The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved a Tk 558.20 crore project aiming to effectively address the vexing water-logging problem in Dhaka-Narayanganj-Demra (DND) areas. The weekly Ecnec meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, approved the project titled, ‘Development of Drainage System (2nd phase) of Dhaka-Narayanganj-Demra (DND) Areas’. Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said a total of six projects were approved today with an overall cost of Tk 1,817.28 crore. “Of the total project cost, Tk 1,802.68 crore will come from the national exchequer, while the rest of Tk 14.60 crore from the organisation’s own fund,” he said. Of the approved six projects, five are new while one is revised one. Dhaka, UNB News Agency Reported.The minister said Bangladesh Water Development Board will implement the project for the improvement of drainage system project in Demra, Jatrabari and Shyampur upazilas of Dhaka and Narayanganj Sadar upazilas with government fund from July 2016 to June 2020. Mustafa Kamal said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her visit to the area in February 2010 pledged to address the water-logging problem alongside ensuring their socio-economic development. Under the project, there will be land acquisition of 10 hectares, construction of two pump stations, construction of three pumping plants, 79 culverts, two cross-drains, 12 RCC girder bridges, repairing of 52 existing bridges and culverts, re-excavation of 93.88 kilometres of drainage canals, re-excavation of some 32,500 cubic metres of additional link canal, 93.98 kilometres of canal embankment development and construction of 13.5 kilometres of walkways.The Ecnec meeting also approved the ‘Land acquisition project for setting up a 100-MW solar power plant and another 100 MW of wind mill-based power plant at Sonagazi in Feni with Tk 102.92 crore. Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh (UGCB) will implement the project by December 2017. Under the project, there will be some 1000 acres of land acquisition alongside construction of boundary walls for the project to facilitate power generation from solar panels and wind mills. According to the government’s Renewable Energy Policy of 2008, about 10 percent of the country’s overall power generation will come from renewable energy by 2021.The minister said the Prime Minister at the meeting emphasised attracting more investment to the power sector from private entrepreneurs instead of taking loans from the bilateral and multilateral lending agencies.
The Prime Minister also asked the Water Resources Ministry to remain always ready with necessary measures in case of riverbank erosion as the water is receding from the flood-affected areas.Mustafa Kamal said the Ecnec meeting also gave nod to ‘Poverty alleviation project through providing support among the marginal and small farmers after crop harvesting’ involving Tk 74.26 crore. The Palli Daridro Bimochon Foundation under the Rural Development and Cooperatives Division will implement the project by June 2021 at 50 upazilas in some nine districts of five divisions. The other projects approved at the meeting are Important rural infrastructures development in Faridpur with Tk 625 crore, Rehabilitation of Polder No 62, Polder No 63/1A and Polder No 63/1B in coastal areas of Chittagong with Tk 280.30 crore, and Construction of Satkhira town bypass with Bhomra land port link, 1st revised, with Tk 176.60 crore.