The government cleared six projects involving Tk 87.40 billion which include a Tk 71.89 billion project to ensure speedy, safe and cost effective road communication system between Sylhet and Chattogram region.
The approval came at the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Encec) meeting of the current fiscal year 2022-23 with its chairperson Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair on Tuesday.
Planning Minister MA Mannan briefed journalists about the meeting outcomes at a press briefing later, saying that of the total project cost, an amount of Tk 59.29 billion will be borne from the government exchequer while the rest of Tk 28.11 billion will come as project assistance.
State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam, planning commission members and secretaries concerned were also present at the briefing.
Of the approved six projects, three are new and three others are the revised projects.
The State Minister for Planning said out of the total project cost of Tk 71.89 billion for the Upgradation of Cumilla (Mainamati)-Brahmanbaria (Dharkhar) National Highway into
four-lane, Tk 28.11 billion will be funded from the Indian Line of Credit (LoC).
The Roads and Highways Department under the Road Transport and Highways Division will implement the project by June 2026. Once the project is implemented, it will strengthen the regional communication between India and Bangladesh and will turn Chattogram Port to the centre of international trade and commerce.
The project is included in priority-2 of the eight priority corridors to boost bilateral and sub-regional trade with the neighbouring countries including India under the technical assistance project titled "Technical Assistance for sub-regional Road Transport Project Preparatory Facility (SRTPPF)"
The main project operations include 102.79 hectares of land acquisition, 1450560 cubic meters of earth work, construction of 49.53km flexible pavement and 4.47km rigid pavement, construction of 14 bridges, one flyover, two underpasses, 50 culverts and 12 foot over bridges.
Replying to a question, Mannan said that on the whole, the government has been able to convey the message of pursuing austerity in all levels.
"But, we're yet to reach 100 percent success in this regard and it's difficult. But, pressure will continue to this end," he said. The other projects approved in the meeting are upgrading Barishal (Charkauwa) to Lakshmipur via Bhola (Ilsha Ferryghat) road into due standard and width (1st revised) at an additional cost of Tk 1.90 bn, construction of elevated expressway from Lalkhan Bazar to Shah Amanat Airport in Chattogram at Tk 10.48 bn, Capacity Enhancement of Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences at Mitford, Cumilla, Faridpur, Barishal and Bogura at Tk 2.15 bn and Nutrition Development and Poverty Alleviation through expansion of Mushroom cultivation at Tk 983.4 bn. The Ecnec meeting also approved the fourth revision of the Akhaura-Agartala dual-gauge rail link project (Bangladesh portion) through extending its timeframe by July 2023.