PM doubts building ‘Bangabandhu International Airport’ on shoal
After the failure to set up an international airport in Munshiganj’s Arial Beel, the government has shifted the project onto the other bank of the Padma River, but the prime minister has her doubts about the selection of the site.
The government is currently conducting a feasibility study to explore the possibilities of the location, but Sheikh Hasina doubts whether the shoal of Char Janajat can bear the load of an airport.
In response to an MP’s query in parliament on Wednesday, she said, “The problem is that Char Janajat is a shoal. We are assessing whether the soil of the shoal is strong enough to bear the load of an airport.”
The government plans to construct a large international airport near Dhaka, besides Shahjalal International Airport.
It had to backtrack on its decision to build the airport in Arial Beel following protests by locals in 2011.
The prime minister had said at the time the airport would be set up on the other bank of the Padma River.
The government has been saying the airport will be named ‘Bangabandhu International Airport’.
Jatiya Party MP Kazi Firoz Rashid posed the question about the government’s plan to build the airport.
A cell to speed up the project had shortlisted three locations but dropped two to avoid acquisition of arable land and densely populated areas.
Hasina said, “Bangladesh is such a populous country that there will be problems whenever you want to set up something. The surveyed areas are densely populated. I don’t think it would be reasonable to evict so many people to set up the airport in those places.”
That’s why we are conducting more surveys. We are looking for a place strong and empty enough for aircraft to land and take off. If this survey succeeds, we will surely build the airport on the other bank of the Padma,” she said.