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Tk 53,081 cr proposed for communication sector

Published : Thursday, 7 June, 2018 at 4:02 PM Count : 737


The government has allocated Tk 53,081 crore in the budget for FY 2018-19 for communication infrastructure sector.

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith said this while unveiling the proposed budget for 2018-19 fiscal at Jatiya Sangsad on Thursday.

In his speech the minister said, “Our main goal in transport and communication sector is to ensure timely and efficient implementation of the ongoing activities and the improvement in post-implementation service delivery.  We have undertaken 10 cluster projects in 10 road zones for appropriate standardisation and widening of 1,140 km important regional highways. Under the projects, a total of 3,813 km national highways of the country will be upgraded to four lanes or above gradually.”

Muhith said, “Steps are being taken to construct/reconstruct 61 bridges for strengthening communication network in Western region of the country. More than half of the works of Padma Bridge have been done. Construction of 2nd Kanchpur, 2nd Meghna and 2nd Gomoti Bridge is underway.”

“We have a plan to build bridges over Golachipa, Payra and Kocha rivers and 2nd Padma Bridge at Paturia-Goalanda point. Memorandum of Understanding have been signed with China to build 9th (Bogha bridge), 10th (Mongla bridge), and 11th (Jhopjhopia bridge) Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge. Moreover, construction of a tunnel on the Karnaphuli river bed has started. I hope to end this work by 2022,” he added.

The 20-year Strategic Transport Plan was taken up in 2005 for developing internal road network of Dhaka city, mitigating traffic congestion from entry and exit points and building a planned, integrated and modern public transport system for Dhaka and its suburbs, said the minister.

“We updated the STP in 2016. In the revised plan, provisions are there for construction of 5 Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), 2 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), 3-layered ring road, 8 radial road, 6 expressways, 21 transportation hubs, and development of traffic management-traffic safety system and reorganising the bus transport sector,” he added.

Muhith said, “As a ratifier of United Nation Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-20 and SDGs, Government of Bangladesh targets to reduce the number of casualties due to road accidents to half of currentrate by 2020 by building a modern, safe, environment-friendly and ICT-based road transport and control system. To this end, bearing in mind the 3E (Engineering, Education and Enforcement) implementation of different activities are is underway. ‘Safety Rapid Strategic Transport Plan-2015-2035’ is at implementation stage to build a planned, comprehensive and modern public transportation system for Dhaka and surrounding areas.”

On Railway Muhith said, “Railway is a cost effective, safe and environment-friendly mode of transport for goods and passengers. For comprehensive development of railway sector, the existing 20-year Railway Master Plan was updated. Under this master plan, 230 projects have been identified for implementation by 2045.  Expansion of of railways, construction and repair of new railways, conversion to dual gauge railway, opening of new and reopening of closed railway stations, launching new trains and improving train service, procurement of train coaches etc. are continuing.”

The minister in budget speech said, “Around 10 per cent of total export and import of the country are handled by Mongla port. Therefore, this port was on the brink of closure due to neglect of using this important facility during the tenure of BNP government. To transform Mongla into a modern port, we have taken steps for capital dredging and procurement of cargo handling machines. As a result, uses of the port and its income have increased significantly. Payra deep sea port is identified as first track project to infuse dynamism in its implementation.”


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