Jhenidah-Jashore

Tk 41.8bn project launched for six-lane highway

Staff Correspondent

25 November, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Tk 41.8bn project launched for six-lane highway

The government on Tuesday launched a Tk 41.88 billion project to upgrade Jhenidah-Jashore road (N-7) into a six-lane highway to turn it into a regional transport corridor. 

The 48.50km important road will be upgraded with service lanes on both sides under Western Economic Corridor and Regional Enhancement Programme (WeCARE) Phase: Jhenidah-Jashore Highway (N-7) Development project. 

The approval came from the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) virtually held with ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The ECNEC meeting also approved the WeCARE Phase-1: Rural Connectivity, Market and Logistic Infrastructure Improvement Project (RCMLIIP) at an estimated cost of Tk 21.81 billion cost.

The Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) under the Local Government Division will implement the project by June 2025 at 18 upazilas under four districts namely Jashore, Magura, Chuadanga and Jhenidah.

Briefing reporters virtually after the meeting, Planning Division Senior Secretary Md Ashadul Islam said that the meeting approved a total of seven projects involving an overall estimated cost of Tk 107.02 billion.

Of the total project cost, Tk 64.59 billion will come from the government of Bangladesh while the rest of Tk 42.43 billion will come as project assistance, he added. Of the approved seven projects, five are new while two others are revised projects.

Revealing the details of the project, Planning Commission member of the Physical Infrastructure Division Mamun Al Rashid said the six-lane highway aims to improve the communication network of Benapole, Asian highway including Bhomra Land Port and Mongla Sea Port, SAARC highway corridor, BIMSTEC road corridor and SASEC road corridor with the north-western region of the country.

The Roads and Highways Department will implement the project by December 2023 as the Prime Minister has reduced the stipulated timeframe for completing the project by two years. Of its total cost, the World Bank will provide Tk 27.06 billion while the rest of Tk 14.82 billion will come from the GoB fund.

The main project operations include some 151.004 hectares of land acquisition, 48.50km pavement construction, 63.42 lakh cubic meter earth work, construction of one flyover with 1,647.29 meter long and four bridges with a length of 198.12 meter, construction of 55 culverts, 12 pedestrian over bridges and one underpass alongside necessary consultancy services. The ECNEC meeting also approved the WeCARE Phase-1: Rural Connectivity, Market and Logistic Infrastructure Improvement Project (RCMLIIP) with Taka 2,180.98 crore including Taka 1,537.30 crore loan assistance from the World Bank.

The Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) under the Local Government Division will implement the project by June 2025 at 18 upazilas under four districts namely Jashore, Magura, Chuadanga and Jhenidah.

The main project operations of rural connectivity project of WeCARE Phase-1 include 611km road development, installation of 120 waste management units, maintenance of 611km upazila, union and village Road.

It eyes to ensure overall socio-economic development of these four districts through transportation of farm produces, its marketing, distribution and preservation through improvement of the rural communication system. Ecnec approval also came for Identification System for Enhancing Access to Services (IDEA), Phase 2 project of Tk 18.06 billion mainly to provide all citizens aged above 14 years with smart national identity (NID) cards.

Commenting on the project, Planning Commission member Abul Kalam Azad said the Election Commission Secretariat will implement the project by November 2025.

He said this project has been undertaken as the period for ongoing IDEA project will expire in December.

Under this new project, Azad said all citizens above 14 years will get smart NID cards. Besides, the Election Commission will send its teams to 40 largest host countries of expatriate Bangladeshis to enroll them in the voter list and provide them with NID services.

The major operations of the project include production and personalization of smart cards.

He said the old equipment and technologies of the existing project will be used in the new project, which will help cut the project cost significantly.

He informed that the government is considering whether all data registration activities including NID registration, birth and death registration and the registration activities carried out by the Directorate General of Family Planning could be brought under a single entity.

Meanwhile, the Planning Division senior secretary said the Prime Minister in the meeting stressed the need for undertaking certain measures for properly facing the 2nd wave of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

About project implementation delay, Prime Minister asked the concerned ministries and divisions to prepare lists about the construction firms and contractors featuring their work history, their volume of work and which firms finish their work in stipulated timeframe or which do not, Ashadul said.

The PM gave the directive for facilitating emergence of new construction firms and contractors and thus encouraging a healthy competition.

Sheikh Hasina renewed her call to make the roads and highways more sustainable, keeping provision of draining out rainwater from the roads and highways during construction as well as keeping sufficient places along the highways where drivers, helpers and passengers of public and private transports could take rest while traveling.

Referring to the approval of Expansion of cultivation of high-quality grass and transfer of suitable technology for development of livestock nutrition with Tk 1.17 billion, the Planning Division senior secretary said, the Prime Minister termed this project a “good project” as cultivation of high-quality grass will be suitable for livestock development.

Turning to the approval of “Khurushkul Special Ashrayan” project with Tk 13.34 billion, the Prime Minister asked the authorities concerned to take measures so that no outsider except the original project beneficiaries get accommodation in the project site.


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