Govt to spend Tk 43b on navigability dev, 4 rivers reclamation

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

This file photo shows Ichhamati river in Nawabganj, Dhaka. Photo: Hasan RajaThe Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved 15 projects involving Tk 132.1831 billion, including the Tk 43.71 billion ‘Navigability development and reclamation of Old Brahmaputra, Dharla, Tulai and Punorbhoba rivers’ project, reports UNB.

Of the total project cost, Tk 84.7922 billion will come from the government, Tk 4.4843 billion from the organisation’s own fund while the rest of Tk 42.9066 billion from project assistance.

The approval came from the 8th ECNEC meeting of the current fiscal year held at the NEC conference room with ECNEC chairperson and prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

State minister for finance and planning MA Mannan briefed reporters after the meeting.

He said the ‘Navigability development and reclamation of Old Brahmaputra, Dharla, Tulai and Punorbhoba Rivers’ will cost Tk 43.71 billion as it aims to maintain navigability in those rivers to ensure smooth and safe plying of river vessels.

The state minister said Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) under the shipping ministry will implement the navigability development and reclamation of four rivers project by June 2024.

The project areas cover Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Gaibandha and Dinajpur districts of Rangpur division, Kishoreganj of Dhaka division and Jamalpur, Sherpur and Mymensingh districts of Mymensingh division.

Under the project, around 227 kilometres of the Old Brahmaputra river would be dredged up to 100 metres of width and 3 metres of depth to upgrade it to a class-2 navigational route to ensure the transportation of passengers and goods with ease and less cost.

Besides, around 60 metres of the Dharla river will be dredged into 38 metres of width and 2 metres of depth to transform it to class-3 navigational route.

The Punorbhoba river will be turned into a class-3 navigational route while the Tulai river into a class-4 navigational one through conducting necessary dredging.

Of the approved 15 projects, 10 are new while 5 are revised ones.

The development of Cox’s Bazar Airport, 1st phase, 3rd revised will cost Tk 20.1565 billion.

MA Mannan said prime minister Sheikh Hasina at the meeting noted that the Cox’s Bazar Airport will be developed in such way so that large aircraft like Boeing 777 or Airbus 380 could take off and make landing there as it has all the potentials of becoming a hub of this region.

The ECNEC meeting also approved the 2nd revision of the Reaching out of School Children (ROSC) Project, 2nd phase with Tk 12.9036 billion.

Under the project, the forcibly displaced Rohingya children will be imparted non-formal education in their own language or in English. For this, the project period has been extended up to December 2020.

The other projects approved at the meeting are Development of Hathazari-Fatikchhari- Manikchhari-Matiranga-Khagrachhari Road (R-160), Chattogram portion at Tk 3.9944 billion, construction of Sonahat bridge over the Dudhkumar river on Bhurungumari-Sonahat Landport-Bhitorbondo-Nageshwari Highway with Tk 2.3295 billion, construction of Bangladesh Chancery Complex in Berlin at Tk 1.0947 billion, construction of Powder Milk Factory at Baghabarighat in Sirajganj, 1st revised spending Tk 1.0593 billion.

The remaining approved projects at the meeting are sustainable coastal and marine fisheries project with Tk 18.6886 billion, embankment works for protecting Rajapur and Purba Elisha union under Sadar thana in Bhola from the erosion of Meghna river, 1st revised with Tk 3.4391 billion, embankment protection of the Halda river and Dhurong canal alongside flood control measures under Fatikchhari and Hathazari upazilas in Chattogram with Tk 1.5677 billion, construction of BFDC Complex with Tk 3.2278 billion, construction of research and training institute on national professional health and security affairs with Tk 1.6528 billion, further development of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University in Gopalganj, 1st revised, with Tk 2.5056 billion, Small Irrigation Development through using solar power spending Tk 823.3 million and sustainable forests and livelihood (results) project with Tk 15.0272 billion.

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