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560-Upazila mosque project cost likely to rise by Tk 713cr

Published : Tuesday, 19 October, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 495

The government has decided to build 560 model mosques and Islamic cultural centers, one in each district and upazila of the country.
Although the project has been taken 4.5 years back, work on 140 mosques has not started yet. A proposal has been sent to the Planning Commission to increase the project cost by Tk 713 and also to extend the duration of its implementation.
According to sources, 50 model mosques and Islamic cultural centers have already been inaugurated and 360 are under construction. Land acquisition, and tender process is underway to start work on the remaining 140 mosques. A second amendment to the project has been proposed to complete work of the remaining mosques.
The sources said that the financial progress of the project till last June is only 17.6 percent. The cost is Tk 1,558.26 crore. However, the real progress at this time is 32.4 percent.
The Project Evaluation Committee (PEC) at a meeting held in June said that considering the current progress, the implementation duration of the project could be extended till June 2024 to ensure its smooth and proper implementation. In addition, if it is not possible to build a mosque within the stipulated time due to complications, the project can be completed leaving it unfinished.
Hajera Khatun, director (planning) of the Islamic Foundation incharge of implementing the project, said the project was not funded as per the demand which has delayed implementation. However, if the project amendment proposal is approved at the next ECNEC meeting, there will be no more problems.
Planning Commission sources said the processing of the project has already been completed and preparations have been finalized to present the amended proposal to the next ECNEC meeting.
According to sources, the originally approved cost of the project was Tk 9,062.41 crore but later, through the first amendment, the cost was reduced to Tk 8,722 crore. However, the second amendment this time has proposed to increase the cost by Tk 713 crore to a total of Tk 9,435 crore.
The project implementation duration was originally from April 2017 to December 2019. Then, through the first amendment, it was extended by one and a half years till June this year but it has been again extended by 3 years till June 2024.
The amendment proposal said the 560 model mosques and Islamic cultural centers with ancillary facilities at district and upazila level aims at increasing prayer and other facilities for Muslim men and women. The ECNEC was approved the project on 25 April 2016.
The project also aimed at creating research facilities on fundamentals of Islam; promote cultural activities, Islamic values and addressing the impact of illiteracy, terrorism, violence against women, dowry, drugs, terrorism, and militancy in society. It will make a significant contribution to building a secular Bangladesh, the proposal said.

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