708Published on January 2, 2018
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved a total of 16 projects, including establishment of a naval base in Patuakhali, involving Taka 5,221 crore.
The ECNEC approved the projects at its 13th meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at the NEC conference room in city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area on Tuesday afternoon.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said," A total of 16 projects were approved at the meeting with an overall estimated cost of Taka 5,220.83 crore."
Of the projects, a project titled ''Establishment of BNS Sher-e-Bangla Patuakhali' with an estimated cost of Taka 1,081.50 crore was taken in a bid to turn Bangladesh Navy into an international standard naval force in line with the Forces Goal 2030, he said.
"Of the total project cost, Taka 4,744.12 crore will come from the GoB portion, Taka 13.83 crore from the organisation's own fund while the rest of Taka 462.88 crore from project assistance, "he added.
Of the approved projects, 15 are new while another one is a revised project.
The Planning Minister said the BNS Sher-e-Bangla Patuakhali would be set up at Lalua adjacent to Payra port under Kolapara upazila in Patuakhali with the entire project cost of Taka 1,081.50 crore will come from the GoB portion.
The Ministry of Defence, Bangladesh Navy and the Engineer in Chief Section of Dhaka Cantonment will implement the project by June 2021.
Considering the existing number of naval bases, location and scarcity of manpower, directives are already there to set up a full-fledged naval command, naval bases with jetty facilities and a 150-bed hospital at Rabnabad in Patuakhali in line with the Forces Goal 2030.
In light of this, such mega plan to set up naval base at Patuakhali has been undertaken while the proposal for recruitment of necessary manpower has also been incorporated in the TO&E through which some 5,000 military and civil naval personnel will be included, the minister said.
Earlier in November 2013, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the BNS Sher-e-Bangla Naval Base at Lalua under Kolapara upazila in Patuakhali adjacent to the Payra Port.
AHM Mustafa Kamal said like Chittagong, the areas in and around Payra Port will be designed in a way to promote trade, commerce and industries.
The project also aims to provide security and protection to the Payra sea port, commercial marine vessels and ships at deep sea and in the coastal areas as well as to fishing trawlers/boats, and to blue economy related maritime institutions.
Once the project is implemented, the naval base will also provide support to the civil administration and thus safeguard the independence and sovereignty of the country through resisting any attack from external enemy, he added.
The Planning Minister said the day's ECNEC meeting also dropped two conditions from the 'Power distribution extension and strengthening under DPDC area' project which was earlier approved on December last year with an estimated cost of Tk 20,501.52 crore.
Regarding approval of the Smart pre-payment metering project for west zone power distribution company limited with Taka 426.37 crore, AHM Mustafa Kamal said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the authorities concerned not to import such meters from abroad for the project.
Sheikh Hasina also directed the Ministry of Industries and Power Division to produce such meters in the country through a joint venture.
The other projects approved in the meeting are - Protection of right embankment of River Padma at Janzira and Naria upazilas in Shariatpur district project with Taka 1,097.21 crore, The Disaster risk management enhancement project (component 2,3) with Taka 620.22 crore, Small irrigation development at Tangail and Kishoreganj districts under Mymensingh and Dhaka Divisions with Taka 139.01 crore.
The approved projects also include - Soil research and research facilities strengthening project (SRSRF) with Taka 63.08 crore, Sheikh Russell Aviary and Echo Park Installment at Rangunia, Chittagong, 2nd phase project with Taka 125.51 crore, Afforestation in the coastal areas including the newly emerged char areas in the Bay of Bengal with Taka 104.80 crore, Capacity strengthening of existing runway and taxiway of Chittagong Shah Amanat International Airport with Taka 540.52 crore. Introduction of tourism
facilities at Parky and Patenga in Chittagong with Taka 62.11 crore, Salna (Rajendrapur)-Kapasia-Tok-Mothkhola highway widening and strengthening project with Taka 224.24 crore, Mirpur DOHS gate-2 to Mirpur-12 bus stand highway widening and development project with Taka 146.17 crore, Construction of seven bridges replacing the damaged Bailey bridges on Pagla-Jagannathpur- Raniganj-Aushakandi road and another bridge over River Abua on Niyamatpur- Tahirpur Road with Taka 141.25 crore, Upward extension of ENCOM building for modernization and enhancing capacity of Police Department with Taka 156.02 crore, Construction of Mujib battery complex at Chittagong artillery center and school with Taka 180 crore, and Establishment of Sheikh Lutfor Rahman Dental College and Hospital, Gopalganj, 1st revised with Taka 112.82 crore.