The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved nine projects involving an estimated cost of Tk 16,433 crore, including a Tk 8,690-crore project to bring some 1 crore people under the electricity coverage across the country.
The approval came from the 2nd Ecnec meeting of the current government, held at the NEC conference room here with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said a total of nine projects involving Tk 16,433.27 crore were approved in the meeting.
Of the cost, Tk 13,620.27 crore will come from government fund, while Tk 285.61 crore from the own funds of the organisations concerned and the rest Tk 2,527.39 crore as ‘foreign loans’, he said.
In terms of the cost, the biggest project is installation of 19.5 lakh Client Connections through Extension of Rural Electrification (1st revised) Project involving Tk 8,690.89 crore.
About the project, the minister said some 1 crore people will come under the electricity coverage across the country as some 20 lakh new connections will be installed under the project.
Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) under the Power Division will implement the project by June 2020.
Ecnec also cleared three other power-related projects, which are Construction of Simple Cycle (HSD-based) Syedpur 150-Megawatt Power Plant with an estimated cost of Tk 1,000.99 crore, Rangpur Division Power Supply Line and Sub-station Extension and Rehabilitation Project with Tk 1,123.85 crore and Rajshahi Division Power Supply Line and Sub-station Extension and Rehabilitation Project with Tk 1,091.32 crore.
Of the three projects, the BREB will implement the first project by June 2021, while Northern Electricity Supply Company (NESCO) Ltd will implement the last two by June 2022.
Ecnec also okayed ’70 Meter-Gauge (MG) Diesel Electric Locomotive Collection (1st revised) (proposed) Project’ involving Tk 2,659.33 crore to procure 70 locomotives.
About the project, the Planning Minister said the improvement of railway system is in the central focus of the government.
He said the Prime Minister stressed the need for the gradual shifting to broad-gauge railway from the meter-gauge one as well as enhancing the Bangladesh Railways’ capacity in repairing and producing parts of the rails.
The government will work for developing an integrated transport system with rail, bus and streamer (water vessels) in Bangladesh like European countries, Mannan quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
Talking about the use of land, the Prime Minister said the lands will have to be used carefully amid the rapid industrialisation.
Noting that a national guideline over the use of land will be formulated, she gave directives to the Land Minister for coming up with a detailed plan for the whole country over the use of lands fixing the priority areas for industry, corps cultivation and housings.
The Prime Minister said it needs austerity and cautionary exercise in the use of lands particularly arable lands.
The remaining four approved projects are Establishment of 99 Composite Brigade for Ensuring Overall Security for Project of Padma Multipurpose Bridge (Revised) Project with the cost of Tk 1,320.37 crore; Upgrading Link Road-Labony Intersection Road into Four-Lane in Cox’s Bazar Project with Tk 288.69 crore; Construction of 103.43-Metre Bridge at the 6th kilometer of Aricha (Barangail)-Ghior-Daulatpur-Tangail Road Project with Tk 102.43 crore, and Development of Switching and Transmission Network for the Strengthening Digital Connectivity Project with Tk 155.38 crore.