Prioritise dev projects on public interest
Speakers at a citizens' dialogue in Chittagong city yesterday urged the government to prioritise the development projects on the basis of public interest.
The dialogue on “Justification of Big Projects in People's Friendly Development in Chittagong” was held at Chittagong Press Club.
Different civil society organisations including the Forum for Planned Chittagong, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), Bangladesh Environment Lawyers' Association (Bela), Socheton Nagorik Committee, and Shushashoner Janyo Nagorik (SHUJAN) organised the event.
The speakers said the current development projects were not being carried out in a planned way as some less important ones had been given priority.
Subhash Barua, an engineer, said the government had constructed a flyover at the port city's Bahaddarhat intersection at a cost of Tk 150 crore but less than 150 vehicles used this flyover per day.
The government can buy 150 public buses with the same cost, he said, adding that a flyover stretching a kilometre cost Tk 115 crore while 1km road cost Tk 80 lakh and a rail track stretching the same distance with signals cost Tk 29 crore, which were more important for the people and cost effective.
ABM Baset, another engineer, said the government had bought Demu trains at a cost of Tk 684 crore which failed to attract people. Dr Shafiq Haider Siddique, a professor of the zoology department of Chittagong University, said the city lacked open spaces which hampers proper growing of children.
Prof Sikander Khan, vice-chancellor of East Delta University, and Advocate Akhter Kabir Chowdhury, among others, also spoke.