Bangladesh has approved the move to build roads along the hilly region borders between India and Myanmar, with the aim to ensure better security in the region.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved a project titled ‘Construction of Border Roads’ involving Tk 1,699.85 crore on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the chairperson of Ecnec, chaired the meeting held at the NEC conference room in Dhaka.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal briefed reporters after the meeting, saying that the Roads and Highways Department and the Special Works Organisation of Bangladesh Army have been given the responsibility to implement the project.
The project will be completed in six upazilas of Khagrachhari, Bandarban, Rangamati and Cox’s Bazar districts by June 2021.
The project will be implemented at Naikkhaongchhariupazila in Bandarban, Juraichhari, Borkol and Rajstaliupazilas of Rangamati, Ukhiaupazila of Cox’s Bazar and Baghaichhariupazila of Khagrachhari.
Out of the proposed 317 kilometres roads, some 40 kilometres will be constructed on the Ukhia-Ashartoli-Fooltuli route, 52 kilometres on the Sajek-Shildah-Betling, 95 kilometres on Sajek-Dokanghat-Thegamukh, and 130 kilometres on Thegamukh-Loitongpara-Thachhi-Dumdumia-Rajsthali route.
In total, there is 540 kilometres border around Bangladesh, of which 330 kilometres with India and 210 kilometres with Myanmar.
On implementation of the project, border guards are expected to be able to ensure strict measures in hilly border areas, curb illegal drugs and arms smuggling through improved road communications.
In addition to that, the roads will also expand trade and commerce, develop tourism facilities in hilly areas, facilitate marketing of agricultural products to boost economic activities and generate employment opportunities.
The Planning Minister said 16 projects were approved today with an overall estimated cost of Tk 9,680.05 crore.
Of the approved projects, 12 are new while four are revised ones.
Ecnec also approved a project titled ‘District highways upgradation’ at an estimated cost of Tk 558.44 crore to repair and conduct maintenance works on 15 important district highways under Dhaka zone.
The Roads and Highways Department under the Road Transport and Bridges Ministry will implement the project.
The other projects approved at the meeting are ‘Developing necessary infrastructures or facilities for conducting the operations of the Payra Deep Seaport (1st revised) with Tk 3,350.51 crore, Bhaberchar-Gazaria-Munshiganj district highway widening involving Tk 80.06 crore, Infrastructural Development of Sylhet City Corporation with Tk 547.28 crore, Construction of Headquarters of National Security Intelligence (NSI) (1st revised) with Tk249.59 crore, Construction of residential building for government officials and employees at Noakhali Sadar with Tk 219.05 crore.
The other approved projects include Construction of Headquarters for the Bangladesh Post Office (revised) with Tk 91.90 crore, Protection and dredging works from Bakshi Lunchghat to Baburhat Lunchghat from the erosion of Tentulia River under Charfasson upazila in Bhola and flood control in Kukri-Mukri island with Tk 523.36 crore, Protecting Lord Hardinge and Dholigouranagar Bazar under Lalmohon upazila of Bhola from the erosion of Meghna River with Tk 432.55 crore.
Riverbank Protection of Swarnadip (Jahaijjar Char) from the erosion of Meghna under Hatia and Subarnachar upazilas in Noakhali with Tk 88.62 crore, National crops supply and nutrition security development through enhancing the capacity of Udyan Unnoyan Bibhagh of BADC with Tk 110.50 crore, Expansion of National Institute of Neurosciences and Hospital with Tk 420.38 crore, Bangladesh land survey education development project with Tk 278.85 crore, Ensuring safe email and establishment of Digital Literacy Centre for Bangladesh government with Tk 116.31 crore and Establishment of Sheikh Hasina National Burn and Plastic Surgery Institute, Dhaka (1st revised) with Tk 912.80 crore also got go-ahead at the meeting.