Remain alert to avoid excessive compensation claims: PM Hasina

The prime minister asked the relevant officials to take pictures of the project sites in their very first visit there to avert such a trend of claiming excessive compensation

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addresses an ECNEC meeting

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday asked the authorities concerned including the district administrations, to remain alert so that none can claim excessive compensations for land acquisition required for implementing development projects.

"In the case of land acquisition, the government provides compensation to the affected people three times higher than the market value of land. But, we have to remain very careful so that none can claim compensation for structures after building makeshift or bamboo-made structures overnight," said Planning Minister MA Mannan quoting the prime minister as saying.

The prime minister gave the directive while presiding over a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) held Tuesday at the NEC Conference Room in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, the planning minister said that the prime minister asked the authorities concerned to remain alert so that none could claim excessive compensation after constructing building or makeshift structures in a hurry on the proposed project sites.

In this regard, the prime minister asked the relevant officials to take pictures of the project sites in their very first visit there to avert such a trend of claiming excessive compensation.

While giving approval to a revised project on the Solar Power Plant at Sonagazi, the prime minister directed the respective executing agency to keep the height of the poles of the solar plant at a standard level so that maximum air, water and sunlight could move beneath the poles and thus there could be better cultivation of land.

Mannan said the prime minister also directed the executing agencies to formulate designs of projects accurately so that there is no revision of designs required during the implementation of projects.

Referring to the error in designs of a bridge project over Nabaganga river in Narail district, Sheikh Hasina asked the officials and employees of projects to become more cautious so that there is no wastage of funds due to the wrong design.

The planning minister mentioned that the prime minister in the ECNEC meeting expressed her dissatisfaction as two sections of the under construction bridge over river Nabaganga have to be demolished due to low height and thus paving the way for smooth operations of engine boats and river vessels.

She also stressed the need for conducting feasibility studies, framing designs of development projects in a more integrated way to save unwanted wastage of public funds.

Referring to the approval of Chandpur Medical College and Hospital and Nursing College project, the prime minister asked the Ministry of Water Resources to protect the embankments of the project sites from erosion and then build the necessary structures for the Medical College and Hospital.

At the very outset of the meeting, the planning minister said that the ECNEC warmly congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her government for inaugurating the Dhaka Elevated Expressway.

"We've seen excitement and happiness amongst the common people at the inauguration....people want to see more such development schemes. Hopefully, the remaining part of the Elevated Expressway will be completed soon and we'll extend our cooperation in this regard," Mannan added.

Asked whether the Elevated Expressway was opened partially ahead of the next general election to appease the common people, the planning minister said there is nothing wrong in this if the government eyes for the next election.

"We have to go to the voters before the election....the Expressway has been inaugurated partially much to the ease and comfort of the users. It would be excellent if the remaining parts of the expressway were opened. The metrorail will run from Uttara to Motijheel from next month," he stated.

Answering another question, Mannan said there is no hide and seek within the government and it would publish data on the general point to point inflation when it would become available.

State minister for planning, Shamsul Alam, said it was not right to say that the Elevated Expressway was opened partially before the national election, rather the work of the project continued in its own course.

Replying to a question, Alam argued that the economy of a country never moves forward in a straight line, rather it witnesses ups and downs.

He informed the media that around 80,000 people are now commuting on the metrorail in the capital everyday and this is also reducing their sufferings to a big extent.