The government has taken up a project to construct four resting compounds along four key national highways to provide resting facilities for long-haul truck drivers. The cost of the project has been estimated at Tk 226 crore. A meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the scheme on Tuesday in a bid to reduce accidents on highways.
The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, cleared 12 projects at a total estimated cost of Tk5,494 crore. Planning Minister MA Mannan briefed the press after the meeting.
“The PM has said that from now all new roads will have such a resting compound facility,” said Mannan.
The four approved resting compounds will be built in the Nimsar area of Cumilla along the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, the Jagadishpur area in Habiganj along the Dhaka-Sylhet highway, the Pachila area in Sirajganj along the Dhaka-Rangpur highway, and the Lakkhikandar area in Magura along the Dhaka-Khulna highway.
A total of 6 lakh square meters of land will be developed while 44,000 square meters of land will be turned green under the project. Drains, footpaths, culverts, workshops and parking will be built for the two-storied stopover resting facility.
“Although long-haul bus drivers and passengers have resting facilities in Bangladesh, there is no such arrangement for truck drivers,” said the project proposal.
“Therefore truck drivers usually rest by parking their vehicles beside the highway, which often creates traffic congestion. Apart from this, drivers try to reach their destinations quickly which sometimes ends up in tragic road mishaps,” it added.
The proposed stopovers will change the scenario because these will have modern facilities including sleeping rooms, washrooms, televisions, food and soft drinks corners. Once built, these resting compounds will ensure that truck drivers will not need to drive for more than five hours at a stretch, will not suffer from sleep deprivation, and will not face any inconvenience over the repair of their vehicles while on a trip.
The government believes that Bangladesh will advance towards its promise of safer roads once the project is completed in 2021.
A total of Tk5,416 crore will be spent from the government’s own funds while the remaining Tk78 crore will be collected from foreign funding to cover these 12 projects, the minister said.
Among other projects approved at the meeting, the cost of constructing a cargo terminal at the Benapole border crossing is estimated at Tk289 crore, for the Alikadam-Jalanipara-Karukpata-Poamohuri highway project Tk509 crore, and for the Borotakia-Mirsarai Economic Zone connection road Tk183 crore.
The meeting also approved a project to construct the Colonel Malek Medical College and a 500-bed hospital in Manikganj at a cost of Tk1,057 crore, and another for the Begum Amina Mansur Textile Engineering Institute in Sirajganj for Tk11,975 crore.
The cost of acquiring land for constructing refineries in the capital’s Uttara area has been estimated at Tk1,394 crore.
Meanwhile, the cost of widening and developing roads, including the construction of a flyover at the ECB-Kalshi intersection has been estimated at Tk1,012 crore.
The development cost of the Integrated Livestock Development Project to improve the socio-economic status and living standards of backward and small ethnic groups living on the plains has been estimated at Tk352 crore.
The meeting also approved allocation of Tk117 crore for an agriculture project titled Integrated Farm Management Component phase II (IFMC-2).