An all-weather 30-kilometre road is transforming the lives of the haor people in Kishoregnaj with new jobs and income-generating activities besides traditional paddy cultivation and fishing.
The socio-economic condition of the local people is gradually uplifting with the rise in their incomes thanks to the improved communication system.
On a recent visit to the Itna-Mithamoin-Austragram Haor road this UNB correspondent found that the locals, traditionally dependent on agriculture and fishing, have started engaging in many alternative works to boost the family income.
Consider Abul Hossain, who has taken to driving an auto-rickshaw when there is no crop in the haor.
"This road has paved the way of earning in different ways. We can now think of different jobs alongside fishing and paddy production," he said.
The part-time auto driver also said, "We, the inhabitants of three upazillas, are now well-connected round the year because of this road. We can meet anytime within three areas and trade our production which was a rare thing before. Communications with the other districts through Kishoreganj has become faster and time-saving.”
On the other hand, fisherman Mahabat hailing from Mithamoin Upazila, said people of the haor are enjoying the benefits of this road.
"Some people thought that construction of a road through the haor was a waste of money. Now all the people enjoy the benefits. The uninterrupted communication with the neighbouring districts will be possible within some years." he said.
A wholesale merchant of Itna upazila Rahmat Ali said his sales have increased manifold as the road is attracting more tourists to the once remote backwater areas.
“It’s a dream come true,” he said revealing his excitement.
With a greater flow of tourists the business in hotels and restaurants is also booming.
Jubair, who works at Kachalanka restaurant said they are receiving many customers in the area after the inauguration of this road.
“Though visitors come here in a huge number during the rainy season for enjoying the beauty of the haor region, we are getting many tourists here round the year now,” he said.
During a visit to the area last month President Abdul Hamid, who hails from the area, shared his feelings about the road and other development works.
On the way from Mithamoin to Ashtagram, the son-of-the-soil said “These three isolated upazilas are now connected by this 30- kilometre long road. It used to take five hours to go by boat and a day on foot. Now it is possible to go only in fifteen minutes,’ he said.