Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday asked the authorities concerned to take necessary measures for realising tolls from the regional highways.

“The government is constructing infrastructures spending billions of taka. So, there is a need to make arrangement for realising tolls from the regional highways at least at a minimum rate. Through this, the culture of paying tolls will be developed among people,” she said.

The prime minister said this while chairing a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) held at the NEC Conference Room in the capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

Planning Minister MA Mannan and State Minister for Planning Shamsul Alam briefed newspersons after the meeting.

Mannan said the prime minister expressed shock at the tragic fire incident at the Banga Bazar in the capital.

He said there were a lot of shops in the market in a congested manner while the prime minister in the meeting discussed on how to address the issue.

Revealing some of the directives from the prime minister, Mannan said that the prime minister has directed the authorities concerned to ensure toilets and sanitation system at each and every school.

“No school will run without sanitation system,” he said quoting the prime minister as saying.

Citing that the work of the women still remains outside of the purview of accounting estimation, the prime minister said if their works are counted, then the GDP growth would have been much higher for which there is a need to give due recognition to the work of the women.

Suggesting for avoiding the arable and farmland as much as possible in implementing development projects, Sheikh Hasina also recommended for building elevated roads in the haor region instead of usual roads.

She also directed the Ministry of Commerce to complete the distribution of the essential items among some one crore family card holders at affordable rates under the 2nd phase before the holy Eid-ul-Fitr.

Answering to a question, Mannan said that they would continue efforts to increase the capacity of the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence.

But, the fire incident at Banga Bazar has showed that there is a need to create more awareness among the people, he added.

The planning minister further said that the day’s ECNEC meeting approved a total of 11 projects involving an overall estimated cost of Taka 42.52 billion.

“Of the total project cost, Taka 36.45 billion will come from the government of Bangladesh portion while the rest of Taka 6.07 billion as project assistance,” he added.

Of the approved 11 projects, six are new while five are revised projects.

The approved projects are: Establishment of cancer centre at Dhaka CMH (2nd phase) with Taka 2.46 billion, Establishment of 10 secondary schools adjacent to Dhaka, 1st revised with an additional cost of Taka 769.4 million, Secondary education sector investment Programme, 3rd revised, without any additional cost, Construction of Swadhinata Tower at Suhrawardy Uddyan in Dhaka, 3rd phase, 1st revised with an additional cost of nearly Taka 1.32 billion, Nutrition development through production of fruits round the year, 2nd revised with an additional cost of Taka 2.11 billion, Flood reconstruction emergency assistance project with Taka 3 billion, Infrastructural development of Jamalpur district with Taka 11.25 billion, WASH Sector Strengthening and Sanitation Market System (SanMarks) Development Project in Bangladesh with Taka 1.56 billion, Climate Resilient Sustainable Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene Project in Bangladesh with Taka 2.74 billion, Dredging at inner bar at Mongla Port channel, 1st revised with an additional cost of nearly Taka 1.99 billion and road widening and development on Bhulta-Araihazar-Bancharampur-Nabinagar-Shibpur-Radhika regional highway with Taka 15.32 billion.