ECNEC nods project to reclaim navigability of four rivers

DHAKA, Oct 2, 2018 : The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) today approved a project involving Taka 4,371 crore to bring navigability back in four rivers to ensure smooth and safe plying of vessels.

The approval of the project ‘Navigability Development and Reclamation of Old Brahmaputra, Dharla, Tulai and Punorbhoba Rivers’ came from the 8th ECNEC meeting of the current fiscal year held at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area with ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Briefing the reporters after the meeting, State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan said a total of 15 projects were approved today involving an overall estimated cost of Taka 13,218.31 crore.

“Of the total project cost, Taka 8,479.22 crore will come from the
government of Bangladesh portion, Taka 448.43 crore from the organisation’s own fund while the rest of Taka 4,290.66 crore from project assistance,” Mannan said.

The State Minister said Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority under the Ministry of Shipping Ministry will implement the navigability development and reclamation of four rivers project by June 2024.

The project area covers Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Gaibandha and Dinajpur districts of Rangpur Division, Kishoreganj of Dhaka Division and Jamalpur, Sherpur and Mymensingh districts of Mymensingh Division.

Under the project, around 227 kilometre of the Old Brahmaputra River would be dredged to 100 meter width and 3 meter depth to upgrade it into a class-2 navigational route to ensure transportation of passengers and goods with ease, comfort and less cost.

Besides, around 60 meter of the Dharla River would be dredged into 38 meter width and 2 meter depth to transform it to class-3 navigational route. Apart from this, the Punorbhoba River will be transformed into a class-3 navigational route while the Tulai River into a class-4 navigational route through conducting necessary dredging.

Of the approved 15 projects, 10 are new while 5 are revised projects.

Regarding the approval of the development of Cox’s Bazar Airport, 1st phase, 3rd revised with Taka 2,015.65 crore, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the meeting noted that the Cox’s Bazar Airport will be developed in such way so that wide-body aircraft like Boeing 777 or Airbus 380 could take off and make landing at this airport since it has all the potential of becoming a hub in this region, the minister said.

The meeting also approved the 2nd revision of the Reaching out of school children (ROSC) Project, 2nd phase with Taka 1,290.36 crore under which the forcibly displaced Rohingya children will be imparted non-formal education in their own language or in English. For this, the project period has been extended till December 2020.

The other projects approved in the meeting are development of Hathazari- Fatikchhari-Manikchhari-Matiranga-Khagrachhari road (R-160), Chattogram portion with Taka 399.44 crore, construction of Sonahat Bridge over Dudhkumar River on Bhurungumari-Sonahat Landport-Bhitorbondo-Nageshwari Highway with
Taka 232.95 crore, construction of Bangladesh Chancery Complex in Berlin with Taka 109.47 crore, construction of Powder Milk factory at Baghabarighat in Sirajganj, 1st revised with Taka 105.93 crore.

The remaining approved projects in the meeting are Sustainable Coastal and Marine Fisheries Project with Taka 280.47 crore, Embankment works for protecting Rajapur and Purba Elisha union under Sadar thana in Bhola from the erosion of Meghna River, 1st revised with Taka 343.91 crore, Embankment protection of Halda River and Dhurong canal alongside flood control measures
under Fatikchhari and Hathazari upazilas in Chattogram with Taka 156.77 crore, Construction of BFDC Complex with Taka 322.78 crore, Construction of research and training institute on national professional health and security affairs with Taka 165.28 crore, Further Development of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, Gopalganj, 1st Revised,
with Taka 250.56 crore, Small Irrigation Development through using solar power with Taka 82.63 crore and Sustainable Forests and Livelihood (results) project with Taka 1,502.72 crore.