The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved a revised project to acquire additional 500 acres of land for Araihazar Economic Zone in Narayanganj following the demand of Japanese investors.
The original cost of the project titled 'Acquisition of Lands for Setting up Economic Zones (Araihazar, Narayanganj, Mirsarai Economic Zones)" was Tk 761.75 crore, which now increased at Tk 3,195.81 crore in the revised project.
The approval came from an Ecnec meeting held at the NEC conference room with Ecnec Chairperson, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
"The Ecnec meeting approved a total of 11 projects with an estimated cost of Tk 6448.14 crore," Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said while briefing reporters after the meeting.
Of the cost, Tk 6440.16 crore will come from the government fund and the rest Tk 7.98 crore from concerned organsations' own funds, he said.
About the land acquisition project for the two economic zones, the Minister said, "We had first allocated some 491 acres of land for Araihazar Economic Zone, but Japanese investors want more 500 acres of land there."
The main activities of the project are acquisition of 1,491.48 acres of land (991.48 acres for Araihazar and 500 acres for Mirsarai), development of 5524103 cubic metres of land and meeting cost of rehabilitation. The project period was extended to June 2019 instead of December 2018.
Besides, the Ecnec cleared two projects involving a total of Tk 1775 crore to dredge Padma River and protection of its banks in two separate places under Dohar upazila of Dhaka and Charbhadrasan Upazila of Faridpur.
The two projects are "Dredging in Padma River and Protection of its Left Bank from Majhirchar of Dohar, Dhaka to Mokshedpur" involving a cost of Tk 1483.26 crore and "Dredging and Protection of Right Bank of the Padma River under Charbhadrasan in Faridpur" involving a cost of Tk 293.23 crore.
The objective of the dredging project in Dohar is to protect houses, highways, roads, madrasha-mosques, crops lands, different government and non-government establishments and properties from the river erosion from Majhirchar to Narisha Bazar and Mokshedpur.
The main activities of the project include protection of 6 km river bank and dredging of 24 km (526.08 lakh cubic metres) river. The project will be implemented by June 2022.
The key activities of another dredging project are protection of 3.40 km river bank and dredging of 10 km river in Charbhadrasan. The project will be implemented by June 2021.
The Ecnec also approved a project titled "Installation and Supply of Smart Prepaid Meters in DESCO Areas" to install some two lakh smart prepaid electricity meters under areas of Dhaka Electric Supply Company (DESCO) Limited in Dhaka and Gazipur districts.
The two lakh online smart prepaid meters will be installed at Mirpur, Pallabi, Agargaon, Kafrul, Shah Ali, Dhaka Cantonment, Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, Badda, Uttara, Uttarkhan and Dakkhin Khan in Dhaka district and Tongi in Gazipur district.
The rest seven projects approved in the Ecnec meeting are "Establishment of Five BSCIC Centres, one Fashion Design Institute and two Market Promotion Centres under Bangladesh Handloom Board" with a cost of Tk 117 crore, "Establishment of Dr M. A. Wazed Miah Textile Engineering College, Pirganj, Rangpur" with a cost of Tk 174.58 crore, and "Construction and Reconstruction of Sarkari Shishu Poribar (Government Children Family) and Chhoto Moni Nibash" with a cost of Tk 296.72 crore.
The project also include "Construction of Primary Infrastructures of Hi-Tech Park, Sylhet (Sylhet Electronics City)" with a cost of Tk 290.26 crore, "Development of Sonapur-Chairmanghat Road" with a cost of Tk 168.69 crore, "Quality Improvement and Width Extension of Birganj-Khansama-Daroyani, Khansama-Ranibandar and Chiribandar-Amtoli Bazar District Highways" with a cost of Tk 143.92 crore, and "Construction of PC Girder Bridge (Razapur Setu) and 14-km Link Road on Kulaura-Prithimpasha-Hazipur-Sharifpur Road" with a cost of Tk 99.17 crore.