Money to be shifted for other projects
Mahfuja Mukul: The work on four of the country’s most anticipated mega projects is nearing completion. The Padma Bridge, Metrorail, Dhaka Elevated Expressway and Karnafuli Tunnel will be opened for trafficby this year. The dream Padma Multipurpose Bridge will be inaugurated next June. The Bangabandhu Tunnel in Chattogram, built along the Karnafuli River, will be inaugurated next October. Dhaka’s coveted Metrorail and elevated expressway will be launched in December.
The National Economic Council (NEC) meeting approved the Annual Development Program (ADP) at a cost of Tk 2,25,324.9 crore for the fiscal year 2021-22, focusing on these four important projects of the country. The four projects to be inaugurated this year are saving huge amount of moneyabout Tk 2,281 crore.
The biggest saving is Tk 1,001 crore for the Padma Bridge project. Besides, ADP will save Tk 600 in Metrorail project, Tk 318 in Karnafuli tunnel and Tk 163 crore in Dhaka Elevated Expressway project. The construction of Padma Bridge and Karnafuli Tunnel will be completed in the current financial year. However, the work of elevated expressway and metro rail will not be completed by this time. As a result, the money saved in the ADP will be spent on other projects in the next financial year.
In this case, the money saved from the two projects of the bridge department can be transferred to another project. Besides, if any other ministry saves ADP money, it will also be transferred to another ministry.
Meanwhile, there are indications of major changes in the current financial year from ADP to RADP (Revised Annual Development Program). RADP may get final approval in the first week of March 2021-22. The proposed RADP will be approved at the NEC meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the conference room of the Planning Commission’s National Economic Council (NEC) in the capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar. The Planning Commission is working towards that goal.
Additional Secretary of the Planning Commission’s activities (Agriculture, Industry and Coordination Wing) said Sayeduzzaman told that allocation of money for various projects including Padma Bridge-Karnafuli Tunnel is being saved. The money from these allocations is transferred to other unfinished projects. Because one ministry-department has more than one project. For example, not only Padma bridge but also several other projects are being implemented in the bridge department. So, the money saved from the allocation of Padma Bridge will be allocated to other projects.
‘We usually allocate funds based on the ministry. If we see that the project allocation of a ministry is saving money, then at the same time the demand of which ministry is higher. According to him, the money saved is transferred to the more demanding ministry. In addition, reducing the allocation for a project reduces the pressure on government spending.
Padma Bridge cost decreased by Tk 1001 cr
The Padma Multipurpose Bridge is awaiting inauguration to reduce the distance between Dhaka and the southern part of the country. Vehicles will pass over this bridge. The train will go through the ground floor. The length of the main bridge (only part of the river) is 6.15 km. The viaduct is built to connect the main bridge to the ground. The viaduct at both ends is 3.6 km. In all, the length of the bridge is about 10 kilometers.
Three and a half thousand crore taka was allocated in ADP for the construction of this long dream bridge over the river Padma. However, the total amount demanded in the revised ADP is Tk 2,499 crore. As a result, the allocation from ADP to the revised ADP is reduced by Tk 1,001 crore.
Tk 600 crore decrease in Metrorail
The length of metro rail line from Uttara to Motijheel is 20.10 km. Most of these flyovers have been built. There will be a total of 16 stations on this route. The maximum speed of this fully air-conditioned (AC) train will be 110 kilometers per hour. Project sources say that with the launch of Metrorail, Motijheel can be reached from Uttara in just 35 minutes. Tk 4,600 crore has been allocated for Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (Metrorail). However, Tk 4,000 crore has been demanded in the revised ADP.
As a result, the allocation for this mega project is decreasing by Tk 600 crore. However, the work of this project has not been completed yet.
Tk 318 crore in Bangabandhu tunnel
The work of laying the tube of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman tunnel at the bottom of Karnafuli river is at the final stage. The tunnel will connect the two banks of the river Karnafuli. This tunnel will connect Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar highway. The total length of the tunnel is 3.43 km. When completed, it will be the first tunnel in the country and the first and longest road tunnel under the river in South Asia.
The project, built at a cost of around Tk 10,000 crore, will be inaugurated this year. The ADP allocation for the fiscal year 2021-22 was Tk 1,650 crore. From here, allocation of Tk 1,333 crore has been sought in the revised ADP. As a result, the allocation for this project is decreasing to Tk 318 crore.
Dhaka Elevated Expressway for Tk 183.69 crore
The Dhaka Elevated Expressway (flyover) will act as a magic wand to ease traffic congestion in the city. Project work is progressing fast. The length of the main lane of the four-lane elevated expressway up to Jatrabari is 19.83 km. The length from Kawla adjacent to Shahjalal International Airport to Tejgaon Railgate is 11 and a half kilometers. The bridge authority plans to open this section in December this year.
After the completion of the project, Jatrabari can be reached from the airport in just 15-20 minutes. In the current financial year, a total ADP allocation of Tk 574.70 crore was made under this project. An allocation of Tk 400.91 crore has been proposed in the revised ADP. As a result, the allocation for the project is reduced by Tk 163.69 crore.
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