PM Hasina dissatisfied with delay in project implementation

Three of the six projects are from the water resources ministry, while one each from agriculture ministry, housing and public works ministry and Road Transport and Highways Division

ECNEC chairperson and prime minister Sheikh Hasina chairs the ECNEC meeting through video conferencing from her official Ganabhaban residence, Dhaka on 21 July 2020
ECNEC chairperson and prime minister Sheikh Hasina chairs the ECNEC meeting through video conferencing from her official Ganabhaban residence, Dhaka on 21 July 2020UNB

BSS .

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved six projects involving an overall estimated cost of Tk 11.36 billion, including a project to increase the crops intensity of greater Mymensingh region with over Tk 1.23 billion.

The approval came from the third ECNEC meeting of the fiscal year 2020-21, held with ECNEC chairperson and prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The prime minister and planning minister MA Mannan joined the meeting through video conferencing from the prime minister’s official Ganabhaban residence while the ministers, state ministers, secretaries and others concerned joined the meeting from the NEC conference room in the capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.

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“We had placed six projects of four ministries at the meeting. All the projects were approved. The total estimated cost of implementation of the projects is Tk 1,136.84 crore,” said MA Mannan in a virtual briefing after the meeting.

Of the total cost, Tk 1,028.51 crore will come from the state exchequer while Tk 108.30 crore from foreign sources as project assistance, he added.

The prime minister highly appreciated the project for increasing crops intensity in the greater Mymensingh region

The planning minister also said the prime minister, in the meeting, expressed dissatisfaction over the delay in implementation of development projects and asked different departments concerned to strengthen coordination among them to avert slowdown in project operations.

“The prime minister has expressed dissatisfaction over the slow pace in our (development) works and asked all concerned to expedite those. Lack of coordination (in implementation of projects) came to her notice… she repeatedly asked different departments to strengthen it (coordination),” said Mannan.

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Among the projects, four are new while the rest two are revised ones.

Three of the six projects are from the water resources ministry, while one each from agriculture ministry, housing and public works ministry and Road Transport and Highways Division.

The prime minister highly appreciated the project for increasing crops intensity in the greater Mymensingh region.

The planning minister said that the project will be implemented with an estimated cost of Tk 123.66 crore by December 2024.

According to the planning commission, the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) under the agriculture ministry will implement the project for increasing crops intensity in Mymensingh region.

The main objectives of the project include to increase the average crops intensity of this region to 210 per cent through bringing the permanent and seasonal barren land under cultivation, increasing the multiple crops cultivation areas to 1,315,482 hectares, increasing productivity to 82 per cent and ensuring women’s empowerment through engaging at least 32 per cent of women in various income generating activities.

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While revising the Khulna shipyard road widening and development project with an additional cost of Tk 132.63 crore, the prime minister expressed her resentment over the slow pace in the project works and asked the authorities concerned to find out the reasons behind the delay, said the planning minister.

“Unfortunately, its pace is very slow. Here the prime minister expressed resentment and annoyance. She asked us to find out the reasons,” said Mannan.

During revision of the Langalbandh land acquisition project with an additional cost of Tk 138.84 crore, the planning minister said, the prime minister also showed resentment as lack of coordination was seen and unnecessary complexities were created there.

Sheikh Hasina directed the authorities concerned to take measures for preventing unnecessary delay in project works.

The two revised projects are ‘Widening and Improvement of Khulna Shipyard Road (1st revised) Project’ with an increase of Tk 132.63 crore; and ‘Land Acquisition for Road widening of Nangalbandh-Minar Bari part of Langalbandh-Kaikartek-Nabiganj district highway (1st revised) Project’ with additional cost of Tk 138.84 crore.

Three other approved projects are Re-excavation of Titas River (lower Titas) at Titas and Homna upazilas in Cumilla with Tk 76.25 crore; Protection of Jamuna River’s Right Bank from erosion at Goghat, Khanbari and surrounding areas in Sadar and Sundarganj upazilas of Gaibandha project with Taka 401.79 crore; and Char Development and Settlement Project-Bridging (Additional Financing) (BWDB part) with Taka 263.67 crore.