Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed the authorities concerned to build bridges and flyovers on flood-damaged roads.
The premier presided over the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) meeting held at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area on Tuesday.
Sheikh Hasina, also ECNEC chairperson, joined the meeting virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence while ministers, state ministers, planning commission members and secretaries concerned attended the meeting from the NEC Conference Room.
On the day, the Ecnec approved a total of 10 projects worth Tk 2,217 crore including one to widen the Cox's Bazar-Teknaf Marine Drive Road with Tk 1,092.35 crore aimed at flourishing tourism industry
Revealing some of the directives of the Premier given in the meeting, planning minister MA Mannan said while briefing reporters after the meeting, the Prime Minister asked the authorities concerned to construct elevated roads, bridges or culverts instead of reconstructing the flood-affected roads at those points which were damaged or cut to drain out flood water in Sylhet region.
The Prime Minister also emphasized on construction of bridges and culverts instead of roads in Haor and flood-affected areas to avert flood water stagnation.
"Special projects will be undertaken for rehabilitation of the flood victims of the Sylhet region," said Mannan.
Sheikh Hasina also directed the authorities concerned to find out the places where the construction of underpasses and overpasses is needed.
Planning Minister MA Mannan informed that a total of 10 projects were approved involving an overall estimated cost of Tk 2,216.75 crore.
"Of the total project cost, Tk 1,875.57 crore will come from the government of Bangladesh portion while the rest of Tk 341.18 crore as project assistance," he said.
Out of the approved 10 projects, six are new while four others are revised projects.
State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam was present at the briefing.
According to the Planning Commission, the Cox's Bazar-Teknaf Marine Drive Road Widening (1.60th KM-32th KM) Project will be implemented with Tk 1092.35 crore from July 2022 to June 2025.
The main objectives of the road widening project are to establish a safe communication system, develop the tourism industry and improve the socio-economic conditions of the local people through widening some 30 kilometers of the marine drive road and upgradation of a two-lane 305-meter bridge over Reju Khal.
The major project operations include acquisition of some 113.25 acres of lands, 7.24 lakh cubic meter of earth-filing, installation of 608 CCTV cameras and straightening 0.32 km flexible pavement bend.
Referring to the approval of a project related to expansion of improved variety and technology of spices with Tk 119.50 crore, Mannan said that the domestic and global demand for spices is growing day by day while its market price is also higher than other crops.
He informed that currently the domestic market of spices in the country is Tk 30,000 crore while some seven types of spices are being produced in the country although 50 types of spices are being consumed.
"As a result, most of the domestic demand is being met by imports. So, there is a need to produce more spices to reduce import dependency. Considering all these aspects, this project has been undertaken," he added.
He informed that the Bangladesh Spices Research Center has so far invented some 47 varieties of some 22 spice crops. The project will be implemented at some 110 upazilas and in 25 horticulture centers.
At the very outset of the meeting, the ECNEC greeted the Prime Minister with a bouquet of flowers for inaugurating the much hyped Padma Multipurpose Bridge.
The other projects approved in the meeting are Sustainable Agriculture Extension in Jashore Region with Tk 171.33 crore; A Railway Overpass Construction at Railbazar located at 81th KM of Kushtia (Trimohoni)-Meherpur-Chuadanga-Jhenaidah Regional Highway Project with Tk 75.11 crore; Construction of PC Girder Bridges and RCC Box Culverts in places of Dilapidated, Narrow Bailey Bridges on the Pirojpur part of Chakhali-Tushkhali-Mathbaria-Patharghata Highway Project with Tk 332.91 crore; Extension of Physical Infrastructural Facilities of MES (Military Engineering Services) in Dhaka Cantonment Project with Tk 98.50 crore.
The other projects approved in the meeting are Construction of a Railway Overpass at Gatepar area in Jamalpur Town (1st revised) Project with an additional cost of Tk 132.67 crore; Chief Judicial Magistrate Court Bhaban Construction at 64 District Headquarters of Bangladesh-1st Phase (3rd revised) Project with the cost of Tk 204.26 crore less than the previous estimated cost of Tk 2,464.60 crore; Emergency Assistance in Water Supply and Sanitation in Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas of Cox's Bazar district (1st revised) with an additional cost of Tk 306.68 crore and Cox's Bazar-Teknaf Road (N-1) Development (2nd revised) Project with the extra cost of Tk 91.96 crore.