3901Published on January 23, 2018
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved 14 development projects involving Taka 6,228.49 crore including one project to ensure cent percent electrification under Comilla zone with Taka 1,521.76 crore.
The approval came from the 16th ECNEC meeting of the current fiscal year held at the NEC conference room in the capital's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area with ECNEC chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said a total of 14 projects were approved today with an overall estimated cost of Taka 6,228.49 crore.
"Of the total project cost, Taka 5,421.40 crore will come from the GoB portion, Taka 65.81 crore from the organisation's own fund while the rest of Taka 741.28 crore from project assistance," he added.
Of the approved 14 projects, nine are fresh while five others are revised projects.
The Planning Minister said Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) under the Power Division would implement the project titled 'Power Distribution System Improvement, Comilla Zone' by December 2021.
The project will be implemented at 13 upazilas under Comilla, Brahmanbaria, Chandpur, Noakhali, Feni and Lakshmipur districts.
The Planning Minister said the overall power generation capacity of the country is now 15,379 MW while some 80 percent areas of the country have already come under electricity network.
"A good number of projects are ongoing while more projects are in the approval process to bring the rest of the areas under power coverage. We want to cover cent percent areas by 2020 while the government and the concerned agencies will work in a coordinated manner in this regard," he added.
According to the Power System Master Plan-2016, the demand of electricity will increase to 14460 MW by 2021, 27393 MW by 2030 and 50979 MW by 2041 with the demand of electricity to increase by 10 to 12 percent every year.
The minister also said the main project operations include construction of some 14 sub-power stations (33/11 KV), upgrading 19 sub-power stations (33/11 KV), erection of some 2106 kilometer distribution lines.
The day's ECNEC meeting also approved a project on rehabilitation of polders 67/A, 67, 67/B and 68 along the River Naf under Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas to improve the border security of Bangladesh and Myanmar with an estimated cost of Taka 141.65 crore.
Bangladesh Water Development Board under the Ministry of Water Resources will implement the project by June 2020.
The main objective of the project is to strengthen security along Bangladesh-Myanmar border in a bid to check illegal intrusion of Myanmar nationals to Bangladesh side by side improvement of flood control system and water drainage system in the project areas.
According to Planning Commission, the flood control embankment and other water drainage infrastructures were damaged in the project areas due to various natural disasters including cyclones and floods in 1991, 2007, 2008 and in 2010.
The flood control embankment there was also used to check intrusion of Rohingya nationals into Bangladesh, but, due to damaged condition, it has also become tough for the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) to conduct border patrolling there through vehicles.
"Under the circumstances, the project has been placed before the ECNEC meeting today and was approved," said a Planning Commission official.
The major project operations include rehabilitation of some 60.60 Kilometer flood control embankment, construction of some eight water drainage infrastructures alongside repairing of some 46 water drainage infrastructures.
The other projects approved in the meeting are Excavation of connecting river to Gaznar Beel under Sujanagar upazila in Pabna, irrigation facilities development and fisheries cultivation, 3rd revised, project with Taka 484.68 crore, Strengthening of spices related crops of Bangladesh with Taka 94 crore, Greater Noakhali district rural infrastructure development project, 3rd phase with Taka 1,152 crore, Widening of Morjal-Belabo road and Poradia- Belabo district highway into due standard with Taka 107.76 crore.
Construction of Bogra town to Medical College link road (N-519) with Taka 105 crore, Installation of GMDSS and integrated maritime navigation system, 1st revised, with Taka 455.96 crore, Gobrakura-Koroitoli land port development with Taka 67.23 crore, Introduction of machine readable passport (MRP) and machine readable visa (MRV) in Bangladesh project, 3rd revised, with Taka 714.75 crore, Implementation of value added tax and supplementary duty act, 2012 (VAT Online) project, 2nd revised, with Taka 690.13 crore, Learning and earning development project, 2nd revised, with Taka 319.77 crore,
Strengthening government through enhancing the capacity of BCS cadre officials, 2nd phase, with Taka 240.69 crore and Enriching chemical meteorology infrastructures project with Taka 133.11 crore.
Ministers and state ministers attended the meeting while planning commission members and secretaries concerned were present.
Photo: Yeasin Kabir Joy