Al Fahad

2020-02-16 15:28:58 BdST

Transforming villages into towns: A ‘dream coming true’

As majority of the country’s population live in 87,000 villages amid the lack of urban facilities, the government has undertaken a multidimensional plan to equip villages with civic amenities, and a pilot project,  ‘My Village, My Town’, in this regard will be launched in 15 villages soon.

Outlining the plan for turning villages into towns, LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Md Tajul Islam told UNB that 15 villages will be taken up under a pilot project to expand the modern city facilities to each village and those services will gradually be expanded to all other villages.

“Fifteen villages will be brought under the pilot project. If this succeeds, we’ll provide urban facilities to all the villages,” said Dr Kazi Anwarul Haque, additional secretary to the Local Government Division.

Asked when the pilot project will start, he said, "We’ll begin it on March 17, the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”

As part of its election manifesto, Awami League has planned transforming villages into towns so that rural people can enjoy the facilities of urban life.

According to sources at the Local Government Division, eight villages in eight upazilas of eight divisions and in seven selected areas (Haor, Char, Hill, Coast, Barind, Midland Beels and two adjoining economic zones) will be chosen for the pilot project. The pilot village project will be implemented in 15 villages as per Vision 2041.

Under the pilot project, villages can be selected according to geographical location, poverty situation, indicators of backwardness.

Urban Development Directorate has implemented a master plan in 14 upazilas of the country -- Dohar, Nawabganj, Shibchar Raipur, Shibpur, Iswarganj, Faridpur Sadar, Bagmara, Gangni, Saghata, Sanotola, Sariakandi, Ram and Rangunio.

“The villages in these upazilas could be prioritized for bringing under the pilot project,” said Dr Kazi Anwarul Haque.

The following modern urban amenities will be expanded to rural areas as per the election manifesto of 2018.

Construction of advanced rural infrastructures designed for effective public transport, development of haats and markets for availability of quality goods and marketing of agricultural commodities, development of sanitation conditions, creating facilities to ensure the supply of pure drinking water, power and fuel supply, bank loan facility for marginal and small entrepreneurs, expansion of e-governance, the use of modern technology to improve the lifestyle of local people, establishing agricultural service centres and workshops and establishing markets are there in the project plan.

The facilities also include expansion of libraries, sports and entertainment facilities, expansion of rural waterway communication, development of rainwater harvesting/rainwater drainage system, ensuring the latest and affordable medical care, expansion of e-governance and increasing opportunities for technical training and technical education.

Under the project, there will be concrete roads in all villages, annual development allocations for repair work, development of rural haats/markets for ensuring availability of quality commodities in markets and marketing of agri-products.

Besides, there will be piped-water supply in densely-populated villages, mini-piped water supply in medium-to-light residential villages and improved sanitation.

People will also be made aware about waste management through ‘Clean Village, Clean Town’ campaign programme.

In the 2018 election manifesto, the ruling Awami League made 21 pledges and ‘My Village My Town’ is among them, which envisions expanding modern urban facilities to each village across the country.

Later, the Local Government Division has taken various initiatives as per the directive of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to implement the special commitment of her government.

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