The government has undertaken a project worth Tk 5,941.22 crore for the development of various infrastructures including roads of city corporations and municipalities of the country.
The main objective of the project is to improve the quality of life of the people through the development of various infrastructures and roads, which will help boost the country’s economy.
Besides, the project is to improve transport connectivity, maintenance operations and road safety for road users on selected sections of the national roads network and improve road network management.
A planning commission official said the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) has placed the project proposal titled “Resilient Urban and Territorial Development (RUTD)” to the planning commission.
Out of the total project cost, Tk 1,681.62 crore will come from government funds while Tk 4,259.60 crore will be spent from World Bank loans, he mentioned. If approved, the LGED will implement the project by June 2029.
However, Tk 316.91 crore has been proposed in the consultancy sector for the project’s work, which is 5.33 percent of the total project cost.
Along with this, the proposal of expenditure of various other sectors has come under question. As a result, there was no final decision on these expenditure proposals in the Project Evaluation Committee (PEC) meeting held on August 10. A committee has been constituted to rationalize the expenditure.
Mohammad Emdan Ullah Mian, the member (secretary) of the Physical Infrastructure Department of the Planning Commission, said, “There is a need for consultants. Because the project will be implemented in all city corporations and municipalities of the country. There is not enough manpower. The consultants will be needed to do the work with quality. But how much money will be required is discussed. A committee has been formed to review the expenditure in this sector and many other sectors. The proposal will be finalized only after that committee reports.”
Meanwhile, the project proposal said that Bangladesh is one of the most populous and densely populated countries in the world. About 40 percent of the country’s 16.94 million people live in urban areas. In the last two decades, the number of people moving from villages to cities for better living conditions has increased. Infrastructural development of urban services has become imperative for the increased population in cities.
Currently, the city's population has increased from 8 percent to 38.95 percent from 1971 to last year. At present, the population of the city is 38.95 percent and their contribution to the GDP is more than 60 percent. Labor productivity in urban areas is much higher than in rural areas.
Today, due to rapid urbanization, the cities and towns of the country face problems in providing infrastructure and services. As a result, the condition of economic and social infrastructure is not good.
Therefore, urban development indicators have become inefficient in terms of establishing good governance and capacity building to serve the city.
Due to high economic growth and urban expansion, the gap between urban services and infrastructure deficits in areas with natural hazards is continuously widening.
Bangladesh is a climate vulnerable country. Increasingly negative impacts of climate change are displacing large numbers of people, especially the poor and vulnerable communities, and droughts are making agriculture increasingly impossible. Climates in the country have many more risk levels. Establishing good urban governance has become a key challenge for the country's growth and poverty alleviation. The project has been proposed with these considerations in mind.