Developing infrastructure only is not enough to improve the overall condition of a country. Again, it is true that overall improvement is not possible without infrastructural development. In fact, these two matters complement each other.
Development in other areas besides the socio-economic ones is what is necessary for overall development of a nation. You and I have made progress, 10 more new buildings are erected in Dhaka city – development does not mean only this.
I know how important infrastructural development is for the development of a country.
I have been living in Dhaka city since 1962. The infrastructure sector has witnessed the utmost development during the current in the history of Bangladesh. This has also led to a social transformation. We have to admit it.
I said in a speech in the 90s: I do not want anything but development in three areas – law and order, health and electricity.
It is the nature of the people of Bangladesh that they do not want to sit idle. If there is a possibility of something, they want to achieve that by utilising the opportunities around them. This is what is happening now and this can be understood by looking around. They are enjoying the benefits of infrastructural development.
However, there are problems too. Our construction and management skills could not reach the level where they were supposed to be by now in view of this huge work in terms of infrastructure.
We do not take anything seriously. Politicians are not serious. Engineers do not understand either. The thinking power needs to be strengthened in all aspects.
Engineers do not want to learn. Many of them suffer from haughtiness and self complacency. This attitude must be given up.
And now nobody wants to listen to anybody. We have to come out of this mindset. If we want to improve, we have to work unitedly.
There are more problems. We are less interested in learning something new.
We are doing well. But our skills are not growing that way. If efficiency is to be enhanced, then emphasis must be placed on the construction and project management skills.
We also have some very good engineers in our country. Something good can be done. This is what I believe.
Let me mention one thing here. A decade later, the infrastructure sector of Bangladesh will reach a good position in the world.
Therefore, emphasis should be laid on infrastructure besides garments and agriculture. And now is the time to support the infrastructural sector. If not, then the base will not be strong.
In addition to infrastructural development, we also have to give importance to industrial uplift. This is also very important.
There is a growing awareness among people about their rights and they are expressing that in one way or another.
The government also is paying heed to the people's voice and working accordingly.
Now we are relying on foreign technologies. If Bangladesh wants to improve in the area of infrastructural technologies, the government must make a big policy decision. Those who have already made large investments need to contribute more. The government needs to offer more policy support. Maybe, the dependence on foreign technology will decrease then.
But it is a matter of time. That too must be kept in mind. We want the results of anything very soon.
If we look at China, then everything should be clear. Where they were and where they are now.
The key is: where you are, what do you want to do and what you are doing to achieve your target.
M Shamim Z Bosunia is an infrastructure specialist.