In a significant development, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced the government’s commitment to establish rail connectivity between Cox’s Bazar and various regions of Bangladesh. The prime minister expressed this commitment while inaugurating the rail line and the newly constructed Cox’s Bazar Railway Station. She emphasized the aim of facilitating seamless travel from Cox’s Bazar to Panchagar, Rajshahi, the southern part of the country, and even Sundarbans. Sheikh Hasina humorously remarked that the goal is to connect the entire nation, leaving no region untouched by railway connectivity.
During the inaugural ceremony of the Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar Rail Line, the prime minister fulfilled a longstanding demand of the region. Sheikh Hasina highlighted the potential economic benefits of the new rail track, envisioning positive impacts on tourism, industrialization, business, and trade. She assured that her government is actively working on initiatives to enhance the country’s rail service, speed, and transportation, with a commitment to achieving world-class standards within the next two to three years.
Sheikh Hasina’s pride in the aesthetic beauty and facilities of the newly constructed six-storey Cox’s Bazar Railway Station was evident. She urged the public to maintain cleanliness in the station and on the rail tracks. The inauguration of the 102km Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar Rail Line, costing Taka 18034.47 crore, marks a historic moment in Bangladesh’s railway connectivity.
Following the inauguration, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took a train ride from Cox’s Bazar to Ramu, symbolizing the operational commencement of the rail line. The intercity train on the Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar route is scheduled to begin operations on December 1, contributing to the government’s efforts to provide efficient and affordable transportation.
Notably, the Cox’s Bazar Railway Station’s inauguration comes 133 years after the initial attempt during the British period to connect this prominent tourist destination with the railway network. The prime minister emphasized the inclusive development initiatives undertaken by her government and extended pleasantries to fellow passengers during the train journey.
Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan, ADB Country Director Edimon Ginting, and Railways Ministry Secretary Dr. Md. Humayun Kabir also spoke at the inaugural function, highlighting the strategic importance of the rail project. The prime minister cautioned against destructive activities and arson violence, asserting that her government would not tolerate such actions.
CEC Affirms Commitment to Transparent National Election
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal emphasized his strong commitment to conducting a transparent and impartial national election scheduled for January 7 next year.
“We are determined to ensure a fair and credible election to safeguard the country’s economy and future,” he stated.
Addressing the first phase of a daylong training for divisional officials at the Election Commission (EC), the CEC mentioned that the EC is actively working to prevent the influence of muscle power, black money, and irregularities.
In reference to the training program, Awal underscored the importance of providing intensive training on electoral rules and regulations to enable members of the electoral investigative committee to perform their duties accurately.
While acknowledging the collaborative effort required, the CEC expressed that it would be impossible for the EC alone to organize a genuinely fair election without government support and the sincerity, bravery, and integrity of officials assisting in the process.
“We must ensure that voters can participate in hassle-free voting, and allegations from candidates will only be considered if polling agents are present at the polling centers,” he added.
The CEC emphasized the EC’s pursuit of an uncontroversial election result, stating, “For the sake of the country’s democracy and economy, we have no alternative but to conduct a free and fair election.”
Mashrafe again Nominated for Narail-2 Constituency
The ruling Awami League has selected former Bangladesh cricket captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza as its candidate for the upcoming 12th national parliamentary election from the Narail-2 constituency. This decision was announced by Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader during a press briefing on Sunday.
Despite competition from 23 other leaders vying for the Awami League’s nomination in the Narail-2 constituency, the party opted to retain the incumbent MP, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, for the upcoming election.
Shakib Nominated for Magura-1 Constituency
The Awami League has selected cricketer Shakib Al Hasan as their candidate for the Magura-1 constituency in the upcoming 12th parliamentary election. This marks Shakib’s debut in parliamentary elections, and he is renowned as the world’s best all-rounder in ODIs.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader unveiled the party’s 300 parliamentary seat nominees at the central office on Bangabandhu Avenue. Shakib Al Hasan had previously obtained three nomination forms to contest in the 12th parliamentary election, covering Magura-1, Magura-2, and Dhaka-10, with his relatives collecting the forms from the AL central office.
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