”
The premier said her government is taking overarching programmes for development of education, healthcare and other sectors. But there should have a plan considering the basic needs of the people living in villages and towns, she added.
The premier said the LGRD and Cooperatives Ministry is very important in terms of its size, activities and budget allocation. The tasks of the ministry are multifaceted and most important task of it is to ensure safe drinking water for the people, sanitation, development of rural roads. So, “we have to accomplish many tasks under the ministry with a very specific plan,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the ‘one house, one farm’ project had been initiated so that every fallow land comes under cultivation and rural people sell their produces under a cooperative system to help them find a source of income.
The premier said military rulers destroyed the strength of mind of the people as a victorious nation. As a result, people were not yearning to work for the country from their respective fields and Bangladesh was branded very negatively across the world, she added.
Sheikh Hasina said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman liberated the nation to bring smile on the faces of the millions, but could not fulfill his dream. “We have to give importance to the welfare of rural people and development should have to be taken place at grass roots level if we want to take country towards prosperity.”
Laying importance on strengthening cooperative movement, the premier said her government, as prescribed in the constitution, has given importance to the public and private sector as well as cooperatives.
She said Bangabandhu envisaged development of every village in a planned way where there will have housing facilities, playgrounds, hospitals, croplands along with other civic amenities. It’s a very difficult task to meet the demand of huge population on a small land like Bangladesh, she added.
“So, we have to take our own development programmes, considering the geographical aspects, weather, soil condition and demography,” Sheikh Hasina further said. The premier said many tasks initiated by her government in 1996-2001 tenure were not completed by the next BNP government. But, it was an immense opportunity for her government to work for the nation for 10 years since 2009 and take the nation on the way of a developing country, she continued.
She expressed her firm conviction that Bangladesh will celebrate the golden jubilee of the independence as a hunger and poverty-free nation, saying none will neglect Bangladesh in future.