After a long wait, the journey of Sunamganj-Jagannathpur-Aushkandi Regional Highway has started. On Monday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated eight bridges including the Raniganj Bridge built on the Kushiara River through a virtual ceremony.
Now people of Sunamganj do not have to visit Sylhet city to go to Dhaka. By reducing the distance to 60 km, the regional highway can be used.
The people of the district have expressed their joy as the dream of two eras has been realized. This morning, Planning Minister MA Mannan was present at the Raniganj High School ground on the banks of the bridge and enjoyed the Prime Minister’s virtual program. At that time several thousand people of the district were present there. Local artistes performed Radharman Dutt’s famous song Dhamail on the occasion.
According to Sunamganj Roads and Public Paths (SOAZ) and local sources, the work of the Sunamganj-Jagannathpur-Aushkandi regional highway started in 1998 to reduce the road distance between Sunamganj and the capital Dhaka. However, after the change of government in 2001, the work of that road was stopped. When Awami League came to power again in 2008, MP and Planning Minister MA Mannan started the road work again. The road was completed in 2014. However, the Jagannathpur upazila section of the road was not fully operational due to the absence of seven dangerous bridges and the bridge over the Kushiara river.
Then in 2017, the foundation stone of the 702 meter long and 10.5 meter wide Raniganj Bridge was laid on the Kushiara river. Next year in 2018, the project of demolishing 7 dangerous road bridges and constructing new bridges at a cost of about 100 crore rupees was taken up. Those seven bridges are Aktarpara Bridge, Kondanala Bridge, Tookhai Bridge, Kalkalia Bridge, Khashila Bridge, Majidpur-Nadampur Bridge and Katakhal Bridge in the Jagannathpur Upazila section of the highway.
Jagannathpur Upazila Parishad Chairman Akmal Hossain said, ‘We have been dreaming of opening the regional highway for a long time. Direct traffic on the highway was not possible due to various obstacles. But now the residents of Sunamganj do not have to go to Dhaka via Sylhet city. By reducing the distance to 60 km, it can be traveled through the regional highway.
Ashraful Islam, executive engineer of Sunamganj Soaz, said that eight bridges including Raniganj Bridge, the dream of Sunamganj residents, were inaugurated on this regional highway at a cost of 2.5 billion taka.
Planning Minister MA Mannan said, ‘I am very happy. Today is a day of joy for the people of Howar. It was my election promise to open the highway with Raniganj bridge. I am grateful to the Prime Minister for implementing it. This road will serve as a milestone in the communication and socio-economic development of the district.