The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved 10 projects amounting to a total cost of Tk3,416 crore, including one to excavate and re-excavate five canals in Dhaka in a bid to reduce water logging.
The projects were approved at an Ecnec meeting held at the NEC conference room in the capital, with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
"Today (Tuesday), a total 10 projects were approved with an estimated cost of Tk3,415.86 crore. Of the total cost, Tk 3,400.93 crore will come from government funds while the remaining Tk14.93 crore will come from the organisations' own funds," said Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal when briefing reporters after the meeting.
Of the 10 projects, nine are new while one was revised.
The project titled “Land acquisition, excavation and re-excavation of Hazaribagh, Baishteki, Kurmitola, Manda and Begunbari Canals” will be implemented from December 2018 to December 2019, the minister said.
Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) will implement the project at an estimated cost of Tk 607.16 crore, with all of the funds coming from the state coffers, he added.
Mustafa Kamal said the main objective of the project is to reduce water-logging by keeping the flow water through the canals normal during the rainy season.
The main activities of the project include acquisition of 30.562 acres of land for the five canals, provision of compensation to the affected people, construction of 0.15km of road-crossing culverts, 13.50km of canal excavation and erection of some 2,200 pillars.
Of the 30.562 acres of land, 4.355 acres will be acquired for the Hazaribagh canal, while 6.385 acres will be for Baishteki and Journalists' Colony canal, 4.613 acres for Kurmitola canal, 1.905 acres for Begunbari canal and 13.304 acres for the Manda canal.
The Ecnec meeting also approved another project titled “Establishment of Kishore-Kishori Club,” to set up some 4,883 adolescent clubs across the country to enable marginalised adolescents to resist child marriage and gender-based violence, said the planning minister.
The Department of Women Affairs under the Women and Children Affairs Ministry will implement the project by December 2020, with an estimated cost of Tk551.56 crore.
The adolescent clubs will be set up in 4,553 unions and 330 municipalities under 64 districts.
In addition, the Ecnec meeting approved a project for widening the Elenga-Jamalpur national highway at a cost of Tk 489.82 crore. The Roads and Highways Department will implement the project to upgrade some 77.60 km of the highway into four lanes by June 2020.
This four-lane highway will stretch from Elenga to Sarishabari via Kalihati, Ghatail, Madhupur, Gopalpur, Dhanbari and Jamalpur Sadar.
The seven other projects approved at the meeting are the “Sheikh Sayera Khatun Medical College, Medical College Hospital and Nursing College, Gopalganj (2nd revised) Project” (involving Tk705.04 crore), “Joyeta Tower Construction” (Tk154.25 crore), “Strengthening Publicity Programme for the Development of Rural Communities” (Tk59.63 crore), “Replacing Ashuganj 132 KV AIS Substation with 132 KV new GIS Project” (Tk356.99 crore), “Strengthening Bangladesh Institute of Management (BIM) in Dhaka” (Tk 147.86 crore), “Canal Re-excavation Works for Irrigation at the Coastal Polders in Barguna District” (Tk 61.33 crore),and the “Widening and Strengthening Mawna-Phulbaria-Kaliakoir-Dhamrai-Nabinagar (Dhulibhita) Highway Project” (Tk 282.22 crore).