Development programmes are being implemented across the country. Following these programmes, efforts are being made to change the face of Sylhet by implementing mega projects.
One project after another is being worked on with the efforts of the local people's representatives to build a better and enlightened Sylhet.
Some projects have already been completed, some are in progress and some projects are awaiting commencement.
The mega projects undertaken for the development of Sylhet include Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Hi-Tech Park, Sylhet Medical University, Sylhet Cricket Stadium-2 (divisional outer stadium), Osmani International Airport expansion and modernization, Dhaka-Sylhet six-lane highway, Sylhet-Tamabil four lane highway, Sylhet Marine Academy, Sheikh Russel Textile Engineering College and Sylhet Textile Institute, Digital City Project, 114 river excavation and bank preservation, Bangabandhu Multipurpose Complex, new BSCIC Industrial City and Road and Drain Expansion, and Beautification and Modernization project worth Tk 1,200 crore.
Several projects have also been undertaken in Sylhet to increase industrialisation and create employment opportunities. Among them, 'Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Hi-Tech Park' is being implemented in Barni area of Companiganj in Sylhet. The construction work of ICT Park is also going on in full swing.
Already the work of soil filling, flood control dam, eye-catching bridge, installation of internal roads and lights, construction of electric sub-station, project site office, administrative building, ICT Business Centre, Sheikh Kamal IT Training Institute has been nearly completed.
The country's major industrial groups are showing interest in setting up technology-based industries through allocation in the high-tech park. A number of industrial groups have already signed agreements with the Hi-Tech Park Authority.
Initiatives have also been taken to expand the high-tech park seeing the interest of the entrepreneurs. Initially, construction work of 'Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Hi-Tech Park' had begun on 165 acres of land, but due to the increased demand of entrepreneurs and investors, proposal has been sent to the ministry for acquisition of additional 85 acres of land.
Initiatives have been taken to set up new medical universities to enhance the quality of higher education, research and services and to expand and develop the existing facilities. Sylhet Medical University was established for this purpose.
At present, a government office in Chauhatta is being used as a temporary office of the Medical University. The university has already started its academic and administrative activities. The process of acquiring 83 acres of land in South Surma of Sylhet for a permanent campus has started, said the Vice-chancellor of the University, Prof Dr Morshed Ahmad Chowdhury.
Another mega project in the field of education 'Sylhet Marine Academy' has already been implemented. The institute has been built on 10 acres of land on the banks of the river Chengerkhal in the Badaghat area of Hatkhola Union in Sylhet Sadar Upazila at a cost of Tk 107 crore.
Besides, Sheikh Russel Textile Engineering College and Sylhet Textile Institute are being constructed on 10 acres of land in Tayab Sultan Mouza of Kuchai Union in South Surma for the development of technical education in Sylhet at the initiative of the Ministry of Textiles and Jute.
After overcoming many complications, the Dhaka-Sylhet six-lane highway project is finally going to see the light of day. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has already approved a loan of more than Tk 15,000 crore for the project. The total cost of the project has been estimated at more than Tk 17,000 crore.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has taken initiative to upgrade Sylhet Airport-Badaghat-Temukhi Road and Airport-Chowkidekhi Road to four-lane. Work of the two projects are expected to begin soon.
Initiatives have been taken to convert the meter gauge railway in Sylhet-Akhaura section to dual gauge with the efforts of the Foreign Minister for the development of the railway.
Besides roads and railways, mega projects have also been taken up for the development of waterways. The foreign minister had sent a proposal to the shipping minister to excavate 114 small and big rivers in Sylhet division to increase the use of waterways and control floods. In the light of the proposal of the Foreign Minister, the Ministry of Shipping has taken initiative to rescue, excavate and preserve the river.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) has taken initiative to set up another new industrial city in Sylhet for the development of small scale industries. This will be the third industrial park in Sylhet.
Another new government hospital is being constructed in Sylhet to develop the health sector. Construction work of a new 250-bed district hospital at Chauhatta of the city is going on in full swing.
“Once the activities of this hospital start, the people of Sylhet will get better services as well as the patient pressure will be reduced in Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital”, said Sylhet Divisional Health Director Dr Himanshu Lal Roy.
Dr AK Abdul Momen undertook various projects to develop Sylhet as a digital city. Sylhet has already been turned into a Wifi city. The whole city has been brought under CCTV cameras. Initiatives have been taken to make Sylhet the first wireless city in the country.
The foreign minister has said that the wires of electrical and other service providers of the entire Sylhet city will be made underground in phases.
Besides, Sylhet City Corporation has been allocated Tk 1,200 crore for the expansion of roads, construction and renovation of drains and beautification of the city.