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First track mega projects gain pace after foreign workers join

Published : 01 Nov 2020 09:31 PM | Updated : 02 Nov 2020 05:51 AM

First track mega projects have finally gained pace after joining many foreign workers who could not come earlier due to the Covid-19 pandemic, officials said.

The government has given top priority to implementing mega projects, ushering optimism about begetting positive changes in people’s livelihood and boosting thecountry‘s economic growth, they added.

According to the fast track progress report, the fast-track or priority projects are slowly recovering from the Corona epidemic. 

In the meantime, 90 percent of the main work of the Padma Bridge, the most priority project of Bangladesh, has been completed. 

At the same time, other mega projects including Metro rail, Rooppur nuclear power plant, Matarbari 1,200MW coal power plant, Padma rail link project, Dohazari-Ramu-Gundum rail track and Rampal Power Plant are also going ahead. 

Regarding fast track projects, Planning Minister MA Mannantold the Bangladesh Post, “A big blow of Covid-19 has already hit Bangladesh. The same situation is prevailing all over the world.”

“We are trying to ensure allocation as required in mega projects”, he said adding that, the implementation of these projects has been hampered due to the Corona epidemic. 

As a result, there is a possibility of extending the duration of the projects, he mentioned. 

Mannan said, “Now the pace of implementation is faster than before.”

Dr. ShamsulAlam, Member (Senior Secretary) of General Economics Division (GED) of Planning Commission, said, “After the lockdown, now the economy is turning around. The implementation of fast track projects is also gaining momentum.” 

Foreigners have also started coming back, he said adding that, when these projects are completed, the appearance of the country's economy will change a lot. 

“Now, it is necessary to increase the monitoring of the implementation of the projects, so that the speed is increased,” he mentioned.

DrZahid Hussain, former lead economist of World Bank, told the Bangladesh Post, the government should emphasize on implementing important projecst first in consideration of the Covid-19 situation including the Padma Bridge and metro rail projects.

“So, the government has to first set priority and formulate an action plan for their quick implementation,” he said.  

Padma Bridge

Padma Bridge Project has so far witnessed overall progress of 90 percent. 

Out of Tk 30193 crore total project cost, its cumulative project cost stood at Tk 23,796.25 crore up to September this year, according to the latest fast-track project progress report.  

Metro rail

The metro rail project, also known as MRT-6 line, has so far seen 53.37 percent overall progress. 

Of the Tk21985 crore project cost, the cumulative cost stood at Tk 11735 crore till September. 

Rooppur nuclear power plant 

The country’s lone nuclear power plant project is being implemented at Rooppur, Pabna at a cost of Tk 113,093 crore. 

Project officials said work of the country’s largest project in terms of money never stopped amid corona. 

The project’s cumulative financial progress was found to be 28.70 percent involving Tk 32,458.67 crore total expenditure up to September this year.     

Matarbari 1,200MW coal power plant 

The total cost of the project is estimated at Tk 35,984.46 crore. The allocation for the current financial year is Tk 3,062 crore. 

Of this, Tk 1,106.54 crore has been spent in the last three months, which is 30.13 percent of the total allocation.

From the beginning till September the cumulative expenditure is Tk 14,004 crore. 

The financial progress of the project has been 36.9 percent and the overall progress has been 34 percent.

Padma rail link project: 

The Padma rail link project is another priority of the government. It is being implemented at a cost of Tk 39247 crore, which is even higher than that of Padma Bridge. 

So far, the project’s physical progress was 26.23 percent while financial progress was 33.19 percent with Tk 13,026 crore total expenditure. 

Dohazari-Ramu-Gundum rail track  

According to the report, the total cost of the project has been estimated at Tk 18,034.47 crore. There is an allocation of Tk 1,500 crore in the current fiscal year. 

Of this, Tk 155.56 crore has been spent in the last three months, which is 10.36 percent of the total allocation.

In 10 years, the project’s financial progress stood at 27.84 percent while its physical progress was found at 43 percent. 

Rampal Power Plant 

According to the fast track report, the total cost of the project is Tk 16,000 crore. 

The allocation for the current financial year is Tk4,486.53 crore. 

In the last three months, Tk 260.48 crore has been spent, which is 5.60 percent of the total allocation.

Meanwhile, the Rampal power plant has seen 51.83 percent physical and 56 percent financial progress.