|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
The development of the transport sector in the People's Republic of Bangladesh is important to the economic development and poverty reduction in the country. ADB has been constantly supporting the construction and improvement of roads and bridges, and institutional strengthening of the transport sector in Bangladesh through various projects. Among the recent accomplishments of ADB assistance in the transport sector is the preparation of the Road Master Plan under Loan 2021-BAN: Road Network Improvement and Maintenance Project II, approved by the Government of Bangladesh (Government) in June 2009, where roads prioritized for development for the next 20 years are identified. According to the Road Master Plan, the current national and regional highways network of Bangladesh is 7,893 km, of which 4,780 km of national and regional highways will require major interventions from the GOB for road improvement over the next 5 years. The GOB requested ADB to take up some of the highest priority roads identified in the Road Master Plan in this PPTA for Preparing the Priority Roads Project (PRP).
The PRP investment is under the Country Operations Business Plan (2009-2011) for 2011 approval. Three highest priority national highways of about 298 km identified in the Road Master Plan, which require intervention over the next five years, were proposed for TA study. The priority roads identified are (i) Joydevpur-Chandra-Tangail-Hatikamrul road section in N4 and N405 (110 km), (ii) Faridpur-Barisal road section in N8 (128 km), and (iii) Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga Highway in N8 (60 km). These priority roads are linked to Jamuna and Padma Bridges' road network, as well as to other existing and proposed ADB-funded roads in Bangladesh. By linking these roads and bridges, domestic trade in the Northwest and Southwest regions will be strengthened, and economic activity between various regions in the country will be promoted. This may also result to the integration of the Southwest region into the national economy, a key outcome identified in the ADB Country Strategy and Program for Bangladesh (2006-2010) to support the country's National Poverty Reduction Strategy. Further, improved road network in Bangladesh will also encourage trade with other countries in the South Asia sub-region.