Industrialisation of Narail has already started with the construction of Padma Bridge progressing rapidly.
The price of land on either side of the Benapole-Jashore-Narail-Dhaka highway has increased many fold.
A number of factories have already sprung up in Narail, located south of Magura district, north of Khulna district, with Faridpur and Gopalganj to the east, and Jashore district to the west.
Various reputed companies, including Bengal Group and Kisan Group of the country, have purchased land on both sides of the highway.
An economic zone will be built on 300 acres of land in the Lohagara Kalna area of the district and the prime minister has already approved the economic zone.
Also underway, is the process of acquiring 121.40 hectares of land along the highway in the Dhopakhola area of Sadar upazila to build a Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) industrial estate.
After completion of the Padma Bridge project, the distance between Dhaka and districts in the southwest of the country will lessen by 120 km-160 km, and the Benapole-Padma Bridge-Dhaka-Sylhet-Tamabil Regional Road Connectivity system will be set up.
Md Fakhrul Hasan, additional deputy commissioner (Revenue) of Narail, said, "Narail is a promising district. The Padma Bridge will make it much easier to connect Narail to Dhaka and Benapole land port.
With that in mind, the government is planning to build an economic zone on 300 acres of land in Lohagara upazila of Narail, which has already been approved by the prime minister. Meanwhile, the process of acquiring land is underway to make a BSCIC industrial estate in the Dhopakhola area along the highway."
A recent visit to the Durbajuri area of Narail Sadar on the Narail-Jashore road, showed a large factory, Kisan Fish Feed, set up along the highway. More than 100 local people are employed there.
Another factory, Chitra Broiler Feed, was launched a few months ago in the Basupti area along the Narail-Lohagara road. The factory has a daily production capacity of 100 tons and more than 50 local people work there.
The Bengal Group has also purchased 8 hectares of land along the road in the Sitarampur area of Sadar upazila to set up factories there in the future. In addition, some other companies have started filling sand after buying land in several places.
According to Road Department sources, the construction of the six-lane Kalna Bridge in Narail is also progressing at a rapid pace, and the highway from the Mawa end of the Padma Bridge to Bhatiapara is almost done.
Construction of the six-lane highway from Bhatiapara to Benapole via Kalna-Narail-Jashore will start soon.
In the meantime, construction of three six-lane bridges, including a bypass road in Narail, has started.
Mashiar Rahman of Dowatala village in Sadar upazila owns land along the Benapole-Jashore-Narail-Dhaka highway. People come to him to buy land very often.
Tilak Mia, another resident of the same area, said the price of one decimal of land along the road was Tk25,000-Tk30,000 three years ago, and now the price has increased to more than Tk1 lakh.
Alim, a businessman of Lohagara Bazar, said, "The Padma Bridge project is a blessing for our region. At present, it takes eight to nine hours to reach Dhaka from Narail. When the bridge opens, it will take only three to three and a half hours to reach there. Then many businessmen from Dhaka will build industries in the district."
Abidur Rahman Liku, of Kisan Accumulators Limited, said, "The bridge will establish regional connectivity through the Benapole land port-Jashore-Narail-Bhatiapara-Bhanga-Padma Bridge-Mawa-Dhaka-Sylhet-Tamabil road. Then the importance of Narail will increase a lot. That is why the company has decided to set up several industries in Narail."
He said the Kisan Group has already opened two factories in the district, namely Kisan Accumulators Limited and Kisan Fish Feed.
More than 400 local people are employed in these factories.
The group also plans to build a few more factories there.
Social activist of Narail, Kazi Hafizur Rahman, said the Padma Bridge would cut the travel distance between Benapole and Dhaka by 160 km. Fuel expenditure would go down and communication between Khulna division and other regions, including Dhaka, would be easier, he continued.
Economic activity would be enhanced. Farmers, traders and the average citizen in Khulna division and at least 20 nearby districts would benefit from this. It would change the economy of Khulna division, including Narail, he added.
Echoing the same, Sardar Alamgir Hossain, president of the Narail District Bus-Minibus Owners Association, said the bridge would facilitate road connectivity between Dhaka and the southwestern region, including Benapole Land Port, Satkhira, Jashore and Narail. It would save time and fuel.
Former lawmaker Saif Hafizur Rahman Khokon, convenor of the Narail Development Movement Committee, said people of Narail would have the benefit of Mongla sea port and Benapole land port once the bridge is operational.