Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday called upon engineers to work out sustainable, affordable and modernized development plan avoiding excessive expenses.
"Our development work should be done in a planned way, when you will formulate a plan, please make it sure it doesn't entail high cost. Rather the plan should be sustainable, affordable and modernized," she said.
Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League President, said this while inaugurating the four-day 56th convention titled 'Engineers for Sustainable Development' of the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) in the capital at the organisation's auditorium with its president Engineer M Kabir Ahmed Bhuiyan in the chair.
Stressing the need for a master plan for every upazila, she urged engineers to enhance quality of services and stop wasting funds.
"Engineers have to work out a standard master plan for each upazila so that locals could avail themselves of all public services from one point," the Prime Minister said.
Hasina suggested that engineers keep a provision of water bodies or ponds before taking any plan and construction of any big structure. She stressed keeping playgrounds and walkways before constructing any big housing complex.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also sought all-out cooperation from engineers in attaining seven percent GDP growth this fiscal year saying that the key to development is in the hands of engineers.
"We want to attain 7 percent GDP growth and for that we've to quickly implement the projects we've taken, and only then we'll be able to reach our target," she said.
Mentioning her 'bitter experience' with an unplanned sluice gate at Gopalganj, the Prime Minister cautioned the engineers that they should not feel 'too excited' and do what is unnecessary in her constituency.
"There is a thinking that every possible project in my constituency has to be overdone. You must stop thinking that way," she said.
"There was a time when I didn't get to have anything. I was neglected all my life. But now it hurts to handle so much. I'm telling everyone to stop ? I do not need all this. Just do what is necessary," she added.
About the proposal to have 100 economic zones in the country, Hasina said 16 such areas have already been identified.
"But we have to avoid too much displacement while setting up these zones," she warned.
Hasina said her government wants to steer the country towards progress fast and it partly depends on the skills and sincerity of engineers, and quick implementation of projects.
The Prime Minister said her government's prime aim is to change the fate of the country's neglected people. "And we're working tirelessly to achieve that goal," she said.
Hasina said the government is implementing Vision 2021 to turn Bangladesh into a middle-income digital nation and a developed one by 2041.
She said building a poverty-free nation is not possible without educated people and that is why her government gives top priority to education, especially multipurpose vocational education.
The Prime Minister mentioned that a total of 12 science and technology universities were established for the expansion of science-based education during the 1996-2001 term of her government.
She reiterated her government's firm commitment to establish at least one university in every district under public or private management.
Mentioning her commitment of building Digital Bangladesh before 2008 general election, Hasina said Bangladesh is now a digital in true sense as over 5,275 union digital centres are providing 200 types of services to rural people.
Terming power and energy as the main elements of development, Hasina said the country's electricity generation capacity rose to over 14,000 megawatt from 3,200 megawatt in 2009 due to the pragmatic steps of her government.
Over 100 power plants have been constructed during the last seven years and over 70 percent people have come under electricity coverage now and electricity would be reached to every household by 2021.
The government has undertaken plans to generate 24,000 megawatt of electricity by 2021 while 40,000 megawatt by 2040.
Earlier, the Prime Minister handed over IEB Gold Medal to two eminent engineers of the country for their contributions to their respective areas.
They are Vice Chancellor of Ahsan Ullah Science and Technology Professor AMM Shafiulla and former Rujuk Chairman Engineer Nurul Huda.
She also inaugurated a 15-storey IEB Bhaban.