Ecnec clears 6 development projects
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday cleared six development projects, including a Tk3,586 crore one to upgrade the Sylhet-Tamabil Highway into a four-lane one.
The upgradation of the Sylhet-Tamabil Highway is aimed at establishing sub-regional connectivity through Dhaka-Sylhet-Tamabil corridor alongside contributing to the improvement of socio-economic condition of the people living in the north-eastern region.
The approval came from the seventh Ecnec meeting of the current fiscal year, held using a digital platform with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, and Planning Minister MA Mannan joined the meeting from Dhaka’s Ganabhaban through a videoconference, while other Ecnec members were connected from the NEC Bhaban.
“The meeting approved six projects of five ministries, including four revised ones. The total estimated cost of the projects is Tk6628.99 crore [only additional cost of the revised projects was counted here],” said MA Mannan at a press briefing.
Of the total cost, Tk2,071.10 crore will come from the state coffer, while Tk4,593.89 crore from foreign sources as loan, he said.
Talking about the “Upgrading Sylhet-Tamabil Highway into 4-Lane with Separate SMVT Lanes Project,” the minister said that the highway will be upgraded with slow-moving vehicular traffic (SMVT) lanes, which will also be a cross-border road.
“We hope it’ll open the connectivity with the East -- Assam (India), Bhutan, Nepal, China, and Myanmar,” he said.
The highway project will be implemented by June 2025 at a cost of Tk3,586.05 crore. Of the cost, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is providing Tk2,970.56 crore, said Mannan.
The main objectives of the highway project are to establish sub-regional connectivity through Dhaka-Sylhet-Tamabil, develop communication with land port, economic zone, and export-processing zone, create scopes for the development of tourism, and contribute to improving the socioeconomic status of the people living there, according to the project factsheet.
The planning minister said the government has a target to upgrade all the inter-district, national and international highways into 4-lane and 6-lane ones gradually.
Another new project approved in the Ecnec meeting is “Improvement of Matlab-Meghna-Dhonagoda Beribandh Road” which will be implemented by June 2022, spending Tk121.93 crore.
The four revised projects are, Countrywide Development of Ponds and Canals (1st Revised) Project with the rise of cost by Tk422.52 crore (the cost now increased to Tk1,757.47 crore from the original cost of Tk1334.95 crore); Construction of Modern Food Storage Facilities (2nd Revised) Project with the additional cost of Tk1648.98 crore (the cost now stands at Tk3568.94 crore against the original estimate of Tk1919.96 crore); Dhaka-Narayanganj-Demra (DND) Drainage System Development Phase-II (1st revised) Project with Tk741.71-crore rise in cost (now the cost stands at Tk1299.91 crore going up from the original cost of Tk558.20 crore); and Expansion of Aquaculture Technology Services up to Union Level Phase-II (2nd revised) Project with a Tk107.0-crore rise in the cost (now the cost increased to Tk378.38 crore from Tk270.58 crore in the first revision and Tk242.28 crore in the original estimate).