Barishal division is on way to host a third economic zone in Hijla upazila, a remote area by the Meghna river some 60 kilometres south of Dhaka, giving local people and businesses hope at generating economic activities and employment opportunities.
The zone will be set up on 1,729 acres of a sand and silt landmass believed to have emerged from the riverine area some 20 years back and subsequently named Char Megha.
Currently it houses no settlement and is used for cultivating paddy and grazing cattle, according to locals.
The Barishal district administration already gave its consent for use of the land in a letter to Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza), on December 30, 2020, said Deputy Commissioner SM Ajiar Rahman on Sunday.
The administration in 2018 first proposed that Beza establish the zone on 2,255 acres of land, said Upazila Nirbahi Officer Bakul Chandra Kabiraj.
On November 8, 2020, Beza responded through a letter seeking land allotment, two months past getting the approval from the Prime Minister's Office.
Now the land ministry will take necessary steps for long-term settlements, said Mostafa Kamal, deputy secretary (investment and development) to Beza.
Infrastructure development will start soon after an agreement is signed with the district administration, he said.
"Although it is an isolated area, we are thinking of building it because use of the adjoining riverine routes will reduce cost of transporting goods compared to that over roads," he said.
Beza has taken up plans for establishing 69 public economic zones around the country, the development of 18 of which are currently underway.