Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has pledged to develop the neglected southern part of the country under a master plan as she called the people to vote her to power in the next election.
“You have voted us to power in the past. I want your promise that you will cast vote for boat (the election symbol of ruling Awami League),” Hasina, also the president of the League, told a crowd of thousands of people in southern Taltoli township of coastal Barguna district.
People in the southern part of the country have long been ignored, but the Awami League initiated the development process after it assumed office in 2009, she said.
“We have built a nuclear power plant in northern Rooppur, we are looking for a site to construct the second nuclear power plant in the south,” she said.
The atomic energy commission is conducting a feasibility study to select a suitable place for construction of the country’s second nuclear power plant in the southern part, she said.
She also said the present government has a plan to generate 30,000 MW power in the southern part of the country.
Earlier, the prime minister, who flew to Patuakhali in the morning, said this while addressing a gathering before inaugurating 21 projects including ‘Swapner Thikana’, a housing project for rehabilitation of the people who lost their land for constructing 1,320 MW thermal power plant in Payra.
The prime minister handed the keys of the homes to the rehabilitated families and released fish fries in the pond of the housing area and planted sapling of a coconut tree on the housing premises.
Hasina said the government is constructing a naval base and an air force base in the southern region side by side building a cantonment for Bangladesh Army.
A shipbuilding and ship recycling industry is also being developed in the Taltali area of Patuakhali, she said.
Hasina said a total of 130 families have found their homes in the Swapner Thikana project allowing them to live in a decent atmosphere.
The 1,320 MW thermal power plant, biggest coal based power plant in the country, would create job opportunities for them, she said.
“We want to create job opportunities in this area for socioeconomic development,” she added.
The prime minister said a cyclone center would be constructed in the power plant for shelter of the local people during any natural disaster.
Local parliament member Md. Mahbubur Rahman also spoke on the occasion while Agriculture Minister Matiya Chowdhury, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, Chief Whip ASM Firoz, PM’s advisor Dr Towfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury and State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid were present.
Over the last ten years every region of the country has witnessed huge development, she said, adding her government has already taken plan to explore blue economy after obtaining huge sea area for economic development of the country.
Side by side, she said, all rivers in the region would be dredged to improve their navigability.