Cox’s Bazar’s 20-year smart city plan to begin next month

A detailed area plan is also being formulated to ensure a planned development for an attractive and environment-friendly Cox’s Bazar

The 20-year-long master plan to transform the tourism city Cox’s Bazar into a modern and smart city is likely to be initiated next month. The Cox’s Bazar Development Authority (CoxDA) is ready to prepare a masterplan for the tourism city.

“We’re working to formulate a masterplan for 20 years — from 2023 to 2043 — to transform Cox’s Bazar into a smart city. The formal work to this end will start next month,” Chairman of the CoxDA, Commodore (retd) Muhammed Nurul Absar, told reporters in a views-exchange meeting held at his office on Saturday.

Prime Minister’s Deputy Press Secretary Hasan Jahid Tusher also spoke at the program.

A detailed area plan is also being formulated to ensure a planned development for an attractive and environment-friendly Cox’s Bazar.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina earlier asked the authorities concerned to prepare a masterplan for Cox’s Bazar, to develop it as a smart city with all the modern facilities.

She also asked the authorities concerned to keep the beauty of the “longest natural unbroken sea beach” in the world unharmed.

Sheikh Hasina wants to transform Cox’s Bazar into a global hub of tourism and aviation by developing a dedicated tourist attraction for foreigners, and a state-of-the-art international airport with the longest and only marine runway in the country, the CoxDA chairman said.

The CoxDA chairman also said they are formulating the masterplan following the directive of the prime minister.

It includes formulating strategic policy plan, detailed area plan of all the upazilas and beach areas of Cox’s Bazar (690.67sqkm), and tourism and regional development plans.

Disaster management, preparing a Smart City Model for Cox’s Bazar, transport management, environment management, drainage and sanitation management, utilities and socio-economic development and sectoral plans are also the key features of the masterplan.

To support the Vision 2041 announced by the Awami League government to turn Bangladesh into a developed country with high income, the CoxDA is undertaking several development projects.

The projects include cable car installation from Cox’s Bazar to Sabrong and Cox’s Bazar to Moheshkhali, introducing watersports and other amusement facilities on the sea beach, indoor amusement park, CoxDA Marina Bay Resort, CoxDA Condominium Project, Eco-resort in Moheshkhali, protecting lives and boosting marine tourism, preparing a roadmap to tap potential of the blue economy, renewable energy project, installation of central sewerage treatment plant (STP), water treatment plan and introducing sea-plane, cruise ship and helicopter service and preparing integrated costal zone management plan.

CoxDA chairman Commodore (retd) Muhammed Nurul Absar said they are working to set up the central STP in Cox’s Bazar, otherwise the Bay of Bengal will be a dead zone with huge amounts of sewerage going into the sea.

“Once the projects are completed, they can immensely contribute to achieve the targets of sustainable development goals,” he said.

He added that they have already completed several projects that include reforming and rehabilitating Cox’s Bazar’s traditional Laldighi, Goldighi, markets and ponds, and building a multi-storey building for CoxDA.

The ongoing development schemes of the CoxDA are: building residential flats for CoxDA, sculpture and modern passenger shed at Moheshkhali, reforming and expanding the main road of Cox’s Bazar (Holiday Crossing-Bazatghata-Larpara Bus Stand).