Bangladesh needs 3R-based multimodal transport infrastructure

Experts tell ICC,B roundtable

Published : 27 May 2023 08:00 PM

Experts at a roundtable discussion on Saturday stated that Bangladesh needs to develop a balanced multimodal transport infrastructure system based on the three pillars of Rail, River and Road (3R).  

They said this is inevitable for maintaining a higher growth trajectory even after LDC graduation, including double-digit GDP growth and achieving multi-trillion dollar economy. 

ICC Bangladesh organized the Roundtable on Investment for Infrastructure Development in Dhaka.

Planning Minister M A Mannan attended the discussion as chief guest with ICC Bangladesh President Mahbubur Rahman in the chair.

Prof. Dr. Md. Shamsul Hoque of BUET presented the Keynote paper. ICCB Executive Board Member Mir Nasir Hossain, Vice President A K Azad, Former Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Abul Kalam Azad & ICCB Secretary General Ataur Rahman also spoke on the occasion among the panelists.

Chief Guest M A Mannan, Minister, Ministry of Planning said that from last 10-12 years the govt. has taken huge infrastructure works and obviously people are getting the result. 

He emphasized to expand Railway Sector and telling that already we have Rail connectivity need to upgrade this which is cost-effective. 

He mentioned that Dhaka-Chittagong Railway is under construction for double track, this will also be in consideration. He also emphasized on Circular Road surrounding Dhaka City. 

ICC Bangladesh President Mahbubur Rahman with the opening of Padma Bridge, completion of 55 km. Elevated Expressway from Gazipur connecting northwestern region of the country to Chattogarm, movement of traffic is expected to increase manifold. 

But, according to experts, the existing 4 lane highway will not be able to facilitate smooth movement of vehicles.     

Economic importance of this route is immense; considering Chittagong Port connectivity as an access point to the international market. It is also inevitable to consider network with Matarbari economic hub of BIG-B, BCIM and potentials of connecting BIMSTEC & SASEC through Asian Highway, he added. 

Appropriate Dhaka-Chattogram, Expressway is expected to create effective and smooth connectivity across the country as well with Nepal, Bhutan, northeastern region of India and the Asian Highway. Our international trade exceeded $100 billion and is expected to grow considering post LDC export diversification potentials. Government targeted $80 billion export by 2024. 

The evolving economic target requires deep and inclusive connectivity and communication development with far-reaching implications. 

Keynote speaker Md. Shamsul Hoque, PhD, Director, Accident Research Institute (ARI) and Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, BUET in his keynote speech emphasized to continuously increasing the quality of infrastructure, with the hallmark attribute of uninterrupted, sustained high-speed mobility. 

He said Bangladesh currently lacks full-access controlled infrastructure, indicating an acute shortage of quality roads with arterial configurations.

He observed that for the integrated and planned development of national multimodal infrastructure, it is essential for the Planning Commission to assume a vital role. This can be achieved by strengthening its institutional capacity through the establishment of a robust planning unit comprising highly qualified professional planner.