Roads on inaccessible hills improve inhabitants’ lives

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Residents of Bandarban have renamed the road on the impassable hills as “Jibanmanpahar Road”. With diligent efforts, the army has successfully built a road leading to the isolated Jalanipara-Kurukpata-Poamuhuri area in Alikadam Upazila of Bandarban. This has significantly altered how the hilly region is depicted.

Previously, it would take a whole day to travel from Alikadam Sadar to Kurukpata Union along the river. However, the construction of a new road has reduced the travel time to just 30 minutes by car.

The new road was completed by the 16 Engineer Construction Battalion, which is part of the 34 Engineer Construction Brigade of the Bangladesh Army Corps of Engineers. The total cost of the road was Tk 35 crore less than the government’s assigned budget, and it was completed within the specified timeframe. As a result, the local population’s economic progress has significant potential to boost the tourism sector.

You can reach the remote Kurukpata Union of Alikadam Upazila in Bandarban by boat along the Matamuhuri River. Previously, it would take an entire day for passengers to reach Kurukpata Union from Alikadam Sadar. However, time and the diligent efforts of the hill minister, Bir Bahadur, have led to the construction of a secure and long-lasting road.

On February 14, 2017, Ekne approved a project to build a 37.5-kilometre carpeted road from Jalanipara-Kurukpata-Poamuhuri to Alikadam Upazila in Bandarban. The project’s cost is Tk 509.29 crore. After receiving approval, army members promptly constructed an impressive road under the 16 Engineer Construction Battalion, which operates within the 34 Engineer Construction Brigade of the Corps of Engineers of the Bangladesh Army.

Ram Bahadur Tripura, a resident of Alikadam Jirapara, told BanglaNews that, in the past, the only way to travel from Alikadam to Kurukpata was by boat. This made it difficult to transport necessary goods and other items across the river. However, the army has preserved the hill’s natural beauty and built a road that allows us to reach our homes in Alikadam Sadar within minutes using a motorbike or any other vehicle.

Kurukpata Union used to be the most isolated union in Alikadam Upazila. The lack of proper communication made it extremely challenging to transport patients to Alikadam Sadar Hospital. Many patients have died due to various illnesses in this area, and the local union has struggled to provide adequate healthcare, education, and other essential services. However, the recent construction of the road has brought about a significant transformation, leading to accelerated socio-economic development for everyone.

The road construction in Chittagong Hill Tracts has facilitated the development of the tourism industry, created job opportunities for rural residents, and contributed to the region’s socio-economic development. Additionally, it has supported the marketing of agricultural products and the growth of agriculture-based industries. Furthermore, it has improved access to healthcare, education, and other essential services.

The road construction connecting the isolated areas of Jalanipara, Kurukpata, and Poamuhuri in Alikadam Upazila has opened up new opportunities for tourists. This development has also had a positive impact on the local ethnic groups, bringing about socio-economic progress. The improved road infrastructure has made it easier to transport local fruits to other parts of the country, as well as increased access to emergency medical services.

  Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is focusing on the development of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Hill Minister Bir Bahadur is committed to advancing the districts in the hilly regions. The military’s efforts have resulted in the completion of a new road in the area ahead of schedule on June 6, 2022. The budget for building the road was Tk 474.40 crore, which is Tk 35 crore less than the allocated budget. We expect this infrastructure development to bring economic progress and potential growth in tourism to the hilly areas. The road, spanning 37.5 kilometres, includes 10 bridges, 11 culverts, four viewpoints, cross drains, site drains, retaining walls, earth water dams, and road signs. In addition to bolstering border security, we anticipate that the road will aid in Bangladesh’s overall development and provide support to minority communities. We are closely monitoring the impact of the road’s development on the socio-economic conditions of residents in the broader Kurukpata Union, including Murung and Tripura.

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