Vol. 5 Num 351 Wed. May 25, 2005  

Bridge on the river Rupsha
Let's make full use of it
The more we think of it, the opening of Khan Jahan Ali Bridge since Saturday increasingly dawns on us as providing a vital communication link with a high potential for unlocking a whole range of possibilities for growth hitherto lying dormant in a vast swathe of neglected land-area. This 1.36 kilometre bridge now helping to obviate time-taking ferry across the river Rupsha was a missing link on the Khulna-Mongla highway with the result that the northwestern and southwestern regions of the country were not connected. From this point of view alone, the new bridge constitutes a milestone in infrastructure-building. There is more to it, something we dilate down the line.

The Japanese government and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation have made this possible for us and we are appreciative of their role in helping us develop our infrastructure with the Padma bridge seemingly on the cards to mark another milestone in Japan-Bangladesh cooperation. The government's tenacious pursuit of the project deserves kudos.

The vital bridge-head towards the Mongla port will be a shot in the arm of the second entre-pot which suffered a sort of relegation in the face of the primacy of Chittagong port. At one time, people felt that some vested quarters were lukewarm in their attitude towards the growth of Mongla port lest Chittagong port received diminished attention, but now things ought to change for the better with the Khan Jahan Ali Bridge in place.

Let's not forget, Mongla has the potential to be the only deep seaport of the country. Inside the country, it has a big hinterland to serve while Nepal and Bhutan could get transit through it. Overall, there can be an inter-connection between Chittagong and Mongla ports. So, the benefits to accrue from such an infrastructure linkage can be enormous.