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The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved a Tk. 12.09 billion project in a bid to complete necessary land acquisition and rehabilitation works for upgrading the Hatirjheel-Rampura Bridge-Banasri-Shekherjaiga-Amulia-Demra Highway into four lane.

The approval came from an ECNEC meeting, held at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area with ECNEC chairperson and prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Briefing the newsmen after the meeting, planning minister MA Mannan said that a total of nine projects were approved today involving an overall estimated cost of Tk. 43.24 billion.

“Of the total project cost, Tk. 42.49 billion will come from the state exchequer, Tk. 56.8 million from the concerned organisation’s fund while the rest of Tk. 698.4 million as project assistance,” he said.

Of the approved nine projects, eight are new while another one is a revised project.

The planning minister also said the Department of Roads and Highways under the Road Transport and Highway’s Division will implement the project by December 2024 which will support the upgradation of this highway into four-lane.

Mannan said this is a supporting project and once the main project works of upgrading the 13.50 kilometre highway, including Chattogram Road Circle and Tarabo Link Road, is completed under Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) initiative, people traveling from and to Chattogram and Sylhet from Dhaka would be benefitted with easier travel alongside smoother goods transportation.

The main project operations include some 25.47 hectares of land acquisition, compensation and rehabilitation alongside other necessary consultancy and procurement works.

The day’s ECNEC meeting also approved a project for conducting dredging at Mongla Port Channel with an estimated cost of Tk. 7.93 billion to turn this port into an international one.

The main objective of the project is to ensure necessary depth for handling capacity of ships having 9.5 to 10 meter draft at Mongla Port Jetty.

The project operations include some 15.77 million cubic meter dredging by cutter suction dredger, some 5.83 million cubic meter dredging by trailing suction hopper dredger, construction of 200,000 cubic meter dykes and 50,000 cubic meter geotube dykes.

The planning minister said once this project is implemented, it would help boost the capacity of Mongla Port to a big extent and thus meeting its growing demand for handling containers.

Referring to the approval of procurement of necessary vehicles and equipment for Rangpur City Corporation with Tk. 1.13 billion, Mannan said prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the meeting asked the authorities concerned including the Rangpur City Corporation mayor to ensure proper utilisation of these proposed vehicles, machineries and equipment.

The PM also renewed her directive to conduct necessary dredging in the river channels alongside maintaining austerity in the use of water.

The other projects approved in the meeting are construction of Rajshahi WASA Bhaban with Tk. 659.9 million, Bhandal Juri Water Supply project, 1st revised with an additional cost of Tk. 9.58 billion, upgradation of Narayanganj Link Road (from Signboard to Chashara) into six-lane with Tk. 4.49 billion, Agricultural Development at Rajshahi Division through extension of modern technology with Tk. 1.47 billion, Protection of River Bank near Doarabazar upazila parishad complex, Rokkhibaor and Betura on the right side of river Surma under Sunamganj district with Tk. 1.91 billion and Arial Kha river bank protection and dredging under Shibchar upazila in Madaripur district with Tk. 3.94 billion.

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