Mega projects progressing fast
Golam Mostafa Jibon: Bangladesh has now started to see the bright prospect as the works of different mega projects are going on in full swing with the relaxing of corona pandemic.
Awami League came on power in 2009 and formed the government. Later, it started work on several big projects with long standing plans. Special importance was given to the implementation of different priority based projects of the government. The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself is overseeing the implementation of the projects. As a result, the country has now reached on the verge of getting benefits of some projects including Padma Bridge and Metrorail. The progress of other projects is also satisfactory. The projects are being implemented in full swing after overcoming the corona crisis. The government plans to start commercial operation of the first Metrorail section of Bangladesh from Uttara to Agargaon in December next year. Besides, the Padma bridge will be inaugurated in June of the same year. The Ministry of Planning has announced the progress of eight mega projects including these two. Among the mega projects of the government are: Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project, Metrorail Project, Padma Bridge Rail Link Project, Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar via Ramu and Ramu to Ghumdhum Rail Line Construction Project, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Construction Project, Matarbari Coal Power Plant Construction Project, LNG terminal construction project, Coal-based Rampal Thermal Power Plant Construction Project, Payra Deep Seaport Construction Project and Sonadia Deep Seaport Construction Project.
Planning Minister MA Mannan said, “Once mega projects are launched, the overall scenario of the country will be changed. Per capita income and growth will be increased further. Adequate allocation is also provided in the Annual Development Program (ADB) to reap the benefits of mega projects. The projects are being supervised by the highest level of the government. Hopefully, in a very short time, the whole nation will reap the benefits of the projects like Padma Bridge and Metrorail.”
Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project:
One of the most priority based projects of the government is the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project. The total progress of the Padma Bridge project till October 2021 was 88.75 percent. Under the project, Tk 26,248.59 crore has already been spent. The total cost of the project has been estimated at Tk 30,193.39 crore. The total length of the bridge is 6.15 km. A total of 41 spans sit on 42 pillars of the two-storey bridge. Cars and trains will run on this bridge.
The government has planned to start commercial operation of the first Metrorail section of Bangladesh from Uttara to Agargaon in December next year. The 20.10 km long project will be constructed from Uttara to Kamalapur in the third phase. The overall progress of the project is 72 percent. However, the progress of the project from Uttara third phase to Agargaon is 89.61 percent. The total cost of the project has been estimated at Tk 22,000 crore.
Rail connection project of Padma bridge:
The Padma Bridge rail link project is moving forward with the financial help of China. National and international rail link will be established over the much awaited Padma Bridge through construction of 172 km broad gauge railway line from Dhaka to Jessore. This railway will establish the first railway connection in 23 districts of the southern part of the country. The total progress of the project is 46 percent and the financial progress is Tk 19, 910 crore. The total cost of the project will be Tk 39,246 crore. Of them, China’s debt is Tk 21,036 crore. The rest of the funding will be met from the government treasury. The rail link of the bridge will connect Dhaka, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Shariatpur, Madaripur, Faridpur, Gopalganj, Narail and Jessore. In October 2018, the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the construction of Padma Bridge and Rail Link in Mawa. The project will be completed in June 2024.
Dohazari-Ramu-Ghumdhum railway line project:
Construction of 18 km railway line from Dohazari in Chattogram to Ghumdhum via Ramu in Cox’s Bazar is underway. The progress of the project is 64 percent and a total of Tk 5,980 crore has been spent under the project. The total cost of the project is estimated at Tk 18,034 crore. The external debt of the project will be Tk 13,115 crore and the rest will be repaid from the government treasury. Under the project, the tourist city of Cox’s Bazar will have an oyster-shaped iconic station. Three big bridges are being built over Sangu, Matamuhuri and Bankkhali rivers. A flyover is being built at Kenochia in Satkania. This will facilitate communication with the tourist city of Cox’s Bazar and the deep seaport under construction there. The project will be completed in June 2022.
Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Project:
In December 2015, the government signed an agreement with Russia’s Atomstroy Export to build a 2,400-megawatt nuclear power plant at Rooppur in Pabna. The implementation period of the agreement is seven years. The first unit of the power plant is scheduled to be commissioned in 2023 and the second unit in October of 2024. The power plant will generate electricity for 60 years. The first nuclear power plant of Bangladesh is being constructed at Rooppur in Pabna at a cost of Tk 1,01,200 crore with the cooperation of Russia, where 2400-megawatt power will be generated from two units. The total progress of the project is 40.34 percent. In the meantime, the total expenditure under the project has been Tk 43,978 crore. The project will be completed in December 2025.
Payra deep seaport construction project:
Among the mega projects of the government, the progress of Payra deep seaport construction project is good. In the meantime, the activities of the port have started in moderation. The total progress of the project is 83 percent. The project has so far cost Tk 3,084 crore. The total cost of the project has been estimated at Tk 4,384 crore. The project will be completed by June 2024. The work is also in progress to develop the communication system from Payra to Dhaka. The government’s goal is to complete the channel dredging at a depth of 16 meters by 2023 to build a full port facility. Payra deep seaport is being constructed on Rabnabad channel at Kalapara in Patuakhali district to reduce the pressure on Chattogram port.
Matarbari Coal Power Plant Construction Project:
The government has taken a master plan to build a power hub at Matarbari in Maheshkhali upazila of Cox’s Bazar district. Therefore, not only the power plant, the whole area will be developed as a modern industrial area. The construction of this power plant is expected to be completed by December 2023. The project is being constructed on 1,414 acres of land in Matarbari and Dhalghata Union. The coal-fired power plant will be built using ultra super critical technology. Under the project, two steam turbines with a capacity of 600MW, circulating cooling water station, 275 meters high chimney and water purification system will be installed. A seven kilometer naval channel will be constructed in the river for importing coal. Besides, Jetty will be constructed for loading and unloading of coal.
Matarbari deep seaport master plan:
In August 2015, the government approved a project worth Tk 36,000 crore to build a power plant at Matarbari. Japan International Development Agency (JICA) will provide Tk 29,000 crore for the project. The remaining Tk 5,000 crore will be provided from the government’s own funds. The remaining funds will be provided by the project implementer and proprietor Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited (CPGCBL). The total progress of the project is 60.80 percent. In the meantime, Tk 18,564 crore has already been spent under the project.
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