Tk 143cr SRDI project for capacity development

The government has initiated a scheme to increase the institutional capacity of Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI) through constructing necessary infrastructures, ICT backbone and modernizing of its GIS, reports BSS. The SRDI under the Ministry of Agriculture will implement a project to this end with an estimated cost of Taka 143.29 crore to be entirely borne from the state exchequer.

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved the project titled ‘Construction of buildings of SRDI and its capacity enhancement’ to be completed by December 2023. Commenting on the project, Planning Minister MA Mannan said although this institute was founded in 1961 for conducting necessary research operations on soil, fertilizer and on other related subjects, no major uplift work was undertaken for it.

“Under the circumstances, the project has been drafted by the Ministry of Agriculture and it got ECNEC approval for further modernizing this institute with construction of necessary infrastructures,” he said. Talking to the national news agency, an official at the Planning Commission said that the project aims to construct a six-storey building at its headquarters near Khamarbari in the capital having eight-storey foundation alongside building separate six-storey buildings at Rajshahi, Khulna and Cumilla.

The project also aims to set up an ICT backbone at the main office at SRDI as well as modernization of its GIS. Besides, two of SRDI’s research centers at Khulna and Bandarban will be modernized, added the official. The SRDI usually publishes research findings related to soil and fertilizer for the farmers since it has been working for ensuring optimum utilization of the country’s soil resources through ensuring balanced use of fertilizer. It conducts soil survey of the whole country on the basis of aerial photo interpretation, field and laboratory investigation of soils.

Another official at SRDI informed that the head office building as well as the other regional buildings of SRDI was earlier built in the sixties and with the passage of time those buildings have become dilapidated. Under the circumstances, this project has been approved for constructing necessary infrastructures of this institute.

The main project operations include construction of a six-storey building at SRDI’s head office in Dhaka having a space of 8,812 square meters, erecting 3,109 running meter boundary walls at Bandarban alongside 22,132 square meters internal roads, drains, main gate, guard rooms, constructing 14,743 square meters boundary walls alongside 2,032 square meters internal roads at its Khulna office.

Besides, there will be three six-storey buildings having a space of 3,475 square meters in each building at SRDI’s Rajshahi, Khulna and Cumilla offices. The Pre Evaluation Committee (PEC) meeting on the project was held on March 18 last year where the Planning Commission recommended its implementation.