Sunday, 23 January, 2022
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2022 to be a watershed year

2022 to be a watershed year

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Maintaining an unprecedented pace of progress in the last 13 years under the Awami League-led government, Bangladesh has emerged as a development miracle and, consequently, been recommended by the UN in 2021 to be graduated from LDC to a developing country list after fulfilling all three eligibility criteria— per capita income, human assets and economic and environmental vulnerability. During this period, along with strengthening the country's economy, the visionary leaders of the ruling party have undertaken so many mega projects some of which will be inaugurated by this year, bringing further scope to the development. Therefore, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in a speech marking the third anniversary of her government’s third consecutive term, has rightly said 2022 will be a milestone for our country in infrastructural development.

The much-anticipated Padma Bridge is scheduled to be inaugurated in June next. Besides, the government has taken a plan to begin the metro-rail operation on 14 kilometres from Uttara to Agargaon by the end of this year, whereas the country’s first-ever tunnel will be inaugurated beneath the Karnaphuli in Chattogram in October next.

Connecting the southern part to the capital and other parts of the country, the Padma Bridge is anticipated to boost the GDP by 1.2 per cent. Once completed, the Metro Rail will be a great success in managing traffic congestion that currently causes 3.2 million working hour losses every day, resulting in an estimated annual loss of approximately Tk 55,000 crore. On the other hand, the Karnaphuli tunnel, on completion, not only makes regional connectivity easier by connecting the proposed Asian Highway and the Dhaka-Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Highway but also reduces the distance between Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar by road, along with easing the traffic congestion for port-city-bound vehicles.

All these will surely contribute a lot to the national economy that has maintained positive growth even during the coronavirus pandemic and been ranked ninth among the 41 successful countries that could do so in 2021. If these megaprojects come into operation by this year and such a trend continues in the future, it will not be a difficult task for the country to achieve its target to be a high-income country by 2030 and a developed one by 2041. Therefore, the inauguration of several mega projects having so much impact on the national economy and public life will have placed the year as a special one.