State Minister for Textiles and Jute Mirza Azam hands over a Muslin Saree to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday at a function where the PM inaugurates and lays foundation stones of 321 uplift projects across the country. Photo: PMO

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of 321 uplift projects across the country, saying Bangladesh will witness further development if Awami League (AL) is re-elected.
“Bangladesh will witness further development if AL comes to power again. More development will take place in the country Insha-Allah,” she said, opening 297 projects and laying the foundation stones of 24 other schemes in 56 districts under 20 ministries and divisions through a videoconference from her official Ganabhaban residence, .
The premier reiterated her determination to build a developed Bangladesh by freeing the society from terrorism, militancy and drugs.
Asking the authorities concerned to step up their drives against drugs, she said the operations against the menace are continuing and will be going on.
“We will present a healthy and beautiful life to the people of Bangladesh and we will build a developed country by freeing the society from terrorism, militancy and drugs Insha-Allah,” she said.
The prime minister today also announced a bandit and pirate-free Sundarbans with the surrendering of 54 bandits and pirates in the area.
“The Sundarbans was once gripped by the bandits. But with the surrendering of the robbers and pirates, I can declare the world’s largest mangrove forest free of those,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina also announced to provide Taka one lakh to each of the bandits who surrendered today by handing over their arms to the home minister in Bagerhat.
She asked the home minister to take measures for withdrawal of the cases against them, except those for killing.
The prime minister, who was connected with the arms surrendering function of the bandits through the videoconference, said the government will do whatever necessary for the rehabilitation of the bandits.
“We want them to come to the normal life and live peacefully with their families,” she said.
While talking about the menace of narcotics, the prime minister put emphasis on undertaking proper steps for the cure and rehabilitation of the addicts.
“I’ve already directed the home minister to improve the condition of the existing (government) rehab centre,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina also asked the authorities concerned to make arrangements for separate medical treatment and counseling for female drug addicts. “It’ll be good if you take a project in this regard,” she said.
The prime minister sought cooperation of the countrymen to complete the ongoing projects speedily, saying that these schemes will create huge employment opportunities and remove unemployment in the country.
“The people of the country would be able to live with dignity keeping pace with the modern world and the young and new generations will get a better and beautiful life with the completion of the projects,” she added.
Housing is a very important matter for the people, the prime minister said, adding her government has planned to construct flats for low and middle-income people as well as slum-dwellers.
“As many as 8,400 flats will be built with the cooperation of Malaysia,” she said, adding it will be done in a planned way.
She asked the flat owners to keep their residence neat and clean and said the government has ensured all facilities like school, college, market and laundry for them.
While inaugurating a monument in memory of the carnage that took place in Chittagong on January 24 in 1988, the prime minister expressed dissatisfaction over not completion of its trial yet.
Recalling the brutal incident, she said the trial of the carnage is yet to be finished and the person who filed the case has already died.
She said General Ershad who was in power at that time did not take any action against the police officer responsible for the incident. “Rather the police officer was promoted to a higher post by Begum Khaleda Zia when the BNP came to power,” she said.
Later, the premier exchanged views with the cross section of people including local public representatives, government officials, teachers and other professionals of seven districts including Dhaka, Gopalganj, Chattogram, Madaripur, Bagerhat and Pirojpur through the videoconference from Ganabhaban.
At the function, Mirza Azam handed over a traditional “maslin saree” produced by the local weavers. The Ministry of Textiles and Jute is encouraging the weavers to produce the “maslin” a heritage of the country, to regain its lost glory.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Housing and Public Works Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Engineer Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain, Information Minister Hasanul Huq Inu, Law Minister Advocate Anisul Haque, Railways Minister Md Mazibul Haque, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor and Post and Telecommunications and ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar were present.
PM’s Advisers Dr Towfique-e-Elahi Chowdhury and Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, State Minister for Health Zahid Maleq, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu, State Minister for Youth and Sports Dr Biren Shikdar, State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Moshiur Rahman Ranga, State Minister for Textiles and Jute Mirza Azam, Awami League Presidium Member Dr Abdur Razzak, Joint Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif, parliament members and secretaries concerned and senior officials of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) were also present.
The projects that were inaugurated by the premier included 17 schemes under the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, 31 projects under the Ministry of Textiles and Jute, two under the Health Ministry, 98 projects under the Home Ministry, 11 projects under the Road Transport and Bridges Ministry, six projects under the Public Works Ministry, three schemes under the Liberation War Affairs Ministry, 1 scheme under the Post and Telecommunications and ICT Ministry, 112 schemes under the Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, four projects under the LGRD Ministry, three schemes under the Information Ministry, two schemes under the Railways Ministry, five projects under the Education Ministry, 13 projects under the Water Resources Ministry, two schemes under the Fisheries and Animal Resources Ministry, and one under the BEPZA, the Prime Minister’s Office.
The function was moderated by PM’s Principal Secretary Md. Nojibur Rahman.