Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) yesterday awarded noted civil engineer Prof Jamilur Reza Choudhury for his outstanding contribution to Bangladesh's high-profile development schemes.
He is one of the four to have received the Jica Recognition Award, introduced for the first time this year, said Dr Takao Toda, chief representative of Jica Bangladesh.
Prof Choudhury was awarded in appreciation of his "priceless contributions" and as an expression of Jica's gratitude for his longstanding involvement with Japan-funded development projects in Bangladesh, he told the award ceremony at a hotel in the capital.
Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge and Chittagong Airport Development are two of the prominent development schemes to which Prof Choudhury contributed, Toda said.
Choudhury has served the country with 44 years of his professional experience while he has been involved with various Jica schemes for 25 years, he said.
He is also unofficially involved with the much talked-about $2.5 billion Dhaka metro rail project, of which Jica is the lead financier.
"No important development scheme has been implemented without the involvement of Choudhury,” said Toda.
In his reaction, Prof Choudhury said, “I am really overwhelmed by Jica's decision to recognise whatever contributions I have made.”
The three other recipients are from Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Addressing the award ceremony, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said Jica had been the single largest bilateral development donor of Bangladesh for the past 30 years.
He further said the proposed Padma bridge would be constructed in the next four years by Bangladesh government and termed World Bank's allegation of "conspiracy of corruption" in the project as "utter nonsense".
Economic Relations Division Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad was present at the event among others.