91Published on October 5, 2021
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) today approved a Taka 1,435.89 crore project to upgrade the Tangail-Delduar-Louhati-Saturia-Kawalipara-Kalampur bus stand road regional highway to due standard and width to ensure safe and uninterrupted road communication system.
The approval came in the 5th ECNEC meeting of the current fiscal year (FY22) with ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The Premier joined the meeting virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence while Ministers, State Ministers, Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned attended it from the NEC Conference Room in city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said a total of nine projects were approved today involving an overall estimated cost of Taka 6,551.27 crore.
"Of the total project cost, Taka 3,742.29 crore will come from the government of Bangladesh portion, Taka 26.22 crore from the concerned organization's own fund while the rest of Taka 2,782.76 crore as project assistance," he said.
Among the approved nine projects, four are new while five others are revised ones.
The planning minister said that the Roads and Highways Department under the Road Transport and Highways Division will implement the road upgradation project in Tangail by December, 2023.
Once the project is completed, safe and uninterrupted road communication will be established in Tangail, Delduar, Nagarpur, Dhamrai and Saturia upazilas with Manikganj and Dhaka in much lesser time.
The main project operations include 73.44 hectares of land acquisition, construction of five PC girder bridges, widening and strengthening of pavements, construction of one grade separated intersection and one U-loop or underpass, construction of 31 RCC box culverts, 13.26 lakh cubic meter road embankment widening, and construction of drains.
The Planning Minister said the ECNEC meeting was informed that the work of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman tunnel under River Karnaphuli is likely to be completed much before the stipulated timeframe of December 2022.
He said that out of the two channels of the tunnel, the work of one has already been completed while the other one is likely to be accomplished soon, most likely on Friday.
"Hopefully, the work of the tunnel will be completed much before December 2022.....it's a matter of great happiness for the government. The main physical work of the tunnel is nearing completion while the project didn't witness any revision, rather there will be save of some public funds," he added.
Revealing some directives from the Prime Minister, Mannan said that the Premier once again stressed the need for ensuring Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) and Central Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) in the mills and factories to avert pouring of industrial wastes in rivers.
About the scope for taking more loans from foreign currency reserves for unleashing development works, the Prime Minister noted that if foreign funding is not available against development projects, then the government could go for using its sound foreign currency reserves.
The Planning Minister said the Prime Minister in the meeting noted that the government should be fair to every area of the country so that there is no injustice to any area considering development works. "We're also very much aware of the matter," Mannan added.
The Premier stressed again for dredging rivers and canals to maintain navigability of those.
Referring to the approval of much talked about 2nd revision of Kushtia Medical College and Hospital with an additional cost of Taka 71.38 crore, Mannan said following allegations of alleged irregularities into the work of the Medical College, IMED launched an investigation and finally submitted its report.
Based on the findings of the report, Mannan said the Prime Minister asked the authorities concerned to punish those who are responsible for the alleged irregularities and deviations from the rules and regulations.
Planning Commission member Nasima Begum said that the Prime Minister also directed the authorities concerned to take action against those who are involved in the irregularities as per the investigation report.
The Premier noted that although some of the accused officials involved in the irregularities have already gone into retirement, but those officials would not be spared and thus would be brought to book under the Public Demands Recovery (PDR) Act.
She also asked the concerned executing agencies to finish the work as per the new timeframe.
Besides, Mannan said the ECNEC extended congratulations to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her recent 75th birthday and also for gaining SDG progress award given by the UN-sponsored Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
The other projects approved in the meeting are Sayedabad water supply project, phase-3, 1st revised with an additional cost of Taka 2,920.66 crore, Agriculture weather information system development, 1st revised with an additional cost of Taka 93.18 crore, Establishment of two agricultural training institutes at Jagannathpur and Mohonganj upazilas with Taka 356.08 crore, River bank protection, re-excavation of small rivers, canals, beels, addressing water logging at Pirganj upazila in Rangpur with Taka 165.59 crore, River bank protection on the both sides of Kirtinasha River at Shariatpur with Taka 319.33 crore, Boropukuria-Bogura-Kaliakoir 400kv line, 1st revised with an additional cost of Taka 729.89 crore and Erection of railway track from Khulna to Mongla Port, 2nd revised with an additional cost of Taka 459.27 crore.