In June, the much-discussed Padma bridge will be opened to traffic. In October, the ‘Karnaphuli tunnel’, which aims to increase connectivity throughout the country, is to be inaugurated. And, in December, Dhaka residents will get their first chance to use the metro rail when a section from Uttara to Agargaon opens.
“Despite conspiracies and many other obstacles, we will complete the Padma bridge with our own money. The bridge will provide a direct link between the capital and the southern parts of the country and other regions.”
“Work is also proceeding on other major infrastructure projects across the country,” Hasina said. The first unit of the 1,200 MW Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, the most expensive infrastructure project in Bangladesh’s history at Tk 1.13 trillion, is expected to begin operating in April next year, Hasina added.
The prime minister said she hopes to have the support of the people to keep the Awami League in power and maintain the continuity of development.
“The country has advanced a lot in the past 13 years and today Bangladesh is ahead on many economic indicators, such as poverty alleviation, the development of the health system, the reduction of maternal and child mortality rate, an increase in life expectancy, the empowerment of women and an increase in the literacy rate.”
“We want to continue to build a developed, prosperous Bangladesh and take the nation to the level of other developed countries by 2041,” she said.
“The dreams of the Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will be achieved through the work of youth and it is my sincere belief that the generation after ours will be able to move into the future with their heads held high,” the prime minister said.
“However, an anti-independence faction is working to undermine Bangladesh’s pace of development,” Hasina said.
Some cannot stand that Bangladesh is on the “highway to development”, she said.
“They are working with the opposition and anti-independence elements in this country and abroad to try to hamper our progress. They spread lies, falsehoods and fabrications on social media to stir unrest and attempt to misguide our foreign development partners.”
She called on everyone to be aware of the situation and not to fall for their ruses. “We cannot allow anyone to impede progress. The people are the source of power. We believe in the power of the people and we stand with the people.”
TOUGH LINE ON CORRUPTION
The Awami League president also spoke of the government’s firm stance on corruption, saying that even powerful members of the party will not be spared if they are found to be involved in corruption.
A firm hand must also be used against the threat of militancy, Hasina said. Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony and people of all castes and creeds have lived together in this nation with mutual respect for generations and will continue to do so, she said.
She also called for efforts to improve the living standards of people across the country and said her government would fulfil its responsibilities on that front as well.
“It is up to you to analyse the job we have done for the past 13 years, but I would say the government has fulfilled the promises it made.”