ECNEC okays proposed border roads on hilly frontiers
20 March 2018, Nirapad News: The National Economic Council Executive Committee (ECNEC) today approved a project to construct some 317 kilometres “border roads” on hilly frontiers with India and Myanmar along Bangladesh’s southeastern hills with a key objective of tightening border security.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the construction of the “border roads” in that particular region appeared crucial because of its susceptibility to weapon and drug smuggling and human trafficking.
He said the “border roads” on the rugged hilly frontiers would enable Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and other security forces to enforce a tightened vigil and help expansion of trade and commerce in the Southeast Asia and tourism facilities in the hilly areas.
“It will facilitate as well marketing of agricultural products to boost economic activities and thus generate employment opportunities for the local people there,” the minister said.
Kamal said Roads and Highways Department and army’s Special Works Organisation were entrusted with the task of building the roads by June 2021 in six upazilas of Khagrachhari, Bandarban and Rangamati hill districts and Cox’s Bazar.
He said the cost for implementing the project was estimated to be Taka 1,699.85 crore.
Bangladesh’s southeastern hills have 540 kilometre borders with the two neighbouring countries – 330 kilometres with India and 210 with Myanmar.
The project will be implemented at Naikhongchhari upazila of Bandarban, Juraichhari, Borkol and Rajsthali of Rangamati, Ukhia of Cox’s Bazar and Baghaichhari of Khagrachhari.
Of the proposed 317 kilometres roads, 40 kilometres will be constructed on the Ukhia-Ashartoli-Fooltuli route, 52 kilometres on the Sajek-Shildah- Betling, 95 kilometers on Sajek-Dokanghat-Thegamukh, and 130 kilometres on Thegamukh-Loitongpara-Thachhi-Dumdumia-Rajsthali route.
According to the minister, the scheme was one of the 16 projects approved by the ECNEC today involving Taka 9,680.05 crore while of them 12 were new projects and four others were revised ones.
This was the 20th ECNEC meeting in the current fiscal, held at the NEC Conference Room at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.