Friday, 19 August, 2022

Cox’s Bazar Marine Drive widening project approved

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 29 June, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

The government cleared a Tk 10.92 billion project to widen Cox's Bazar-Teknaf Marine Drive Road in a bid to promote tourism along the coast of the Bay of Bengal.

Approval for the scheme came at a meeting of Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) held virtually on Tuesday with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The meeting cleared a total of 10 projects involving Tk 22.17 billion.

They include Tk 18.76 billion from the national exchequer and Tk 3.41 billion as overseas project assistance, Planning Minister MA Mannan told reporters after the meeting.

 State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam was also present at the briefing.

The Cox's Bazar-Teknaf Marine Drive Road Widening (1.60th KM-32th KM) Project will be implemented from July 2022 to June 2025.

The main objectives of the road widening project are to establish a safe communication system, develop the tourism industry and improve the socio-economic conditions of the local people through widening some 30 kilometers of the marine drive road and upgradation of a two-lane 305-meter bridge over Reju Khal.

The major project operations include acquisition of some 113.25 acres of lands, 7.24 lakh cubic meter of earth-filling, installation of 608 CCTV cameras and straightening 0.32 km flexible pavement bend.

Revealing some of the directives given by the prime minister in the meeting, the planning minister said the PM asked the authorities concerned to construct elevated roads, bridges or culverts instead of reconstructing the flood-affected roads in Sylhet. In Sylhet, the roads were damaged or cut to drain out flood water.

The Prime Minister also emphasised construction of bridges and culverts instead of roads in Haor and flood-affected areas to avert flood water stagnation.

"Special projects will be undertaken for rehabilitation of the flood victims of the Sylhet region," said the planning minister said.

Sheikh Hasina also directed the authorities concerned to find out the places where the construction of underpasses and overpasses is needed.

Referring to the approval of a project related to expansion of improved variety and technology of spices with Tk 1.20 billion, Mannan said that the domestic and global demand for spices is growing day by day.

He said its market price is also higher than other crops.

MA Mannan informed that currently the domestic market of spices in the country is Tk 300 billion.

He said Bangladesh produces some seven types of spices although there is a demand for 50 types of spices.

"As a result, most of the domestic demand is being met by imports. So, there is a need to produce more spices to reduce import dependency. The project has been undertaken considering these aspects," the minister said.

He informed that the Bangladesh Spices Research Centre has so far invented around 47 varieties of about 22 spice crops.

The project will be implemented at around 110 upazilas and in 25 horticulture centres.

The five fresh projects are Sustainable Agriculture Extension in Jashore Region with Tk 1.71bn; Expansion of Advanced Varieties and Technology of Spices at Tk 1.20bn; A Railway Overpass Construction at Railbazar located at 81th KM of Kushtia (Trimohoni)-Meherpur-Chuadanga-Jhenaidah Regional Highway Project with Tk 750m; Construction of PC Girder Bridges and RCC Box Culverts in places of Dilapidated, Narrow Bailey Bridges on the Pirojpur part of Chakhali-Tushkhali-Mathbaria-Patharghata Highway Project with Tk 3.33bn; Extension of Physical Infrastructural Facilities of MES (Military Engineering Services) in Dhaka Cantonment Project with Tk 985m;

A Railway Overpass Construction at Gatepar area in Jamalpur Town (1st revised) Project with additional cost of Tk 1.32bn (raising the cost to Tk 4.24bn) and Chief Judicial Magistrate Court Bhaban Construction at 64 District Headquarters of Bangladesh-1st Phase (3rd revised) Project with the cost of Tk 2.04bn less than the previous estimated cost of Tk 24.65bn.

The projects also include Emergency Assistance in Water Supply and Sanitation in Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas of Cox's Bazar district (1st revised) with the additional cost of Tk 3.07bn (raising the cost to Tk 8.92bn) and Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf Road (N-1) Development (2nd revised) Project with the extra cost of Tk 920m (raising the cost to Tk 5.90bn).