Shuvo Udbodhon

I made pledge, I kept it, says PM as she opens Cox’s Bazar rail line

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday inaugurated the 102-kilometre Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar railway line, marking the establishment of the first rail link to Bangladesh’s southeast coast.

In a proud declaration during the inauguration ceremony held at the newly constructed Cox’s Bazar railway station, the premier stated, “I made a pledge, and I kept it.”

“Today, Cox’s Bazar has been linked to the railway network. I am truly delighted to be present here at the inaugural ceremony physically. I made a pledge and have kept my promise. This was a longstanding demand of this region,” she said.

The much awaited rail line was constructed at a cost of Tk18,034.47 crore.

With the inauguration of the new railway line, Cox’s Bazar has come under rail connectivity 133 years after the first initiative was taken during the British period.

Following the inauguration of the train line, the Prime Minister embarked on a journey, taking a train from Cox’s Bazar to Ramu.

Sheikh Hasina purchased her ticket directly from the railway station’s ticket counter and waved the green flag before boarding the train.

Cox’s Bazar will be accessible by rail from Dhaka and Chattogram at half the cost of a bus ride from 1 December with Bangladesh Railway starting passenger train services.

The name of the train is “Cox’s Bazar Express”

The train will take approximately 8 hours and 10 minutes to reach Cox’s Bazar from Dhaka with stopping at two stations — Dhaka airport and Chattogram

The minimum fare from Chattogram to Cox’s Bazar by rail has been fixed at Tk55 for the general second class, the minimum first-class fare for intercity trains at Tk334, and the maximum at Tk748.

Matarbari channel

The prime minister also inaugurated the Matarbari deep seaport’s 14.3-kilometre-long artificial navigation channel on Saturday.

She formally opened the channel and laid the foundation stone of the construction of the first terminal of the port after unveiling the inaugural plaque at a programme held at the Matarbari Deep Sea Port area.

The channel stretches from the proposed terminal to the sea and the terminal is targeted to start operations in 2026, at Matarbari under Maheshkhali Upazila of the district.

Matarbari terminal, once implemented, will be able to accommodate commercial vessels with a depth of 16 metres or more.

18 development projects

The premier inaugurated 15 completed development projects and laid foundation stones of three other projects involving Tk53,467 crore on Saturday.

Among the completed projects are the Bridge over Bakkhali River, Connecting Kutubdia Island to the National Grid through Submarine Cable, Cox’s Bazar Airport Development (first phase), Ukhiya Waste to Power Generation Project, 40 technical training centres in 40 upazilas and one Institute of Marine Technology in Chattogram, academic buildings of four schools, tourist bus services, one stop service centre for tourists, expansion and development work of Chakaria Bir Mukti Joddha Shaheed Abdul Hamid Municipal Bus Terminal, Kutubdia Thanda Chowkidar Para RCC Girder Bridge, and Gorakghata-Shaplapur Janatabazar Road in Maheshkhali.

The projects of which the foundation stones were laid are the Teknaf Multipurpose Disaster Resilient Shelter-cum-Isolation Centre, the construction of 184 bridge RCC Girder Bridge Construction on Nanda Khali under Ramu Upazila, and the Building Construction Project under the Cub Scouting Expansion Scheme in District Primary Schools.

‘Vote for AL to help finish incomplete dev projects’

Meanwhile, while addressing a public meeting at Matarbari Thermal Power Plant Project’s township ground on Saturday, Sheikh Hasina urged the people to vote for Awami League in the upcoming national elections to help finish the incomplete development programmes in the country.

“Election is coming, and I want you to vote for boat [electoral symbol of Awami League] so we can serve you again and complete the unfinished works,” she said.

She said Awami League could form the government for three consecutive terms as people of the country voted it to power.

She blamed the increasing inflation on the Russia-Ukraine war, sanctions and counter sanctions.

“We have tried to contain that. We have taken steps to curb the inflation rate and very soon the inflation rate will decline. People will be able to live a better life,” she said.

She urged all to utilise every piece of land for farming and produce whatever they can. “Please do not leave behind a single inch of land without farming. We have to develop our own country.”

Hasina, also the ruling Awami League president, said her father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman liberated this country, and it is her duty to improve the fate of the people.

For that purpose, she said, the people have to cast their votes for the boat symbol and ensure the win of Awami League in the next election.

“Only Awami League can do that, no one else can. They do not have any patriotism and no responsibility towards people,” she said.

Coming down heavily on BNP and its allies for unleashing arson attacks again on general people, Hasina said if any person has humanity, then that person can not burn anyone alive.

“Their only task is to burn people alive and destroy property,” she said.

So, the PM said, people have to remain cautious about them.

She said for the development and welfare of the mass people she is ready for any sort of sacrifice.

“If needed I am ready to sacrifice my blood like my father. My only task is to ensure your welfare,” she said.

News Source: The Business Standard

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