Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today inaugurated the country’s first-ever expressway on Jatrabari-Mawa- Patchchar-Bhanga route to traffic, opening up a new era in the communication sector on the eve of the Mujib Year.
“This is the country’s first-ever access-controlled expressway,” she said opening the newly-constructed world-class expressway under the Dhaka-Khulna Highway Project through a video-conference from her official Ganabhaban residence here this morning.
She said vehicles could go straight to destinations without any interruption as there would be no traffic signal while sidelines were constructed along the expressway for low-speed vehicles for the movement of people in the neighborhood.
She Hasina recalled that in 1981 it required one 24 hours to reach Gopalganj from Dhaka by steamer but the expressway will curtail the travel time significantly smoothening journey as well.
Officials familiar with the project said with the construction of the expressway Dhaka-Gopalganj travel time would take some three hours while after the completion of the Padma Bridge it was expected to be reduced to a little over two hours.
The premier said the expressway would boost the country’s socio-economic development and increase the living standard of the people of the southern region.
She said her government was tirelessly working for the development of the communication system since her party assumed office in 1996 as this basic infrastructure is a must for the socio-economic development of any country,.
Since Awami League’s return to power in 2009, Sheikh Hasina said, her government kept a constant focus on the overall development of the roads, railways, waterways, and airways.
She said her government was currently constructing the Padma Bridge on one of the world’s mightiest rivers with own finance after successfully facing the false corruption allegations involving the project by the World Bank.
The Canadian court in its verdict also said that no corruption was committed in the Padma Bridge project.
The 55-km long expressway having all the modern facilities was constructed aiming to reduce travel time as well as to ensure the smooth and comfortable journey of the people of 22 southwestern districts.
The international standard eight-lane expressway having four-lane main expressway and four service lanes for plying low-speed vehicles will connect the country’s southwestern part with the capital which will save travel time and facilitate smooth and uninterrupted vehicles movement.
According to the project details, the expressway has five flyovers, 19 underpasses, four railway overpasses, 25 bridges, four main bridges, 54 culverts, and two inter-changes which will contribute to the national economy by boosting trade and commerce in the country.
The 25 bridges were constructed in Khulna-Barishal-Gopalganj zone under the Western Bangladesh Bridge Improvement Project.
It has two parts stretching 35-kilometer long from Jatrabari intersection to Mawa and 20-kilometer long from Pancchar to Bhanga.
The expressway is expected to contribute significantly to the overall development of the entire Khulna and Barishal divisions and a part of the Dhaka division as it will strengthen connectivity between the Dhaka city and the country’s southwestern part.
People from 22 districts of the country’s southwestern region including six districts in Barishal division, 10 districts in Khulna division and six districts in Dhaka division will directly be benefited from this expressway.
The two parts of the modern expressway will be connected through the 6.15- kilometer long Padma Bridge, which is now under construction.
The four-kilometer of the main structure of the country’s longest Padma Bridge has already been visible after the installation of its 26th span on Tuesday.
The government has a plan to open the long-awaited bridge to traffic by June 2021.