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Govt to ensure digital connectivity everywhere

Ecnec approves 10 projects of Tk 293.44bn

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 24 November, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Govt to ensure digital connectivity everywhere
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presides over a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Committee (ECNEC) through video conference from Ganabhaban in the capital on Tuesday.

In a bold move to make available all its services to people’s doorstep faster and hassle-free, the government has launched a Tk 58.84 billion scheme to ensure broadband internet connectivity across the country.

Necessary ICT infrastructure will be built under the scheme styled: ‘Establishing Digital Connectivity’ to enhance use of ICT in the country as well.

In a meeting on Tuesday chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) gave nod to the project.

Under the initiative, Broadband internet connectivity will be set up at all unions and upazilas under in all the 64 districts under 8 divisions. It will ensure all government e-services event up to village-level.

“The main objectives of the project are to reach the government services speedily and with ease and comfort after transforming those into e-service,” Planning Minister MA Mannan told a press conference after the Ecnec meeting.

He informed that a total of 10 projects were approved at the Ecnec meeting involving an overall estimated cost of Tk 293.44 billion, of which GoB will provide Tk 110.03 billion and Tk 189.32 billion will come as project assistance.

The digital connectivity project aims to expand fiber optic connectivity to the village-level from the union-level.

Department of Information and Communication Technology under the ICT Division will implement the project by June 2025.

Chinese government is providing Tk 33.79 billion loans to the project while the rest of money will be borne from the state coffer, Mannan informed.

1,09,244 broadband and user connectivity and 10,000 Sheikh Russell digital labs would be set up under the project.

Central server infrastructures will be installed to accommodate 555 Digital Service and Employment Training (DSET) centers while field-level cloud file services and digital storage would also be set up.

Besides, some 10 digital village stations would be set up as well as a 21-storey "DoICT Tower" will be constructed in the city's Purbachal area alongside constructing 492 non-residential buildings.

Under the project, a good number of entrepreneurs are expected to be created in the ICT sector.

A CRVS central ISDP server will be set up under the project to implement Civil Registration and Vital Statistics operations.

Planning Commission officials said the project operations also include establishing 57 specialised labs, central cloud platform, and frontier technology center of excellence, expanding LAN, NOC facilities with IT infrastructures at district and upazila complexes.

In addition, there will be a digital literacy center having all necessary ICT infrastructure facilities like ICT lab, smart virtual classrooms and distance learning platform.

Ecnec also approved a Tk 34.90 billion project to develop elevated roads and physical infrastructures in Haor region.

While approving the project, Prime Minister Sheikh directed LGED for implementing the project in coordination with the Bridges Division, Mannan told reporters.

State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said that the Prime Minister suggested for forming a development authority in Matarbari for overall management since various development operations are being carried out there centering the coal-fired power plant.

About the additional cost involvement of Tk 158.70 billion Matarbari 2X600 MW ultra super critical coal-fired power plant, Planning Commission member Sharifa Khan said that the additional cost would mainly ensure deep sea port facilities there.

She informed that around 98 percent of the additional cost there would be utilized for ensuring deep sea port facilities.

The other projects approved in the meeting are : Modernization of Bangladesh Marine Academy through infrastructure restructuring with Tk 1.15bn; Upgrading Aricha (Borangail)-Gheor-Daulatpur-Nagarpur-Tangail regional highway into due standard and width with Tk 16.35 bn; Widening and development of national highway at Narail town portion with Tk 1.80bn, Rural Transport Improvement Project-II, 3rd revised with no additional cost involvement, Development of important rural infrastructures at Sylhet Division (1st revised) with an additional cost of Tk 2.40bn; Rehabilitation of Polder No-14/1 in Khulna district with Tk 11.72bn; Disaster risk management extension (component-1, BWDB portion) with Tk 7.58bn