The World Bank (WB) has approved 500 million US dollar to help Bangladesh improve road connectivity along the Jashore-Jhenaidah corridor covering four western districts.
“The western region of Bangladesh is endowed with many agricultural and natural produce and holds great potential of becoming a gateway for regional and international trade,” Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, said in a statement.
“This project will unlock the region’s potential by stimulating the economy of districts, linking farms to markets, connecting Dhaka with the western region as well as with neighboring countries, thus enhancing trade, transit and logistics along the corridor.”
The Western Economic Corridor and Regional Enhancement (WeCARE) Phase I project is the first of a multi-phased $1.4 billion World Bank programme to upgrade the existing 110 KM two-lane highway—Bhomra-Satkhira-Navaron and Jahore-Jhenaidah, to a safer and climate-resilient four-lane highway in western Bangladesh, the WB said in its statement, issued from Washington DC on Tuesday.
It will support the government’s plan of developing a 260 km economic corridor in the western part and benefit over 20 million people.
The first phase of the programme will upgrade 48km of the N7 highway between Jashore and Jhenaidah and improve about 600km connecting rural roads and 32 rural markets/growth centers to stimulate the local economy. To improve road safety, the highway will have additional lanes for slow-moving vehicles and a median safety barrier to separate oncoming traffic.
To help the country realise the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ vision, the project will install fiber optic cables along the highway to provide reliable and affordable internet access, which will be critical for emergency responses and business continuities in crises similar to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the statement.