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ECNEC approves Tk 567cr project to develop runways of 3 airports

20 October 2020, 11:03:08

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The government today approved four projects with an overall estimated cost of Taka 1,668.29 crore, including a Taka 566.76 crore project to develop the runways of three domestic airports at Jashore, Syedpur and Rajshahi in a bid to ensure safe landing and take-off of the aircraft there.

The approval came from a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) held virtually today with its Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The Prime Minister joined the meeting from her official Ganobhaban residence through videoconferencing while other ECNEC members were connected from the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

“Four projects of three ministries were approved in today’s meeting. The total estimated cost of the four projects is Taka 1668.29 crore,” said Planning Division Senior Secretary Md Ashadul Islam while briefing reporters after the meeting.

Of the total cost, he said, some Taka 1,524.78 crore will be financed from the government fund, while the rest Taka 143.51 crore will come from the concerned organization’s own funds.

Among the four approved projects, three projects are fresh while the rest one is a revised project.

Talking about the project titled ‘Asphalt Concrete Overlaying on the Runway Surface of Jashore Airport, Syedpur Airport and Shah Makhdum Airport, Rajshahi’, the senior secretary said the project will be implemented from January 2021 to June 2023 at a cost of Taka 566.76 crore.

The major project operations include Asphalt Concrete Overlaying on the airport runway surfaces, upgrading of airfield ground lighting system, development of drainage system including runway side-strips, procurement of a modern fire extinguish vehicle for each airport.

During the approval of the project, Ashadul Islam the Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to install proper lighting system at the domestic airports so that the flights can land and take off at night also.

“Since the use of the airports is on rise, it’ll have to install the lighting system there so that the aircraft can land and take off there at night,” the premier was quoted as saying.

In this regard, the civil aviation and tourism secretary in the ECNEC meeting informed that they have a plan to install the lighting system in the airports on completion of the runway upgrading works.

The Prime Minister said the airports will have to be modernised properly in phases with their growing use following the rise of economic activities due to establishment of economic zones.

Talking about the second project titled ‘Land Acquisition and Development for Solid Waste Management in Kadamrashul Area of Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC)’ the Planning Division senior secretary said the project will be executed from January 2021 to June 2023 with an estimated cost of Taka 301.35 crore.

The major project operations include acquisition of 69.87 acres of land, development of 446795 cubic metre lands, construction of 2600 metre boundary walls and 550 metre approach road, procurement of six motorcycles, five garbage trucks and one excavator.

Although the Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) was supposed to finance Taka 30.16 crore to implement the project, the Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to provide the entire project fund from the government.

She also asked the NCC authorities to be careful so that the proposed landfill does not pollute water.

Commenting on another new project titled ‘Irrigation expansion in greater Dinajpur and Joypurhat districts through development of surface water’, the senior secretary said Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) will implement the project by June 2025 with an estimated cost of Taka 251.15 crore at 28 upazilas under four districts – Thakurgaon, Panchagarh, Dinajpur and Joypurhat.

The major project operations include re-excavation of 200km canal (33 canals), 60 water bodies, installation of 165 electricity or solar power driven low-lift pumps (LLP), 165 underground irrigation lines, procurement of 165 pre-paid metres and construction of nine office buildings.

While giving approval to the project, Ashadul said the Prime Minister stressed the need for reducing the use of underground water as well as to preserve the river and rain water.

The ECNEC meeting also approved the 1st revision of Madaripur, Shariatpur and Rajbari districts Rural Infrastructure Development project increasing the cost by Taka 549.03 crore and extending the timeframe till June 2023 instead of June 2022.

About the rationale of the cost hike, member of Planning Commission Md Zakir Hossain Akand said most of the upazila and union connecting roads as well as village roads could not be developed completely due to fund crisis under the original project. “Now the roads will be developed completely under the revised project,” he said.

Besides, the rate schedule of 2016 was followed during the designing of the project, but the latest rate schedule will be applied in case of the remaining works under the project now, he said.

While talking about the project, the Planning Division senior secretary said the Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to make the rural roads stronger so that heavy vehicles can ply on those.

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