The 7-year Sustainable Rural Infrastructure Improvement project was implemented in 21 districts at a cost of around Tk 989.73 crore. File Photo

Infrastructure development projects are contributing a lot towards uplifting living and livelihood condition of rural population in Rajshahi region. The projects have widened the access to markets and economic opportunities through boosting the connectivity of the rural people, reports BSS.
Projects implemented by Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) accelerated the earnings side by side with ensuring access to basic services like health and education of the rural poor.
The seven-year project titled “Sustainable Rural Infrastructure Improvement” was implemented in 21 districts covering 140 upazilas under Rajshahi, Rangpur and Khulna divisions at a cost of around Taka 989.73 crore recently.
Rafiqul Islam, Additional Chief Engineer-in-Charge of LGED, told BSS in Rajshahi that main thrust of the project was to increase rural income and to reduce rural poverty through sustainable economic growth, social and gender
development and improving infrastructure in the project areas.
Around 678-km Upazila roads and 173-km union roads were upgraded as bitumen standard to provide connectivity between agricultural production areas and growth center markets.
Besides, 53.57-kilometer upazila roads and 18.16-kilometer union roads were upgraded.
The rural road network ultimately promotes overall development of the transportation system. Thereby, socio-economic condition of the rural people has started elevating by providing assistance for higher agricultural production and their marketing.
Cross drainage structures, such as bridges and culverts with a total length of 4,500 meters were constructed.
Provisions for road safety such as road signs, delineators and bollards near the approach to the bridges and reflectors added to tree trunks and provision of loading and unloading zones were incorporated into the design of Upazila roads.
Roadside tree plantation programmes on the 320-kilometer improved roads were implemented successfully that will ultimately help reduce carbon emission at a substantial level and that is very important to face the adverse impact of climate change in the region.
A total of 88 Growth Center Markets (GCMs) including creation of 50 women markets were improved. The markets have various necessary privileges like paved trading areas, sheds, improved water supply system, adequate drainage and
sanitation facilities and market
offices.
The developed works would in fact contribute enormously to raise standard of living of rural people in the remote villages besides further strengthening the overall activities of local government bodies.
Indirect project benefits likely to facilitate poverty reduction are increased in farm income, higher crop yields resulting from improvement in the availability and use of fertilizer and other inputs.
Talking to BSS here, Abul Kashem, Chairman of Talanda Union Parishad under Tanore Upazila, mentioned that the rural level improved infrastructures have already started reducing transport cost, improving marketing system, increasing production and marketing facilities of agricultural products which are contributing a lot to socio-economic development in the region.