The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved ‘SASEC Road Link Project-II: Elenga-Hatikamrul-Rangpur Highway Four-Lane Upgradation’ project involving Tk 11,881.13 crore in a bid to facilitate sub-regional road connectivity with India, Bhutan and Nepal, UNB reports.
The approval came from the weekly Ecnec meeting held at the NEC conference room with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said a total of seven projects were approved today with an overall cost of Tk 12,894.01 crore. “Of the total project cost, Tk 3,368.09 crore will come from the national exchequer while Tk 9,525.92 crore as project assistance,” he said.
All the approved seven projects are new ones, the minister said.
About the implementation rate of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the July-August period of the current fiscal year, he said the implementing ministries and divisions could spend Tk 4,756 crore in the first two months with an utilisation rate of 3.86 percent. The implementation rate in the first two months of the last fiscal year was 3 percent with an expenditure of Tk 3,348 crore.
Mustafa Kamal said Roads and Highways Department under the Roads and Highways Division will implement the SASEC Road Link project by August 2021. Of the total project cost, Tk 2,541.21 crore will come from the state coffer while the rest of Tk 9,339.92 crore will come from project assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Under the project, some 190.40 kilometres of highway on Elenga-Hatikamrul-Rangpur highway, which is also part of the national highway N-5, would be upgraded into four-lane would go through Kalihati upazila of Tangail, Sirajganj Sadar, Kamarkhand, Ullapara and Raiganj upazilas, Bogra Sadar, Sherpur and Shibganj upazilas, Gobindaganj, Polashbari and Sadullapur upazilas of Gaibandha and Rangpur Sadar, Pirganj and Mithapukur upazilas.
Once the project is implemented, Mustafa Kamal said the road connectivity with the northern districts will improve further while a provision will be there to boost sub-regional connectivity with India and Nepal through Banglabandha and with India and Bhutan through Burimari.
He said the project is already underway to upgrade the 70-km Joydevpur-Tangail-Elenga highway into a four-lane one under the SASEC Road Connectivity Project.
Under the project, there will be some 194.94 hectare land acquisition, some 127.043 lakh cubic metres of earth work, some 190.40 kilometres of new pavement construction, including separate lane for the slow-moving vehicles, construction of 32 bridges and 3 flyovers, one railway overpass, 161 culverts, 39 underpasses, 11 Pedestrian overpasses, one interchange, establishment of RHD centre of excellence and road operation unit.
The Planning Minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the meeting asked the authorities concerned to set up industrial estates keeping certain distance from the highways and roads so that there could be a provision for further expansion.
The other projects approved at the meeting are Meteorological radar development of Dhaka and Rangpur with Tk 208.57 crore, Establishment of Innovation and Entrepreneurs Development Academy with Tk 229.74 crore, BSCIC electrical commodity production and light engineering industrial estate with Tk 213.26 crore, BSCIC industrial estate, Raozan with Tk 79.84 crore, Construction of link road from Sirajuddowla Road to Shah Amanat Bridge (Bakolia Access) with Tk 205.47 crore and Re-Excavation of Bhodra and Salta Rivers to address water logging of Khulna district with Tk 76 crore.
Ministers and State Ministers, Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned were present at the meeting.