Prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurates 29.73-km Itna-Mithamoin-Austagram road in Kishoreganj through a video conference from her official Gonobhaban residence, Dhaka on 8 October 2020
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurates 29.73-km Itna-Mithamoin-Austagram road in Kishoreganj through a video conference from her official Gonobhaban residence, Dhaka on 8 October 2020PID

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said the government is taking all-out preparations to keep the district hospitals ready with ICU and necessary oxygen to effectively encounter the possible second wave of the COVID-19 in the coming winter.

“The outbreak of coronavirus started last winter. It may come again in the next winter. We have been making arrangements for all the medicare services such as installing ICU (intensive care unit) and oxygen in every district hospital,” she said while virtually opening the Itna-Mithamoin-Austagram Highway in Kishoreganj.

The prime minister simultaneously said her government has instantly given appointment to 2,000 physicians, 3,000 nurses and technicians soon after the outbreak of the novel virus to ensure prompt healthcare services to COVID-19 patients.

While exchanging views following the inauguration of the 29.73-km road from her official Gonobhaban residence in the capital through a video conference, she said, “We give it as a ‘gift’ on behalf of the honourable president in the Mujib Borsho.”

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The prime minister simultaneously thanked president Abdul Hamid for taking the initiative to build such a highway, saying, “We have been able to construct the road due to his inspiration and initiative.”

The government has built the road having 14 bridges and 62 culverts under the road transport and highways division at a cost of Tk 874.08 crore, she said.

The highway connected Nasirnagar of Brahmanbaria to Sylhet and Dhaka and other parts of the country.

The prime minister thanked the countrymen as they voted the Awami League to power for four times since 1996 and thus allowed the party to serve them and make strides for the overall development of the country

A video presentation on the newly constructed highway was screened at the function.

Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader, MP, gave the welcome speech at the function.

PM’s principal secretary Ahmad Kaikaus moderated the function while secretary of road transport and highways division Md Nazrul Islam gave a brief presentation about the Itna-Mithamoin-Astagram Highway.

The prime minister said her government has established community clinics alongside upgrading the district and upazila hospitals to reach healthcare services to every doorstep.

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“We have been trying from every side to ensure healthcare services for the COVID-19 patients,” she added.

Mentioning that her government has been tirelessly working for building a prosperous and developed country, she said that the overall development of a country requires adequate power supply and a vast communication network.

We are constructing roads, reviving the naval routes and setting up more rail lines to establish a vast communication network across the country. Once the country builds the communication network in a proper manner, transportation will be easier and the people will become economically solvent
Sheikh HasinaSheikh Hasina

She added: “People have already got power. We are reaching power to the remotest areas across the country by setting up solar panels. Alongside this, we have been taking measures to increase power generation and installing more power distribution lines to ensure power for all.”

Turning to setting up a communication networks, the prime minister said that her government has been working to building a vast communication network across the country through the road, waterways and railways to ensure the country’s overall development.

“We are constructing roads, reviving the naval routes and setting up more rail lines to establish a vast communication network across the country. Once the country builds the communication network in a proper manner, transportation will be easier and the people will become economically solvent,” she said.

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About the Itna-Mithamoin-Austagram Highway in Kishoreganj, the prime minister said the sufferings of the people in this region will end with the construction of the road as people now can go quickly to Dhaka through Nasirnagar of Brahmanbaria and Bhairab and thus other parts of the country and can transport their produced goods to different parts of the country.

She added that the people of the Austagram upazila could send their cheese (panir) which has international standard to Dhaka and even could export using the road.

The prime minister said her government has been setting up special economic zones at different parts of the country considering which goods are usually produced in the particular areas, so that the local people could gain economic solvency.

She said since the Haor region is the source of huge fishes, the government wants to develop relevant industries there to pave the way for cultivating, processing and marketing fishes.

The prime minister also said they are set to build food and other agriculture goods processing industries so that agriculture-dependent regions would not remain dependent on only agriculture to ensure marketing of the goods and thus people will gain financial solvency.

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The prime minister thanked the countrymen as they voted the Awami League to power for four times since 1996 and thus allowed the party to serve them and make strides for the overall development of the country.

Mentioning that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had a desire that no region in the country will remain neglected, Sheikh Hasina said her government has been given similar attention to each of the region to make sure a balanced development.

For this reason, she said, her government has a plan to establish at least one university in every greater district so the students could continue their studies residing at home.

The prime minister said her government could have done much more for the country’s development but the coronavirus has caused a huge loss to the nation.

In this connection, she said, “The economies of Bangladesh and rest of the world have got stranded due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.”

She said students are the worst sufferers of the COVID-19 as they can’t go to the schools, colleges and universities and their education is being hampered immensely.

The prime minister said the government has to cancel HSC exams due to the coronavirus, adding that her government has taken measures to take classes digitally using the Sangsad TV and online.

She called upon the guardians to allow their children to run in the sun and take fresh air which is important to remain protected from the COVID-19.

Renewing her vow, marking the Mujib Borsho, the prime minister said they want to give the countrymen a beautiful life by making Bangladesh a developed and prosperous country free from poverty and hunger.