Govt easing communication for making economy more vibrant: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her government is taking all types of measures to make the country’s economic activities more vibrant and dynamic through improving the communication and transportation system.
“We’re taking steps to expedite and develop the country’s economic activities through easing the communication system for people’s movement all over the country,” she said.
The premier said this while addressing the inauguration ceremony of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Mobile Rail Museum and 30 metre-gauge and 16 broad-gauge locomotives at Kamalapur Railway Station as the chief guest.
She joined the function virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban here.
Mentioning that the Awami League government’s job is to serve the country’s people, she said the main focus of the government’s entities should be to serve the people rather than making profit.
“The big issue is how much the government organization has been able to provide services to the people. How much service did the people get? And how much the life standard of people becomes easy…,” she said regarding the profit-loss of the state-owned BRTC and Bangladesh Railway.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has made Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) and Bangladesh Railway (BR) profitable organisations.
“BR, which was suggested to shut down terming as non-profitable and the BNP government did it so, could be made profitable and the Awami League government has shown it by making BR a profitable organisation,” she said.
She added that BR today has established itself as a profitable organisation and it would be profitable further when more employees could be recruited alongside expansion of rail track and induction of the new track which is being installed currently.
The premier also appreciated the employees and workers of BR for their sincere effort to ensure quality of services.
Railways Minister Md. Nurul Islam Sujan and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Railway ABM Fazle Karim Chowdhury also spoke as special guests.
Railways Secretary Dr. Md. Humayun Kabir delivered the welcome address.
Separate video documentary on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Mobile Rail Museum and Bangladesh Railway’s rolling stock was screened. The mobile museum – built separately in a metre-gauge and a broad-gauge coach – displays the life and works of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The museum will travel all railway stations across the country so that people from all walks of life can visit it and know different aspects of Bangabandhu’s life.
Besides, the metre-gauge and broad-gauge locomotives have been procured from Hyundai Rotem of South Korea and Progress Rail of the United States as part of the modernisation of Bangladesh Railway. The prime minister inaugurated the museum and locomotives by blowing flute and waving flag.
Sheikh Hasina said the locomotives are gift for countrymen ahead of Eid, adding train movement would increase on Eid and these locomotives would help ensure smooth travel of people to visit their near and dear ones in the villages.
She said the government has taken a massive development scheme for the people of the southern region as they are most vulnerable to climate change.
“We’ve drawn up development activities so the people could get rid of the adverse impact of climate change and move easily for better communication system,” she said.
She added the water ways communication is being activated through dredging river, which would also help the people escape flood.
She continued that the government also upgrading air connectivity for the people by incorporating new aircraft to the fleet of the Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
Sheikh Hasina again referred to the decision to shut down the Bangladesh Railway (BR) by the then BNP government.
She said, “Railways can transport the maximum goods. People can also travel by train at low cost. But, the irony was that the BNP government decided to shut down the railway while the party was in power.”
She went on saying that during the time (BNP regime) more than 10,000 employees of BR were terminated under golden handshake, while many rail lines were abandoned and the rail actually tumbled.
She said, “When the Awami League came to power, we tried to rebuild this rail in a new way and to facilitate the communication system of the people”.
Expressing her determination to take the country forward, the prime minister said her government wants to advance the country as this is her goal on the birth centenary of Father of the Nation.
Mentioning that Bangabandhu uplifted the nation to the least developed countries, she said, “Today, we’ve attained the status of a developing country. So we have to move forward keeping this dignity. But, sometimes hurdles appear. This is sad.”
Mentioning the arson attack on rail during the last BNP-Jamaat movement, Sheikh Hasina said, “When we bought new coaches, new locomotives, BNP started arson attack, which was the saddest thing.”
She also added that the new passenger trains, rail track, rail coaches and locomotives were set on fire by BNP and it was their movement.
The prime minister said, “I don’t know what kind of movement this was that killed people, set fire on moving bus, train or launch. It is rather a kind of terrorist activity.”
She said that the BNP, of course, is a party that was established in the hands of those people who grabbed power.
“They didn’t come up from the people. Therefore, they don’t have a goal for the welfare of the people,” she added.
“Their greed is only for power. Money laundering, corruption, creation of militancy and Bangla Bhai were their jobs. They didn’t do anything for the welfare of the people of the country,” she observed.
Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Senior Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah and US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas, among others, were present at the function.