5 projects worth Tk 1535.70cr get ECNEC nod

 The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved a Tk 832.44 crore project aiming to bring some three lakh new subscribers under electricity connection in 41 upazilas of 21 districts in the south-western region of the country.

The approval came from the ECNEC meeting held at the NEC conference room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar with ECNEC chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair,

Briefing the reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said that a total of five projects were approved today (Tuesday) with total outlay of Tk 1535.70 crore to be entirely borne from the government exchequer.

Of the five projects, three are new and two revised, he added.

State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan and Planning Commission members attended the meeting.

Mustafa Kamal said that under the ‘Strengthening of power distribution system’ project, some 1,858 km new power lines would be set up in some 41 upazilas. The West Zone Power Distribution Company will implement the project by June 2018.

Of the total project cost of Tk 832.44 crore, the government will provide Tk 788.01 crore while Tk 44.43 crore will come from the organisation’ own fund.

The districts where the power project will be implemented are Rajbari, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Shariatpur, Faridpur, Khulna, Bagerhat, Jessore, Satkhira, Narail, Jhenidah, Meherpur, Kushtia, Chuadanga, Magura, Barisal, Pirojpur, Jhalakati, Patuakhali, Barguna and Bhola.

The main project activities include setting up of some 1081 km new power supply lines, overhauling of some 777 km power lines, construction of three new power substations, and overhauling of 11 power substations.

The ECNEC meeting gave nod to another project, titled ‘Extension of Rajshahi BSCIC Industrial Estate’, under which 30 acres of land would be acquired to make place for some 200 industrial plots to ensure SME development. Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) will implement the project by June 2017.

Asked about the reason for many plots lying idle in various BSCIC industrial estates, the Planning Minister said that there are currently some 74 BSCIC estates across the country having 10,338 plots. Of these, industries on more than 4,100 plots are in operation while the rest are lying idle.

In this connection, he said that the Ministry of Industries has been asked to submit a report in the matter after in-depth study.

The day’s meeting also approved ‘Further development of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology’ project with Tk 110 crore under which one male and one female halls or hostels will be built on the BUET campus, each having 12-storey foundation.

Besides, the second revision of the project, titled ‘Construction of central jail for the under trial prisoners in Dhaka (Keraniganj)’ costing Tk 406.35 crore was approved in the day’s ECNEC meeting.

Once the project is completed by June 2017, the Planning Minister said that the present central jail in city’s Lalbagh area will be turned into a modern place with schools, shopping malls, parks and landscaping while there will be a museum to preserve the memory of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and four other national leaders.

The first revised ‘River embankment protection (2nd phase) of vulnerable portion of Lalmohon upazila of Bhola district’ was also approved with Tk 134.23 crore.

So far, 11 meetings of ECNEC meetings have taken place in the current fiscal year where some 51 projects were approved with total outlay of Tk 61,531 crore.

Ministers, State Ministers, Secretaries concerned and Planning Commission members attended the meeting.

Source: UNB