The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved a project on Tuesday involving Tk 6.0716 billion for excavating and re-excavating major canals in the capital.
The project is titled 'Land acquisition, excavation and re-excavation of Hazaribagh, Baishteki, Kurmitola, Manda and Begunbari canal'.
It was endorsed at the 21st ECNEC meeting of the current fiscal year (FY18) 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.
A total of 10 projects were approved on Tuesday with an overall estimated cost of Tk 34.1586 billion. Of the total project costs, Tk 34.0093 billion will come from the government exchequer while the rest of Tk 149.3 million from the organisation's own fund." planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said while briefing the reporters after the meeting.
Of the approved 10 projects, nine are new while one is revised project.
The planning minister said the project would be implemented by December 2019 and the entire project cost would be borne from the state coffer.
"The main objective of the project is to address the traffic jam and water logging of the capital through keeping the usual flow of water in the canals during the rainy season and thus ensuring a healthy and environment-friendly living atmosphere for the city dwellers.
According to the Dhaka WASA, the drainage system of the capital consists of 151-kilometre long 51 canals, 10-kilometre long box culverts, and thousands of kilometre long pipelines operated by various agencies.
The main operations of the project include some 30.562 acres of land acquisition- 4.355 acres for Hazaribagh canal, 6.385 acres for Baishteki and Journalists' colony canal, 4.613 acres for Kurmitola canal, 1.905 acres for Begunbari canal, 13.304 acres for Manda canal and compensation to the establishments, construction of 0.15 kilometre road crossing culverts, 13.50 kilometre canal excavation, and erection of some 2,200 pillars.
Prior to the approval of the project, Bangladesh Air Force has requested the Dhaka WASA to address the water logging in Kurmitola area, Hazrat Shajalal International Airport and adjacent areas.
Under the present circumstances, the project has been approved to conduct excavation and re-excavation works at five canals - Hazaribagh canal, Baishteki canal, Kurmitola, Manda canal and Begunbari canal.
The day's ECNEC meeting approved another project for widening the Elenga- Jamalpur highway with Tk 4.8982 billion. The roads and highways division will implement the project to upgrade some 77.60 kilometre highway into four-lane by June 2020. This four-lane highway will go through Elenga, Kalihati, Ghatail, Modhupur, Gopalpur, Dhonbari, Jamalpur Sadar and Sarishabari.
Other projects approved in the meeting include Sheikh Sayera Khatun Medical College, Medical College Hospital And Nursing College, Gopalganj, 2nd revised with Tk 7.0504 billion, Joyeta Tower project with Tk 1.5425 billion, establishment of Kishore-Kishori Club with Tk 5.5156 billion, strengthening publicity programme for the development of rural communities with Tk 596.3 million, replacing Ashuganj 132 KV AIS substation with 132 KV new GIS substation with Tk 3.5699 billion, strengthening Bangladesh Institute of Management (BIM) in Dhaka with Tk 1.4786 billion, canal re-excavation works for irrigation at the coastal polders in Barguna district with Tk 613.3 million, widening and strengthening Maona-Phulbaria-Kaliakoir-Dhamrai-Nabinagar (Dhulibhita) highway with Tk 2.8222 billion.