The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved a total of eight projects involving Taka 10,468.24 crore including a first revised project for constructing Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge over River Jamuna with an additional cost of Taka 7,046.88 crore.
The approval came from the 21st ECNEC meeting of the current fiscal year held at the NEC Conference Room in Dhaka’s Sher-E-Bangla Nagar area with ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said that a total of 8 projects were approved today (Tuesday) involving an overall estimated cost of Taka 10,468.24 crore.
“Of the total project cost, Taka 5,964.74 crore will come from the government of Bangladesh portion, Taka 78.63 crore from the concerned organization’s own fund while the rest of Taka 4,424.87 crore from project assistance,” he added.
Mannan said of the approved eight projects, six are new while two others are revised projects.
The planning minister said Bangladesh Railway under the Ministry of Railways will implement the Bangabandhu Railway Bridge project by December 2025.
With the latest revision, the total cost for the project reached Taka 16,780.95 crore where the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide Taka 12,149.19 crore.
Mannan said this railway bridge project is a “star” project of the government and this dual gauge double track railway bridge would be constructed around 300 meters upstream of the existing Bangabandhu Bridge.
Planning Commission officials said that at present the potentials of rail freight transport with the neighboring countries could not be exploited properly with the existing Bangabandhu Bridge due to limited access load and speed limitations.
Under the circumstances, this dedicated railway bridge is being constructed over River Jamuna to meet the growing demand of national and sub-regional rail traffic.
The main project operations include construction of a 4.8 kilometer long dual gauge double track bridge, construction of a 7.6 kilometer long double line railway approach embankment, erection of 30.73 kilometer dual gauge railway track, construction of 16 railway approach viaducts, minor bridges and culverts, renovation and remodeling of Bangabandhu Bridge East and Bangabandhu Bridge West stations and yards.
The project operations also include construction of railway museum and ancillary infrastructures, conducting dredging at the approach channel and harbour of River Jamuna as well as strengthening river training on the both sides of the bridge.
Mannan said the project cost of the railway bridge has been increased following a study conducted by JICA to further strengthen this dedicated bridge.
The day’s ECNEC meeting also gave nod to the Emergency Water Supply Project to be implemented by Dhaka WASA with an estimated cost of Taka 732.32 crore.
Once the project is implemented by December 2023, it will be possible to supply an additional 447 MLD water to meet the growing demand in Dhaka metropolis benefitting around 1.60 crore people directly or indirectly.
The planning minister said a demonstration on a proposed website and apps being developed by the Planning Ministry was made before the ECNEC meeting today to know in details and progress of various development projects. “The Prime Minister was happy to see this demonstration,” he added.
The other projects approved in the meeting are Aminbazar Landfill Extension and Modernization with Taka 786.27 crore, Sheikhpara (Jhenidah)-Shailokopa-Langolbandh (Sripur)-Wapdamor (Magura) district highway widening and strengthening with Taka 267.59 crore, Rajshahi BSCIC Industrial Estate, 1st revised with Taka 40.96 crore, Protection of Right Embankment of River Jamuna under Bera upazila in Pabna with Taka 433.10 crore, Protection of right and left embankments of River Dharla under Kurigram Sadar, Rajarhat and Phulbari upazilas with Taka 595 crore, Protecting Charbagdanga and Shahjahanpur areas under Chapainawabganj Sadar upazila from the erosion of River Padma with Taka 566.12 crore.
Ministers and state ministers attended the meeting while planning commission members and secretaries concerned were present.
Source: The Independent