The Padma Bridge has started doing what a mega project like this is expected to perform. Physical infrastructures such as roads, highways and particularly bridges in this deltaic plain are meant to enhance connectivity between different regions of a country. Those accelerate people’s movement by reducing travel time and expenses and quicken transportation of commodities and raw materials from one place to another. And by doing so, easy communication facility, among others, spurs economic activities of the people.
This is exactly the case with the Padma Bridge. The first noticeable change in the economic activities in the south-western region is the speedy development of the tourism sector. As the Bridge has ensured hassle-free movement over the entire region in drastically reduced travel time, increasing numbers of people are seen visiting different tourist attractions including the Padma Bridge itself. The mushrooming growth of a large number of hotels, restaurants, tourist resorts and parks to cater to the needs of the visitors is an inevitable corollary of this new development. Many people of the localities are taking advantage of the positive changes that are taking place in the erstwhile backward region. Some even have changed their profession and initiated new business ventures which, though small in size now, will hopefully grow bigger in course of time.
But these are just the beginning and less important at that. The enhanced connectivity of the region with the rest of the country, especially with two major seaports, is expected to lead to faster development of area- and resource-specific industries and business establishments there. Many of the industrial plants clustered in big cities including Dhaka may also be shifted to new industrial parks and economic zones in the region. Opening of healthcare facilities in that area has a great prospect in terms of services to ailing humanity. Extensive communication network over the entire region can also play a great role in the development of technical, vocational and tertiary level of education through establishment of necessary institutions.
The Padma Bridge and the wide communication facilities have set the infrastructural base of economic growth in the south-western districts. What are needed to ensure optimum utilisation of the new possibility are strategic plans at the public sector level in conjunction with the private sector initiative.