ECNEC approves Tk 2,511-crore project to expand science education

DHAKA, July 29, 2018 : The Executive Committee of the National
Economic Council (ECNEC) today approved a Tk 2,511.51-crore project to expand
the scope for science education in 200 government colleges across the
country.

The approval came from the 3rd ECNEC meeting of the current fiscal year
at the NEC conference room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar held with ECNEC
Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Briefing the reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa
Kamal said a total of nine projects involving an overall estimated cost of Tk
7,539.13 crore were approved today.

“Of the total project cost, Taka 6,751.66 crore will come from the GoB
portion, Tk 258.57 crore from the organisation’s own fund while the rest of
Tk 528.90 crore from project assistance,” he said.

Of the approved nine projects, eight are new while one is a revised
project.

The Planning Minister said the Secondary and Higher Education Division
under the Ministry of Education will implement ‘the Expansion of Science
Education project’ by June 2021.

Noting that the importance of science and technology is indispensable in
the current world, Kamal said the interest of the country’s students and
youth folks has declined over science education in recent times.

According to the data of the Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information
and Statistics, students in science education section have declined by 11.12
percent compared to arts and commerce education at the higher secondary level
during 1990 to 2013.

So, Kamal said, there is no alternative to taking immediate measures to
remove the barriers in science education.

Under the circumstances, the project has been placed and approved which
aims to increase infrastructural facilities in some 200 government colleges
to expand science education side by side increasing the capacity of the
teachers and increasing scope for conducting researches in science and
technology.

The main project operations include construction of one six-storey
academic building in 176 government colleges having rooms for teachers,
classrooms, IT lab-cum-language rooms, multipurpose halls, common rooms, rest
rooms, upward extension of existing academic buildings in 18 colleges
alongside renovation of academic buildings in six colleges, construction of
164-seat male and female hostels in 47 colleges, and providing ICT
equipments, furniture and office equipments to some 200 government colleges
and 47 hostels.
The day’s ECNEC meeting also approved a project for framing a master plan for developing the infrastructures of some 183 non-municipal upazila towns involving Taka 1,380 crore in a bid to improve the living standards of people.

The LGED under the Local Government Division will implement the project titled ‘Formulation of master plan at upazila towns (non-municipal) and development of basic infrastructures,” by June 2022 with entire GoB fund.

The project is expected to help reducing the pressure of growing population on the big cities and towns of the country.

According to the project proposal, some 309 upazila towns have already been upgraded to pourashavas (municipality) under various categories out of the country’s 492 upazilas.

“The important urban infrastructure development project (1st phase)” has already been implemented in those 309 upazilas from January, 2011 to June, 2018 with Taka 1,258 crore to improve the living standards of the pourashava citizens through improving the necessary infrastructures.

Besides, currently “The important urban infrastructures development project (2nd phase)” is under implementation in those upazilas from January, 2018 to December, 2021 to further improve infrastructures there with Taka 3,465.50 crore.

Apart from this, development of various physical infrastructures has been continuing in those upazilas under some foreign aided projects.

Since there was no single or big project to carry out infrastructural development in the rest of 183 non-municipal upazila towns, the Local Government Division drafted the project to ensure basic civic facilities like road, traffic management, sanitation and waste management in those selected upazila towns.

Under the project, each non-municipal upazila town under the project would get Taka 48 lakh for framing the master plan while Taka 6.37 crore for infrastructural development.

The main project operations include formulation of master plans for some 183 upazila towns, construction and reconstruction of some 560 kilometer roads, construction of some 915 meter bridges and culverts apart from construction and reconstruction of drains.

The ECNEC meeting also approved a project to develop the physical infrastructures of Gazipur City Corporation in a bid to address the acute traffic congestion in the city alongside reducing the water logging problem spending around Taka 661 crore.

The Gazipur City Corporation under the Ministry of LGRD will implement the project with an estimated cost of Taka 660.82 crore will be implemented by June 2020.

The main objectives of the project are to address the existing acute traffic congestion in the city through building newer roads and repairing the existing streets. Besides, new drains will be constructed while the existing ones will be repaired to address the water logging in that city.

The main project operations include construction of 18.08 kilometers RCC road, construction of 122.54 kilometers RCC drains, some 224.34 kilometers bituminous carpeting road construction.

The other approved projects are Construction of CHT Complex in Dhaka’s Bailey Road, 1st revised, with Taka 194.43 crore, Procurement of 35 commercial and 8 supporting vessels for BIWTC and construction of 2 slipway with Taka 1,319.71 crore, Installing and introducing optical-fiber-based telecommunications system on 575 kilometers of Secondary lines under Bangladesh Railway with Taka 68.72 crore, Construction of cleaners residence under Chittagong City Corporation with Taka 231.43 crore, Increasing the resilience of distressed community through infrastructural skills development and information (Provati) with Taka 757.68 crore, and Installation of five lakh smart pre-paid meters under Northern Electricity Supply Company Limited area with Taka 414.83 crore.

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