Monday, 30 January, 2023
E-paper

Cox’s Bazar wears a festive look ahead of PM’s visit

Cox’s Bazar wears a festive look ahead of PM’s visit
Work on iconic Cox’s Bazar Railway Station is progressing fast. The photo was taken on Tuesday. — PID photo

COX’S BAZAR: The entire Cox’s Bazar has worn a festive look as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is coming here today to visit the beach town, which is now witnessing tremendous development activities involving around Taka 3.5 lakh crore, reports BSS.

During her day long stay here, the premier opens the International Fleet Review 2022 and joins a mammoth public rally at the heroic freedom fighter Sheikh Kamal Cricket Stadium.

According to the officials concerned, 77 mega projects are being implemented at a cost of Taka 3.5 lakh crore in the district, which are expected to open new doors of economy and tourism industry of Cox’s Bazar.

“The work of the ongoing projects in Cox's Bazar is progressing fast. The Prime Minister herself is supervising the work of these projects and giving instructions to complete the projects on time,” Cox’s Bazar Deputy Commissioner Md Mamunur Rashid told BSS.

The major ones among the 77 projects are Cox's Bazar International Airport Expansion Project, rail line extension work from Dohazari to Ghumdhum and Matarbari Coal-Fired Power Plant. 

The rail line extension work from Dohazari to Ghumdhum will be completed by the middle of the next year, he said, adding that the work of several other projects, including Matarbari Power Plant and Cox's Bazar International Airport Expansion Project will also be completed at the same time.

As per the PM’s visit schedule, Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the International Fleet Review (IFR)-2022 with participation of navies and maritime organisations from 28 countries,     including Bangladesh, at Inani tomorrow and inspect the fleet as the chief guest.

Later, she will address a public rally organized by the district Awami League (AL) in the town.

Talking to BSS, Cox's Bazar International Airport Expansion Project Director Yousuf Bhuiyan said so far 43 percent work of the project has been completed and the stipulated time to complete the project is October next year.

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the take-off and landing of Biman Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the extended runway on May 6, 2017 and directed for extending the length of the runway from 9,000 feet to 12,000 feet.

As per the PM’s directive, the 'Runway Expansion of Cox's Bazar Airport' project was taken at a cost of 15,689 crore, he added.

Once completed, large aircraft will be able to take-off and land touching the sea at the airport, which will have re-fueling facility like an international airport, he added.

Bhuiyan said, “The airport expansion work is going on according to a design prepared by an internationally renowned consultant firm to protect the runway from natural calamities, cyclones and floods”.

Sea shore protection embankments, security patrol roads are also being constructed around the operational area to ensure the safety and security of the airport, he said.

Cox’s Bazar Airport Manager Golam Mortaza Hossain said, We have already increased the flight schedule. Currently, on an average, 25-30 passenger planes and 6-8 cargo planes are taking off and landing at Cox's Bazar Airport every day”.

The work of the Matarbari Coal-Fired Power Plant at Maheshkhali upazila in the district is progressing rapidly.

Officials familiar with the project said that the plant would produce 1200 megawatts electricity, which is expected to be added to the national grid by the end of 2023.

Matarbari Power Plant Project Executive Engineer Md Abu Raihan Sarker said about 88 percent work of the Coal-Fired Power Plant project has already been completed and 10,500 people are working every day at the project.

Construction work of two jetties has been completed and both the jetties are ready for docking ships carrying coal, he added.

Noting that other infrastructural work of the project is also in final stage, Raihan said, “By the end of 2023, 600 MW and another 600 MW will be added to the national grid by June 2024”.

The executive engineer said that the work of the coal-fired power plant project started at Matarbari in Maheshkhali in August 2017 under the initiative of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.

Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited (CPGCBL) is implementing the project, he said, adding that the expenditure for the plant and deep sea port has been estimated at around Taka 51,855 crore.

The power plant will have no adverse impact on the environment as no waste will be allowed to enter the sea, said Executive Engineer of Mechanical Department of the project Md Mizanur Rahman.

The construction of 100 kilometers (km) railway line from Chattogram's Dohazari to Cox's Bazar will be completed on June 30, 2023 as around 74 percent work of the project has been completed so far.

“We’re hopeful about opening the railway for operation in August next year,” said Project Director Mofizur Rahman.

The country's first iconic railway station is being built in the shape of an oyster in Cox's Bazar and its construction work is also at the final stage, he said.

The project director said this rail line is being constructed from Dohazari via Ramu over forest, hill and river at an estimated cost of around Taka 18,034.48 crore with loan support from Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Oyster-shaped iconic station building is being constructed in Chanderpara area of Jhilongjha Union of Cox's Bazar. The six-storey railway station-building having 1,87,037 square feet space is being built on 29 acres of land.

A beautiful oyster-shaped fountain will be created in the open field in front of the main building and passengers will enter the station through the oyster fountain.

The building will have a ticket counter, reception hall, information centre, mosque, children's amusement area, passenger lounge, shopping mall, restaurant, modern hotel, conference hall and offices of the station.