The government has finally rolled out a pilot project as part of a mega plan to develop rural residential areas to provide them with amenities a township offers like water supply, streetlights, community spaces, better sewage system, and planned structures.
Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) and Department of Public Health Engineering under LGD will implement the project within five years with an ultimate goal of providing better living for the villagers in all upazilas by 2041.
Under ‘Amar Gram Amar Shohor’ project, the government has picked up 15 villages which will be provided with piped water, homes, and community spaces, roads, streetlights, parks, decorated playfields, cultural centers, and warehouses to store grains etc.
In three selected villages, there will be buildings with 620-680 sq ft flats which will be sold to the villagers for Tk 14 lakh each.
Of the selected villages, eight are in eight upazilas in eight divisions, six others in hilly, char, haor, coastal, Barind and beel areas, and one near industrial area.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) at a meeting held on July 18 with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair approved the Tk 800-crore pilot project. The Awami League government has an electoral pledge to bring modern urban amenities to the rural areas, but it took years to start the project.
AKM Fazlul Haque, a member of Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Institutions Division of the Planning Commission, said implementation will start as soon as possible.
“The work will start from August 1. We have plans to implement it in fifteen villages within the stipulated time. But the implementation depends on timely disbursement of funds,” he said.
Planning Minister MA Mannan said that under the project, villagers would be provided with flat facilities, union revenue collection system will be changed, some cultural centers will be established, water and sanitation system will be improved and a sustainable energy system will be developed.
“We will watch the output of this pilot project and use the experience to spread the facilities throughout the country,” he said.
Planning Division Secretary Satyajit Karmaker said that the project has been taken on a pilot basis based on the findings of a survey conducted for months by government agencies. “The government will implement it in other villages with the experience gained from here,” he said.
Fazlul Haque said there will be an upazila development master plan developed for the project. It will have guidelines for long-term plans for the villages.
The villages have been selected for the pilot scheme driven by a technical assistance project. These villages are in Gopalganj, Chattogram, Rangamati, Rajshahi, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Narsingdi, Netrakona, Cumilla, Satkhira, Khulna, Sylhet, Sumamganj, Naogaon and Barishal districts.
These villages lack some basic needs village should get and will be provided with civic facilities.
What does the pilot scheme contain?
The government will construct 616 houses, and build defence dams, dredge canals, ponds, develop roads, construct bridges and culverts at a cost of Tk 181 crore. Besides, there will be 23 village markets, growth centers, and agriculture product collection centers. There will be spots and cultural centers, cemeteries and graveyards.
The villagers will be provided with water supply like the towns while there will be submersible tube wells for drinking water. There will be ring wells, water treatment plants as well.
The sewerage system will be developed and sanitary latrines will be set up. The waste collected from the houses and businesses will be dumped and processed at waste management plants. For cooking facilities, they will be provided with ‘Bondhu Chula’ and biogas plants to supply fuels.
“Imagine, the muddy roads are converted into paved roads… children are playing basketball on their school grounds, and streetlights everywhere. This will be common scenario in 2041 as a mega project will be implemented in phases after the ongoing pilot project,” said Planning Commission official Fazlul Haque.