Sunday, 22 May, 2022

Mega projects mark major progress

Padma Bridge, Metro Rail, Karnaphuli Tunnel set to open this year

The ongoing mega projects saw major progress in 2021 with some of them nearing completion as the project work gathered pace after the coronavirus-induced slowdown.

The much-coveted Padma Bridge project is now very close to the finishing line and the government hopes to open it to traffic by June this year.

Similarly, the Dhaka Metro Rail project made a major breakthrough with the recent test run of trains on the Uttara-Agargaon segment. This section is expected to open by December next.

Although it is not a listed mega project, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel beneath the Karnaphuli River in Chattogram may be opened in October.

Other mega schemes like Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, Matarbari Coal-fired Power Plant and Payra Deep Seaport also witnessed remarkable progress last year.

“The pace of work on the mega projects has increased as the fear for coronavirus among people has been eased. We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to complete the mega projects within the deadlines. The projects are always monitored from the top level of the government,” said Planning Minister MA Mannan.

He said three mega structures will open this year and they will contribute a lot to the growth of the national economy. “It’s tough to assess their actual contribution to the GDP, but I can say the pace of the wheel of the country’s economy will be manifolds on completion of the mega projects. They’ll also ensure economic emancipation of people,” he said.

The Ministry of Planning has published the progress report on the mega projects until December 2021, which shows that the government’s priority schemes have advanced a lot as their work returned to full capacity.

Padma Multipurpose Bridge

The Padma Bridge is the government’s top most priority mega project. Until December last, the overall progress of the scheme stood at 89.50 percent with Tk 266.58 billion cumulated project expenditure out of Tk 301.93 billion project cost.

Construction of the roadway and railway of the double-deck bridge has completed and work on the asphalt carpeting and erection of parapet wall on roadway and installation of utility services are going on.

Metro Rail

The government has taken a plan for commercial operation of metro rail on the Agargaon-Uttara portion of the 20.1km Uttara-Motijheel elevated metro rail project by December next.

So far, the important project has advanced 74.04 percent as a whole while the Uttara-Agargaon segment witnessed over 90 percent progress with only the work of stations in that portion yet to be completed. Tk 169.69 billion out of Tk 220 billion estimated project cost was spent till December.

Padma Rail Link

The government is implementing the 172-km rail line project from Dhaka to Jashore through the Padma Bridge to reap the full benefit of the bridge establishing direct link between the capital and 23 south and southwestern districts.

The mega scheme has advanced 50.50 percent as over Tk 203.39 billion was spent out of Tk 392.46 billion. The project’s current deadline is June 2024.

Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant

Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant is the largest scheme of the government in terms of expenditure. It is being implemented at an estimated cost of Tk 1,012 billion to generate 2400MW nuclear power from its two units. Current deadlines for the two units are October 2023 for first one and October 2024 for the second one.

The project has so far advanced 43.12 percent and its cumulated expenditure stood at Tk 467.47 billion up to December 2021. The total project is likely to be completed by December 2025.

Dohazari-Ramu-Ghundhum Rail Line

A 188-km rail line is being constructed from Dohazari, Chattogram to Myanmar border under the scheme at a cost of over Tk 180 billion to improve tourism and regional connectivity. The project has advanced 66 percent and the total project expenditure has stood at Tk 62.29 billion.

Payra Deep Seaport

The progress of work on the first phase of Payra Deep Seaport is good as some port activities have already started. It has seen 83 percent progress as Tk 30.84 billion out of Tk 43.74 billion has been spent.

The government eyes to create a 16-metre draft channel at the port at Rabnabad, Patuakhali by 2023 to ease pressure on Chattogram port.

Matarbari Coal-fired Power Plant

The government is developing the power plant as a power hub on 1,414 acres of land at Matarbari in Cox’s Bazar. The plant is expected to come into operation by December next year. Until December last, the project witnessed 52.20 percent progress on average with Tk 197.95 billion cumulative expenditure out of Tk 360 billion estimated project cost.