The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved a mega project to excavate and develop 100-foot canals from Kuril to the Balu River on both sides of the Kuril Purbachal link road spending Tk 5,530.13 crore to remove water logging problems in some key areas of the capital.
The approval came at the 8th Ecnec meeting of the current fiscal year held at the NEC conference room with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan said total six projects were approved today with an outlay of Tk 8,825.02 crore. "Of the total project cost, Tk 6,314.35 crore will come from the national exchequer, Tk 152.40 crore from the organisation's own fund while Tk 2,358.28 crore from project assistance."
Of the approved six projects, four are new while two are revised ones.
According to the Planning Commission, Rajuk under the Ministry of Housing and Public Works will implement the project by August 2018. The entire project cost will come from the public coffer.
The main objective of the project is to remove the problem of water logging from Nikunja, Baridhara, Joarsahara, DOHS, Cantonment, Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Kalachandpur and nearby areas. The project has been approved in line with the Detailed Area Plan (DAP).
The major project activities include some 98.46 acres of land acquisition, some 728522.97 cubic meters land excavation.
Sources close to the Ecnec meeting said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the meeting asked the authorities concerned to keep provision of water bodies in case of development of any area.
Referring to this canal project, she said there were canals along almost every road and these days water logging is often seen as the roadside canals have been filled.
In this connection, she said, a proposed project of developing 100 plots at Nikunja was cancelled as might cause water logging in the airport area.
Extending her thanks to the Planning Commission for bringing such project, Hasina said implementation of project with such nature is often difficult as there might be many news items against the project.
In this connection, she asked the project officials concerned to execute the project with courage as she would always remain beside them.
The Prime Minister also asked the Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka to prepare a list on what amount of land is grabbed in that area by land grabbers.
The Ecnec meeting also approved another project titled 'Ashuganj 400 MW Combined Cycle Power Plant (East) with Tk 2931.36 crore. Ashuganj Power Station Company Limited under the Power Division will implement the project by June 2020.
Out of the total project cost, Tk 2,358 crore will come as project assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
Under the project, there will be establishment of gas turbine with 289 MW power generation capacity, setting up of 135 MW power generation capacity steam turbine, establishment of gas turbine transformer and gas insulated switchgear system establishment.
The project will ensure uninterrupted power supply and aim to address power deficit in the country, ensure economic development and improve the living standards of common people. The energy efficiency of the proposed project is 57 percent which will ensure skilled and effective use of the natural resources.
The other projects approved at the meeting are development and extension of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park, Cox's Bazar (1st revised) with Tk 35.92 crore, establishment of Sirajganj government veterinary college (2nd revised) with Tk 80.13 crore, Shibpur flood control, drainage and irrigation project under Narsingdi district with Tk 44.42 crore and Cox's Bazar-Teknaf Marine drive road project, 3rd phase (Shilkhali-Teknaf) with Tk 203.06 crore.
Ministers and State Ministers attended the meeting. Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned were present.