The government on Tuesday approved a Tk 2.61 billion project to install safe piped water supply systems and improve sanitation facilities in rural areas of Gopalganj.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the project at a meeting virtually held with its chief Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.“The government sees the project a step forward towards fulfilling its commitment to turning villages into town,” Planning Minister MA Mannan said in a post-meeting brief.
The government wants to ensure power, safe drinking water, improved health, sanitation, education and other infrastructures at the rural level, he added.
“This is a historic step and it has a farsighted impact on poverty alleviation,” an upbeat Mannan remarked.
Highlighting some of the directives from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the meeting, Mannan said the PM once again stressed rainwater harvesting and protecting crops and drinking water from salinity.
Sheikh Hasina also emphasized utilizing surface water instead of underground water, the minister added.
The government is also going to spend a total of Tk 15.51 billion on two separate projects aimed at improving rural infrastructures in Gazipur and Tangail districts.Gazipur district rural infrastructure development project will be implemented at a cost of Tk 6.85 billion while the rural infrastructure development project in Tangail will be implemented at a cost of Tk 8.66 billion, MA Mannan informed. In Gazipur, 65.74-kilometer upazila road will be widened and developed along with 91.03km union road and 287.12km village road. Moreover, 5 bridges and 2 growth centers will be constructed.
In Tangail, 20.04km upazila road will be developed and widened alongside 73.33km union road and 597.11km village road. Besides, 147.57km road will be rehabilitated, and 24 small bridges and 26 growth centers will be constructed.
In total, the ECNEC meeting approved 10 projects involving Tk 41.67 billion, the planning minister informed.
Of the total estimated project cost, Tk 41.26 billion will come from the state coffer and the rest of Tk 407.9 million as project assistance, he said.
The approval also came for a Tk 7.82 billion project for necessary land acquisition for building bus and truck terminals and solid waste management in various parts of Gazipur City Corporation (GCC).
The PM also emphasized having a master plan by each public university alongside putting due importance on quality researches.
Besides, she said there should be a cap on the number of students in the universities to ensure quality education, according to Mannan.
Mannan said the education minister in the meeting informed that they are working so that the number of students does not cross the upper limit.
The Premier also directed the authorities concerned to complete the Dhaka Bypass in a speedy manner.
Answering a question, the planning minister said that they have already published a book compiling the directives of the Premier adding that more directives would be compiled in another book in a subject-specific and time-bound way.
Planning division secretary Md Jainul Bari informed that the ministries and divisions have been asked to submit progress reports on the implementation of PM’s directives.
At the outset of the ECNEC meeting, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled the cover of a book titled “Bangabandhu in disaster risk reduction.”
Besides, the latest position of Bangladesh in SDGs implementation was also discussed in the meeting, the planning minister told reporters.
The meeting was informed that Bangladesh has performed well and is in the right path towards SDGs implementation as the country is ahead of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan in this regard.
General Economics Division (GED) member of the Planning Commission Dr Shamsul Alam said that Bangladesh is one of three leading countries in attaining SDGs.
Dr Alam said in attaining SDGs, Bangladesh is ahead of Malaysia and Thailand, but is in the same position as Vietnam.
Meanwhile, the other projects approved in the meeting are the Development of Kabirhat-Chomirmunshirhat-Sonaimuri road and Senbagh-Begumganj Gasfield-Sonaimuri road under Noakhali road division of Tk 3.71 billion; Support to Joydevpur-Debgram-Bhulta-Madanpur road (Dhaka Bypass) PPP (1st revised) with an additional cost of Tk 4.38 billion; Development of Bangladesh University of Professionals (1st phase), 1st revised with an additional cost of Tk 906.3 million; Development of Bangladesh University of Processionals, 2nd revised, with an additional cost of Tk 3.46 billion, innovation of improved Agar regen technology of Tk 679.2 million, Construction of gas distribution pipeline network at Rangpur, Nilphamari, Pirganj town and adjacent areas of Tk 2.58 billion.