Staff Correspondent: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) yesterday approved nine projects with an estimated cost of Tk 13,639.01 crore including one for enhancing the capacity of Mongla Port with Tk 6,014.62 crore.
The approval came from a meeting of the ECNEC with ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair held at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said that a total of nine projects were approved today involving an overall estimated cost of Tk 13,639.01 crore.
“Of the total project cost, Tk 8,886.44 crore will come from the government of Bangladesh portion, Tk 293.16 crore from the concerned organization’s own fund while the rest of Taka 4,459.41 crore from project assistance,” he added.
All the approved nine projects are new projects. Mannan said the Mongla Port Authority under the Ministry of Shipping will implement the Mongla Port capacity enhancing project in a bid to ensure modern facilities for the port users.
Out of the total project cost of Tk 6,014.62 crore for Mongla Port, Tk 1,555.21 crore will come from the government of Bangladesh portion while the rest of Tk 4,459.41 crore from the Indian Line of Credit.
The planning minister said apart from meeting the growing local demand of container handling, importers from India, Nepal and Bhutan would also be able to use this port.
Planning Commission officials said once this project is implemented, it would be possible to handle additional 15 million tons of cargo and 4,00,000 TEUs of containers.
They said the project to upgrade the Mongla Port has been drafted and thus given approval by ECNEC considering the upgradation of Dhaka-Mawa-Mongla Highway, the special economic zone adjacent to the Mongla Port, Padma Bridge construction, Khan Jahan Ali International Airport, Extension of Mongla EPZ, construction of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.
The main project operations include construction of container terminals with all facilities at Jetty Number 1 and 2 of the port, construction of container handling yard and container delivery yard with all facilities, construction of service vessel jetty, shed and office, extension of port building, construction of MPA tower, port residential complex with community facilities, mechanical workshop, equipment yard, and marine workshop complex.
The planning minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the meeting stressed the need for planting trees along both sides of the roads and highways as well as keeping water bodies and water reservoirs in case of constructing large-scale infrastructures.
The Premier also underscored the need for not blocking the waterways through constructing unnecessary bridges, rather to keep the provision of ferries where it is necessary.
She also put emphasis on installing more scanner machines at the ports and in other areas where it is deemed necessary, ensure a strong waste management system as well as setting up Central Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) where it is necessary alongside constructing modern slaughter houses in the cities and towns.
Mannan said the Prime Minister also opined to consider proposals from foreign firms or entrepreneurs to produce power from waste.
The other projects approved in the meeting are Rajshahi metropolis city integrated infrastructures development with Taka 2,931.62 crore, Freedom Fighter late Alhaj Kamal Uddin Road Development Under Noakhali district with Tk 282.11 crore, Upgrading Karnaphuli Tunnel link road including Anwara upazila link road with Tk 407.08 crore, Shariatpur-Janzira-Naodoba (Padma Bridge approach road) development with Tk 1,682.55 crore, Modernization of ports with necessary facilities at Paturia and Daulatdia with Tk 1,351.70 crore, Protecting the establishments from the left river bank of Padma under Charghat and Bagha upazilas in Rajshahi with Tk 722.24 crore, Integrated Livestock Development at the now defunct enclaves and char areas with Tk 128.96 crore and Integrated livestock development at Haor areas with Tk 118.13 crore. Ministers and State Ministers attended the meeting while Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned were present.