Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said the goal of her government is to promote democracy and uplift people’s living standard.
“Our goal is to preserve democracy and improve the fate of the people,” she said while inaugurating the Mirpur-Kalshi flyover for vehicular movement.
The prime minister opened the 2.34 km flyover at a function at Kalshi intersection near Balur Math in the city aiming to ease travel among the areas of Mirpur, DOHS, Pallabi, Kalshi, Mahakhali, Banani, Uttara and Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
She said that the ruling Awami League (AL) believes in the people’s right to vote freely to elect their representatives.
She mentioned that the AL has been able has been able to return the voting rights of the people to them after years of movement for restoring democracy.
“People had cast their votes to AL and elected us in the elections in 2008, 2014 and 2018 to run the government. AL came in the power elected by the votes of people,” she said.
Hasina said that people of Bangladesh are very much careful about their votes and they never accepted those who had rigged polls.
She said that people would never forget the fraudulent parliamentary election held on February 15, 1996 where BNP leader Khaleda Zia declared herself as the prime minister.
The PM said as Khaleda rigged votes the people did not accept it and forced her to step down in less than two months through a massive movement.
She recalled that similar incident had happened while the BNP was in power after 2001.
She said that BNP included 1.23 crore of fake voters in the voter list trying to return to power through rigging, a design foiled by the people’s movement.
Hasina mentioned that in the subsequent 2008 elections BNP had managed to bagged 29 seats out of 300. Later they won another seat in a by-election making its tally to 30 only.
“We came to power repeatedly getting votes of the people and gaining their trust and confidence for developing the country,” she said.
Hasina, also ruling AL chief, said that her party believes in the empowerment of people while BNP is trying to mislead them.
She said that Bangladesh is now on the highways of development and the government has been able to develop the country as her party has been in power for a long time.
“We have attained the status of developing economy from the least developed country. We have to advance the country through implementing the status of developing country,” she said.
The PM said that in Bangladesh in 2041 will be a developed, prosperous and Smart Bangladesh.
“We have formulated perspective plan for that and make the five year plan basing on that to take the country forward. Bangladesh will never look back. It will never be dependent on anyone. We will produce our own food, develop the country, will not beg to anyone,” she declared.
She said that people of the country will move around the world with dignity and keeping their heads ever high.
She said that global economic recession and food scarcity have engulfed the whole world, including the developed countries.
Saying that land of Bangladesh is very much fertile she repeated her call to the people to bring all of it under cultivation to grow more food.
“Not a single inch of land will be left out from cultivation. Produce whatever you can. We will meet our demands and if necessary we will help others.”
LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Md Tazul Islam, Dhaka north city Mayor Md Atiqul Islam, Army General S M Shafiuddin Ahmed and Dhaka-16 MP Md Elias Uddin Mollah also spoke at the programme.
Prime Minister said that Dhaka city will be developed in a planned manner to transform it into a smart capital with more flyovers to ease traffic congestion.
She said that the four-lane flyover and six-lane road will open a new era of communication and socio-economic development in Dhaka city.
Besides, these will also ease commuting in Banani, Mirpur, DOHS, Pallobi, Kalshi, Mahakhali, Airport, Matikata, and adjacent areas, she added.
She said that underpasses and foot over bridges will also be built to ensure safe movement of the pedestrians.
Saying that the communication system in Dhaka is now facing big challenges she particularly mentioned lack of roads connecting the East and the West as an obstacle to expand Dhaka towards the north.
Referring to partition of Dhaka city in 2011, the prime minister said, 23 projects involving Tk 3500 crore have been implemented in last 12 years in Dhaka North City, and 16 projects in Dhaka South City at a cost of over Tk 3000 during the time.
She said that under these projects, development of communication and infrastructures in the capital including beautification of the city, improvement of water supply management, construction and development of footpath, waste management alongside roads, bridges and flyovers were constructed.
The PM announced that the newly opened flyover will be renamed after late Harun Mollah, who was AL MP from Dhaka-16 seat, for his glorious contribution in the war of liberation as well as in democratic movements.
She also declared that the Balur Math will be turned into an amusement park with facilities of playing cricket and football for the children as well as with walkways for the aged people.
Brigadier General Monowarul Islam Sarder of 24 Engineering Construction Brigade of Bangladesh Army highlighted key features of the project, while a video documentary on the project was also screened at the event.