Dhaka, 27 Dec, Abnews: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) yesterday approved three projects to accelerate the pace of the rural infrastructure development in the country's three divisions with an estimated cost of Taka 8,148.82 crore to bring dynamism in farm and non- farm activities and thus create employment opportunities.
The approval came from the 12th 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 16 projects were approved today. Of the approved 16 projects, 15 are new while one is a revised project.
He said once these rural infrastructures development projects are implemented, the farm and non-farm activities in those areas will get a boost, marketing of farm products will be facilitated and the overall poverty trend in the areas will reduce.
The Planning Minister said the 'Mymensingh Region Rural Infrastructure Development Project' will be implemented by June, 2022 at an estimated cost of Taka 3,183.56 crore from the state exchequer.
The Mymensingh region project will cover 60 upazilas of Mymensingh, Tangail, Jamalpur, Sherpur, Kishoreganj and Netrakona districts.
Kamal said the 'Rangpur Division Rural Infrastructure Development Project-2nd phase' will be implemented by June, 2022 at an estimated cost of Taka 2,884.86 crore also to be borne from the state exchequer.
The Rangpur Division project will cover some 58 upazilas of Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Dinajpur, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat and Gaibandha districts.
The other project titled, 'Rajshahi Division (except Sirajganj district) Rural Infrastructure Development' will be implemented by June, 2022 at an estimated cost of Tk 2,080.40 crore of which the entire fund will come from the GoB portion.
The Rajshahi Division project will cover some 58 upazilas of Pabna, Rajshahi, Natore, Naogaon, Chapainawabganj, Bogra and Joypurhat districts.
Mustafa Kamal said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has instructed the authorities concerned to give emphasis on ensuring strict monitoring as well as maintaining quality of works during the implementation of these projects and thus keep up maintenance works.
Regarding the approval of the various important roads and bridges development of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) alongside procuring modern vehicle machineries and road lamps project with Taka 630.13 crore, the Planning Minister said following the directives from the Prime Minister, the installation of LED lamps, escalators and bridges would be cut from the project proposal.
As a result, he said, the project will be recast again and thus the project cost will be reduced.
The day's ECNEC meeting also approved the 'Procurement of 20 meter gauge diesel electric locomotives and 150 meter gauge passenger carriages for Bangladesh Railway' with an estimated cost of Taka 1,799.11 crore.
Bangladesh Railway will implement the project by June 2021. Of the total project cost of Taka 1,799.11 crore, Taka 384.43 crore will come from the state exchequer while the rest of Taka 1,414.68 crore from development partner EDCF of South Korea as project assistance.
The Planning Minister said once these locomotives and passenger carriages are added to Bangladesh Railway (BR), more modern, safe and improved rail communication will be ensured as well as the BR's revenue income will also increase.
The other projects approved in the meeting are the Bangladesh Marine Fisheries Capacity Building Project (3rd revised) with Taka 170.23 crore, the Agriculture Information Service Modernisation and Digital Agriculture Information and Communication Strengthening Project with Taka 68.71 crore, the Infrastructural development of existing polytechnic institutes to ensure enrollment of more students with Taka 2,561.92 crore.
The approved projects also include the establishment of four female polytechnic institutes in Sylhet, Barisal, Rangpur, and Mymensingh divisions with Taka 353.98 crore, the Physical Infrastructural Development of national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam University with Taka 491.34 crore, awareness communication programme (5th phase) towards children and women development with Taka 139.62 crore, the eye health promotion and prevention of blindness in selected areas of Bangladesh with Taka 74.88 crore.
The other projects are Trishal-Balipara-Nandail (Kanurampur) district highway widening and strengthening project with Taka 114.49 crore, Mirersarai 150 MW dual fuel power plant construction with Taka 1,063.25 crore, Transmission Infrastructure development for ensuring reliable power supply to Mirersarai Economic Zone with Taka 324.59 crore, and the construction of Sirta, Mymensingh and Kalkini, Madaripur Islamic Mission Hospital Complex buildings and Baitul Mukarram diagnostic center strengthening project with Taka 69.17 crore.
Ministers and state ministers attended the meeting while Planning Commission members and the secretaries concerned were present. - BSS