Tue, 31 January 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

ECNEC approves Tk 5,651cr elevated road construction project in Kishoreganj

Update : 17 Jan 2023, 18:59

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved a Taka 5,651.13 crore project for construction of elevated road from Mithamoin upazila headquarters to Karimganj upazila under Kishoreganj district for ensuring smooth and uninterrupted all weather road communication.

The approval came from a meeting of the ECNEC held on Tuesday with its chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at the NEC Conference Room in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said that the day's meeting approved a total of 11 projects involving an overall estimated cost of Taka 10,640.58 crore. "Out of the total cost, Taka 7,827.50 crore will come from the government of Bangladesh portion while Taka 2,880.18 crore as project assistance."

State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam, Planning Commission members and concerned secretaries were present at the briefing.

Of the approved 11 projects, six are new while five are revised projects.

The Planning Minister said that the main objective of the elevated road construction project is to establish smooth road communication in the haor region from Mithamoin headquarters to Karimganj upazila connecting the Mithamoin Cantonment.

Besides, some 13.40 kilometer existing road from Nakbhanga circle to Morichkhali Bazar would be widened in order to establish smooth and uninterrupted all weather road communication of Itna, Mithamoin and Austagram upazilas with Kishoreganj Sadar, Dhaka, Sylhet and other districts.

The main project operations include construction of 15.13 kilometer elevated road, widening of 13.40 kilometer existing road, construction of four bridges, construction of 13 toll plazas, toll monitoring buildings and check posts, construction of 13 kilometer temporary submersible roads, four deep tube wells, four foot-over bridges, construction of 40,468 square meter construction yard, 8,224 square meter bus stops and 151.09 acres of land acquisition.

Revealing some of the directives of the Prime Minister in the meeting, the Planning Minister said that the premier has directed again the authorities concerned and executing agencies to complete the development works within the stipulated timeframe with maintaining the quality of works.

Mannan said that the Prime Minister stressed again on conducting proper scrutiny before making expenditure.

State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam informed that the premier has directed all to remain cautious in expenditure as well maintaining austerity in expenditure. He said that the head of the government has also urged all to ensure their participation in boosting the country's production alongside motivating others to increase productivity.

The Planning Minister said that a brief on the country's current economic situation was presented before the day's ECNEC meeting which was also appreciated by all.

Asked whether a draft project on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) was placed before the meeting or not, Mannan said that neither the project was in the list of discussion nor the Prime Minister wanted to know anything about it.

"But, the draft project is under process and you'll know about it when it will progress further," he added.

Commenting on the current state of the economy, State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said that foreign currency reserve is not the only thing to measure the country's economic strength rather other indices like import, export, remittance and government borrowings should also have to be considered.

He said that the foreign currency reserve was $32.51 billion on January 11 after the ACU payment while the export earnings were $2 billion higher during the July-December period of the current fiscal year (FY23) compared to the same period of the last fiscal year (FY22).

Besides, the inward remittance was also higher during this period with $10.49 billion and alongside a high FDI.

"Exports and inward remittances are increasing thus giving a signal that the forex reserve will also increase. So, there is nothing to be worried about reserve. The inflation is also falling over the last few months," Alam said adding that the shock of the global economic recession would not affect much the country.

Dr Alam said that inflation is being calculated in the country in line with the globally acclaimed method.

He said the government has to keep a huge allocation every year in the budget as subsidy for which there is a need to make price adjustments in some areas.

The state minister said despite pressure, there is no price hike or adjustments in agri inputs like fertilizer.

The Planning Minister said that the Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) under the Ministry of Planning has conducted an in-depth study on the Prime Minister's priority project 'Ashrayan' which was highly appreciated by the premier.

At the very outset of the meeting, the ECNEC extended a warm felicitation to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her reelection as the Awami League President.

The state minister told another questioner that whatever government highlights is based on data and information and there is nothing exaggeration.

Planning Division Secretary Satyajit Karmakar said that the meeting was apprised that foreign funded projects worth $1.66 billion were approved at the ECNEC over the last six months while these projects would be implemented over the next three to four years.

The other projects approved in the meeting are Construction of Multipurpose Hydraulic Elevator Dam on the Srimai River under Patia upazila of Chattogram with Taka 133.53 crore, Protecting Sheikh Hasina Cantonment area from the erosion of Karkhana, Bighai and Payra River under Barishal district, 1st phase with Taka 676 crore, Padma River dredging and protection of left embankment from Majhirchar to Moksedpur via Narishabazar under Dohar upazila in Dhaka, 1st revised with an additional cost of Taka 528.06 crore, Adaptation initiative for the small islands and river Char lands in the coastal areas vulnerable to climate change with Taka 77.86 crore, Matarbari coal-based power station construction project (roads and highways department portion, 2nd revised with an additional cost of Taka 364.81 crore.

The remaining projects approved in the meeting are Construction of multilane tunnel under Karnaphuli River, 2nd revised with an additional cost of Taka 315.29 crore, Establishment of global maritime distress and safety system & integrated maritime navigation system (EGIMNS) project, 3rd revised with an additional cost of Taka 92.46 crore, Inclusive sanitation at 25 towns in Bangladesh with Taka 2,210.70 crore, Climate Change Adapted Urban Development, Phase II (CCAUD), Khulna with Taka 491.28 crore and Ghorashal, 4th unit re powering project, 2nd revised with an additional cost of Taka 99.46 crore.

Ministers, state ministers, planning commission members and secretaries concerned attended the meeting.

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