Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday told the parliament that construction cost of roads in Bangladesh is higher than that of India and China, due to difference in soil conditions.
He made the remark in reply to a supplementary question by BNP lawmaker Rumeen Farhana.
The reserved seat lawmaker said construction cost of roads in Bangladesh is much higher than that of India and China. Despite that, roads in Bangladesh are not durable, causing sufferings of people, she added, asking whether the concerned ministry was taking any measures in this regard.
In reply, Quader said, “You’ll have to understand that soil condition of China and India is different from that of Bangladesh. You’ll have to consider it when you compare construction costs [between Bangladesh and India or China].”
In reply to another query, Quader said the government is mulling a pilot project to increase surveillance on highways round the clock using modern technology, to prevent road accidents.
He said Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, Highway Police, Fire Service and Civil Defense will be included in the surveillance team.
In reply to another query, Quader informed the House that the government has a plan to eventually upgrade all regional and district highways into four lanes.
“The government’s first priority is to upgrade national highways into four lanes… then regional and district highways will be upgraded into four lanes in phases,” he said.
A total of 3,906.03 kilometres of national highways, 4,766.91 kilometres of regional and 13,423.36 kilometres of district highways are under the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) in 64 districts, said the minister.
Dhaka-Chattogram and Dhaka-Mymensingh national highways have already been upgraded into four lanes, he said, adding that upgradation work of the Dhaka-Tangail national highway into four lanes is now in the final stage.
The work to upgrade the Dhaka-Sylhet national highway will begin soon at the field level, the minister added.