June 19, 2021, 3:47 pm

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ECNEC approves Tk 3,089.97cr Meghna River Bank protection project

Dhaka: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) today approved a Taka 3,089.97 crore Meghna river bank protection project in a bid to protect erosion prone areas and establishments at Ramgati and Kamalnagar upazilas inLaxmipur district.

The approval came from a meeting of the ECNEC held today with its Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. The Premier joined the meeting virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence while ministers, state ministers, planning commission members and secretaries concerned attended the meeting from 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 Taka 5,239.62 crore.

He informed that Bangladesh Water Development Board under the Ministry of Water Resources will implement the Riverbank protection of Meghna at Borokheri and Ludhuabazar under Ramgoti and Kamalnagar upazilas and Kaderpanditer Hut under Laxmipur district with Taka 3,089.97 crore by June 2025 with entire government fund.

The main project operations include 31.326 kilometer riverbank protection work, construction of 18 regulators, 2 drainage outlets and some 12,116 afforestations.

Once the project is implemented, it would be possible to protect the farm lands, markets, hut-bazars, schools, colleges, madrashas, Roads and various public and private establishments and infrastructures worth Taka 13,99,220 crore from river erosion under Ramgati and Kamalnagar upazilas and thus protect crops of some 30,000 hectares of land from tidal surge.

Among the nine approved projects, six are fresh while three others are revised ones.

The day’s meeting did not approve the Taka 17,290.23 crore project designed to provide Khichuri or other foods as midday meals to the students of primary schools.

“The project was not given approval as the Prime Minister is concerned about its structure …..She said cooking Khichuri in the schools might hamper the study of students,” said MA Mannan.

About the midday meal project, Mannan said the project will not be placed for approval anymore, but new projects over the midday meal may come in different formats.

The Planning Minister said the Prime Minister supports the midday meal system for the students, but she asked for more study for designing such a project.

The Directorate of Primary Education under the Primary and Mass Education Ministry earlier had formulated the midday meal project in order to ensure nutrition and sound health of the students.

In the meeting, the Prime Minister said the Department of Environment needs to provide environmental clearance to any project within a specific timeframe following an application, otherwise it should be considered that it has given consent and also has no objection after the expiry of the stipulated time.

Mannan said it takes a long time to get environmental clearance in many cases, which often causes delay in implementation of projects.

The Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to be careful over regulating river water so that small canals do not dry up.

Mannan said the Premier also stressed the need for planting saplings if big trees are cut down.

Meanwhile, the other projects approved in the meeting are upgrading the Kushtia to Meherpur portion of Kushtia (Trimohoni)-Meherpur-Chuadanga-Jhenidah (R-745) regional highway into due standard and width with Taka 643.02 crore, Construction of various infrastructural establishments of newly created Narayanganj (62 BGB) with Taka 237.21 crore.

The other projects approved in the meeting are Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Space Observation Center with Taka 213.39 crore, Bangladesh Economic Zones Development Project, 1st phase, 3rd revised with an additional cost of Taka 81.38 crore, Capacity enhancing of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority with Taka 88.06 crore, Integrated rural employment assistance project for rural women, 2nd phase with Taka 346.55 crore, Matarbari Ultra Super Critical Coal Fired Power Project (PGCB portion: Matarbari-Modunaghat 400 KV transmission line), 1st revised project with an additional cost of Taka 232.23 crore and Income generating activities training for women at upazila level, 2nd revised, with an additional cost of Taka 307.81 crore.


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