Home Bangladesh Jamuna river route to be reactivated
Bangladesh - November 1, 2023

Jamuna river route to be reactivated

Estimated cost Tk 620.41 cr

Farhad Chowdhury: The World Bank is supporting the development of the Jamuna river waterway. The project is being undertaken as part of the centenary delta plan undertaken by the government. Under this, the Jamuna river will be controlled and the waterways will be developed up to the Indian border. As a result, from Bangabandhu Bridge in Sirajganj to the Indian border at Daikhawa, the jetty will be set up and the navigable area will be maintained for barge movement. For this reason, a project named ‘Jamuna River Sustainable Management Project-1 (Navigational Channel Development)’ is being held yesterday by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC).
According to sources, the total cost of the Jamuna river project has been estimated at Tk 620.41 crore. Out of this, Tk 102.94 crore will be spent from government funds and Tk 517.46 crore from World Bank loan. The total cost of consulting in the implementation of the project has been estimated at Tk 101.14 crore. Out of this, Tk 36.28 crore has been taken for consultancy services and Tk 64.86 crore has been taken for aids to navigation including expert consultancy service.
If you want to know about this, the Minister of State for Planning said Shamsul Alam said that it is a project of Delta Plan. There is a need for such a project. Besides, if you want to take a foreign loan, you will need a consultant. Nothing to say about it.
According to sources, the current government’s last ECNEC (Executive Committee of the National Economic Council) meeting held yesterday. A record 82 projects are being presented in this fiscal year. Among them, there are 44 for regular approval, six for extending the period only without expenditure and 32 projects approved by the Minister of Planning for notification i.e. below Tk 50 crore.
It is said that infrastructure development projects are given more importance to appease the voters ahead of the upcoming National Assembly elections. Before this, around 25 projects were presented at the last Ecnec. Experts say that if the voter appeasement scheme is taken up, financial and planning discipline will subsequently collapse.
Former lead economist of the World Bank Dhaka office Zahid Hossain said Daily Industry that if these projects are taken up in haste with only the approval thought in mind, complications may arise later. If the feasibility study of the project is not done properly, then other plans including design will not be done properly. It will be seen that the project is not ready at the implementation stage. Then again there is danger of revision, extension of term, increase in cost and wastage. If a project is taken up with political considerations, it will definitely not give good results. In this case, the parliament members may be able to tell the voters, we have taken the project. But later there may be pressure on the economy.
In this context, Planning Minister MA Mannan said that regular meetings have not been held for many days. As a result, these projects were accumulated. So, it seems so together. But it is also true that this government is a living government. Therefore, the project should be approved to continue the development activities. In response to a question, he said, it is not yet known whether this is the last one or not. Because there is still time. An attempt will be made whether another meeting can be held on November 4-5.
According to Planning Commission sources, Prime Minister and ECNEC chairperson Sheikh Hasina will preside over ECNEC held at the NEC conference room in Sherebangla Nagar of the capital. Among the projects that are going to come up in it, the most 33 projects are in the physical infrastructure sector. After that 23 projects of Socio-Economic Infrastructure Department. Apart from this, there are 18 projects in the Agriculture-Water Resources and Rural Institutions Department and nine projects in the Industry and Energy Department. The Ministry of Planning had a special focus on approving small projects around the upcoming 12th National Assembly elections. As these are under the expenditure of Tk 50 crores, the planning minister himself approved them. 32 such projects will be presented for information in this meeting. Among them, there are 16 projects in the socio-economic infrastructure department, eight in the agriculture-water resources and rural institutions department, seven in the physical infrastructure department and one project in the industry and energy department.
Some of the notable projects has taken up in Ecnec are – construction of bridge over Meghna-Dhanagoda river on Matlab North-Gazaria road, Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar Highway Improvement Project and Jamuna River Sustainable Management Project-1 (Navigation Channel Development). Besides, conversion of Chittagong-Dohajari meter gauge railway to dual gauge railway. Road development from Beribandh Roy Bazar Sluice Gate to Lohar Bridge on Inner Circular Ring Road. Land acquisition and transfer of utilities for upgradation of Bhanga-Jesore-Benapole highway to 4 lanes. Construction of Mirganj bridge over Arialkhan river on Rahmatganj-Babuganj-Muladi-Hijla highway and establishment of multimedia classrooms in 653 madrasas of the country. Apart from this, there is a project to protect Talbaria under Mirpur upazila of Kushtia district and Komarkandi area of Shilaidah union of Kumarkhaliupazila from Padma river erosion. Rangpur Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (First Revised). Naogaon District Rural Infrastructure Development and Magura District Rural Infrastructure Development and Joypurhat District Infrastructure Development Projects are also in the list.

Check Also

Leverage national consensus to sign basin-based water treaties

Staff Correspondent: Speakers at a discussion meeting on Saturday recalled the Farakka Lon…