The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved 15 projects involving Tk 13,218.31 crore, including the Tk 4,371 crore ‘Navigability development and reclamation of Old Brahmaputra, Dharla, Tulai and Punorbhoba Rivers’ project.
Of the total project cost, Tk 8,479.22 crore will come from the government, Tk 448.43 crore from the organisation’s own fund while the rest of Tk 4,290.66 crore from project assistance.
The approval came from the 8th Ecnec meeting of the current fiscal year held at the NEC conference room here with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan briefed reporters after the meeting.
He said the ‘Navigability development and reclamation of Old Brahmaputra, Dharla, Tulai and Punorbhoba Rivers’ will cost Tk 4,371 crore as it aims to maintain navigability in those rivers to ensure smooth and safe plying of river vessels.
The State Minister said Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) under the Ministry of Shipping will implement the navigability development and reclamation of four rivers project by June 2024.
The project areas cover Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Gaibandha and Dinajpur districts of Rangpur Division, Kishoreganj of Dhaka Division and Jamalpur, Sherpur and Mymensingh districts of Mymensingh Division.
Under the project, around 227 kilometres of the Old Brahmaputra River would be dredged up to 100 metres of width and 3 metres of depth to upgrade it to a class-2 navigational route to ensure the transportation of passengers and goods with ease and less cost.
Besides, around 60 metres of the Dharla River will be dredged into 38 meters of width and 2 metres of depth to transform it to class-3 navigational route.
The Punorbhoba River will be turned into a class-3 navigational route while the Tulai River into a class-4 navigational one through conducting necessary dredging.
Of the approved 15 projects, 10 are new while 5 are revised ones.
The development of Cox’s Bazar Airport, 1st phase, 3rd revised will cost Tk 2,015.65 crore.
MA Mannan said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the meeting noted that the Cox’s Bazar Airport will be developed in such way so that wide-bodied aircraft like Boeing 777 or Airbus 380 could take off and make landing there as it has all the potentials of becoming a hub of this region.
The Ecnec meeting also approved the 2nd revision of the Reaching out of School Children (ROSC) Project, 2nd phase with Tk 1,290.36 crore.
Under the project, the forcibly displaced Rohingya children will be imparted non-formal education in their own language or in English. For this, the project period has been extended up to December 2020.
The other projects approved at the meeting are Development of Hathazari-Fatikchhari- Manikchhari-Matiranga- Khagrachhari Road (R-160), Chattogram portion at Tk 399.44 crore, Construction of Sonahat Bridge over the Dudhkumar River on Bhurungumari-Sonahat Landport-Bhitorbondo- Nageshwari Highway with Tk 232.95 crore, Construction of Bangladesh Chancery Complex in Berlin at Tk 109.47 crore, Construction of Powder Milk Factory at Baghabarighat in Sirajganj, 1st revised spending Tk 105.93 crore.
The remaining approved projects at the meeting are Sustainable Coastal and Marine Fisheries Project with Tk 1,868.86 crore, Embankment works for protecting Rajapur and Purba Elisha union under Sadar thana in Bhola from the erosion of Meghna River, 1st revised with Tk 343.91 crore, Embankment protection of the Halda River and Dhurong canal alongside flood control measures under Fatikchhari and Hathazari upazilas in Chattogram with Tk 156.77 crore, Construction of BFDC Complex with Tk 322.78 crore, Construction of research and training institute on national professional health and security affairs with Tk 165.28 crore, Further Development of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, Gopalganj, 1st revised, with Tk 250.56 crore, Small Irrigation Development through using solar power spending Tk 82.63 crore and Sustainable Forests and Livelihood (results) project with Tk 1,502.72 crore.