Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday (February 19) said her government would build Dhaka as a "Smart City" as she opened the Kalshi Flyover and a six-lane road from ECB square to Kalshi to the traffic at Mirpur here.
"We will build Dhaka as a Smart City," she said while addressing a public rally at Kalshi Balur Math here after opening the flyover and the road unveiling a plaque.
The prime minister said her government has taken plan keeping people's welfare in mind, reports BSS.
At the rally, she also announced to rename the Kalshi flyover after Harun Mollah due to his glorious contribution to the Liberation War and all the democratic and progressive movements of the country.
The main problem of Dhaka city is not to have better connectivity between its East and West, the premier said, adding her government has attached priority to the development of communication system in this part of the capital.
She said this 2.34km Kalshi flyover and 3.70 km widened and developed six-lane road from the ECB square would ease the communication in Mirpur, DOHS, Pallabi, Kalshi, Mahakhali, Manikdi, Matikata, Bhashantek, Banani, Uttara and the Airport.
The traffic jam of Dhaka would decline significantly after opening the Kalshi Flyover and the six-lane road following the metro rail, she hoped.
About measures taken for the development of Dhaka North City, Sheikh Hasina said as many as 23 projects involving TK 3,500 crore have been implemented in the last 12 years since Dhaka city was divided into two parts in 2011.
She said 16 projects worth over Tk 3000 crore have also been implemented in Dhaka South City Corporation over the years.
She mentioned that under the projects, development of communication and infrastructures in the capital including its beautification, improvement of water supply management, construction and development of footpath and waste management alongside roads, bridges and flyovers were made.
At the function, the prime minister has announced to build Kalshi Balur Math as an amusement park with having playground for the children and youths and walkways for the movement of the aged persons.
Sheikh Hasina, also President of the Awami League, said her government would make the democracy strengthened and well-protected and thus build the fate of the people.
Referring to vote rigging by the BNP-Jamaat alliance in February 15, 1996 election, she said the people of the country dislodged them from the power within one and a half month.
"The people of the country never accepted those who came to power through vote rigging," she said.
The prime minister said the BNP-Jamaat clique wanted to manipulate election through vote rigging after incorporating 1.23 crore fake votes in 2006, but the people forced them to stop it through the movement.
After the rally, she took Kalshi flyover to reach her official Ganabhaban residence in city.
The ECNEC on Jan 9, 2018 approved the project, under which, a 3.70 km stretch of road from the ECB square to Kalshi was widened, while the 2.34 km long Kalshi flyover was constructed at the Kalshi intersection under the Local Government Division of the Ministry of LGRD and Cooperatives.
The Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Bangladesh Army (24 Engineer Construction Brigade) implemented the project at a cost of around Taka 1,012 crore.
The construction work of the project started on January in 2018 and it was completed four months prior to the stipulated time in June, 2023.
According to the project details, the flyover looks like an English alphabet 'Y'. The previously four lane roads have been widened to six lanes to ease passenger commute.
The main four-lane flyover runs from ECB square towards Kalshi and Mirpur DOHS, while a two-lane ramp descends from Kalshi intersection to Kalshi Road.
The project also includes extension of a PC girder bridge, construction of two foot over-bridges, a public toilet, two police boxes, a 7.40 kilometer RCC drain and saucer drain, a 1755 meter RCC pipe drain, retaining wall, 3383 meter communication duct, 800000 linear meter sand compaction pile, separate bicycle lanes, and six bus bays.
At least two overhead footbridges with escalators have been constructed next to the flyover.
LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Md Tazul Islam, DNCC Mayor Md Atiqul Islam, Chief of Army Staff General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed and Dhaka-16 lawmaker Md Elias Uddin Mollah spoke at the rally.
State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Swapan Bhattacharjee, and Local Government Division Secretary Muhammad Ibrahim, were present on the dais.
Commander of 24 Engineer Construction Brigade gave a brief presentation on the Kalshi Flyover and the six-lane road.
A video documentary on the Kalshi flyover and road project was also screened at the function.
Sheikh Hasina said her government launched metro rail from (Uttara to Agargaon) and is now building underground rail, ring roads and introducing waterways by increasing navigability of the four rivers around the Dhaka city.
The prime minister said they have taken measures to preserve the water bodies including the canals of the capital city.
She has sought assistance from all to protect the water bodies for maintaining ecological balance.
The premier described the canals as lifeline of Dhaka city reminding the countrymen that Ayub, Zia and Ershad governments had grabbed the canals of Dhaka city while her government has revived some of them.
She said she has already asked the authorities concerned to find out lands for constructing flats for the stranded Pakistanis so that they don't have to lead miserable life as their third and fourth generations are living in the country.
The prime minister said her government has also built flats for slum dwellers and horijon community.
She said not a single person in Bangladesh of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will remain homeless and landless anymore.
The prime minister said they have made significant development in communication in the last 14 years with constructing a huge number of roads, highways and bridges.
"We have made huge development of communication system with constructing many bridges that include Padma Bridge, Bangabandhu Bridge over the Jamuna River, Gabkhan Bridge and Dhorola Bridge following the footsteps of the Father of the Nation," she said.
Mentioning that she opened 100 roads and highways in a day and 100 bridges in another day, she said there was no country in the world which has done it.
The prime minister said they have built the much-talked Padma Bridge with own finance, proving the corruption allegation on it wrong and showing the world that Bangladesh can.
About incorporating Rail Bridge into the Bangabandhu Bridge, she said once the World Bank objected to it on the plea that it would not be viable and profitable.
But, she said, the global lender is now constructing a dedicated rail bridge over the Jamuna River, accepting her argument regarding its viability.
"We know which is better for us," she added.
Sheikh Hasina said Awami League believes in voting rights of the people and it has established Bangladesh as a developing country as it is in power for a long time with people's mandate since 2008.
She vehemently made it clear that Bangladesh would never look back any more.
The prime minister reiterated her commitment to building Bangladesh as a developed, prosperous and smart country by 2041.
Sheikh Hasina again asked all concerned to bring every inch of arable land under cultivation to grow own food as the global economic recession and food crisis due to the Russia-Ukraine war can't hit Bangladesh.
The premier said her government would give food support to one crore people in the month of Ramadan as none have to suffer for foods.