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Bangladesh - December 6, 2023

Mega project dreams come to reality in BD

Staff Correspondent: Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar rail service was started on November 30. Earlier, the tunnel under the river Karnaphuli was launched. Before the start of the tunnel, the Metrorail is clearly visible to Dhaka residents. And the Padma Bridge has brought a long dream of the people of South Bengal within reach. During the current government, all dreams have come true in front of people’s eyes. That is, this dream has come true through the implementation of the mega project.
There are several contexts behind the realization of these mega projects. There is a story. This story was told by the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Department of the Ministry of Planning. Not only the story was told, but its context told. A lot of unknown history in the long run.
Starting with the notification issued by the Department of Economic Relations on May 22, 2013 in the light of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s instructions. Several projects have been identified as ‘Fast Track Projects’ to speed up the implementation of public projects of the country. The Fast Track Project Monitoring Committee was formed to monitor that continuity. According to the Bangladesh Gazette published at that time, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was the president of this monitoring committee. Finance Minister, Planning Minister, Lands Minister, Environment and Forests Minister were among the others in the 9-member committee. Apart from this, the Cabinet Secretary, the Chief Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Finance Secretary were included in this committee.
It is learned that the purpose of the Fast Track Project Enrollment has been mentioned, to create the list. At the same time several instructions are given for taking action. Firstly, to speed up the implementation of public projects for the country. Secondly, the listed projects should be monitored through an inter-ministerial committee headed by the prime minister at the highest level of the executive department. Apart from this, forming a task force to identify and solve problems in the way of implementation.
According to the IMED report, the first meeting of the Fast Track Project Monitoring Committee was held on June 16, 2013. 6 projects were put on fast track in the meeting. These projects are, Padma Multipurpose Bridge Construction Project, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Construction Project, Maitri Super Thermal Power Project (Rampal), Matarbari Ultra Super Critical Coal Fired Power Project, Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (Line-6) (Metrorail) Project. Apart from this, MaheshkhaliSonadia is a deep sea port.
As mentioned in the report, some of the 8 fast track projects are of cluster type. That is, there are many projects under an integrated fast track mega project. Again, several projects are not in the annual development program. That is, not included in the program.
Among the mega projects, one of the priority projects is the construction of the Padma multi-purpose bridge. This project is a multi-purpose road-rail bridge built over the Padma river, which was built with Bangladesh’s own funding. The bridge connects Munshiganj with Shariatpur and Madaripur. It connects the south western region of the country with the northern and eastern regions. Padma bridge project expenditure is Tk 32 thousand 605 crore 52 lakh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Dream Bridge on 25 June 2022. It was opened to the public from the next day.
According to the report, the Padma Multipurpose Bridge is considered one of the most challenging construction projects in the history of Bangladesh. It is built on double layer steel truss. It has a four-lane highway on the upper level and a single-track railway on the lower level. Padma river is one of the tidal rivers of the world. In terms of water flow, no other bridge has been built over this river after the Amazon in South America. The flow of water in Padma is 1.40 lakh cubic meters per second. Construction of a bridge over such a turbulent river must be a challenging task, it has been specially mentioned.
The report specifically mentions the success of this Padma Bridge. Among these, the communication time of Dhaka with 21 districts of the southern region has been reduced from 2 to 4 hours. To facilitate direct communication with the capital, expansion of trade, supply of raw materials and industrialization. In addition, it will help increase the annual GDP of southern districts by 2 percent and the overall GDP of the country by more than 1.2 percent. Integrated communication framework will improve. International communication of Bangladesh with India, Bhutan and Nepal will increase. Mongla and Payra seaports will be operationalized to a new level. The number of vehicles plying over the bridge will increase by 7 to 8 percent every year.
The report mentions about Metrorail, people will be able to travel comfortably and safely through the comfortable services of Metrorail. Metrorail will ease the commute of more than 15 million people in Dhaka. At the same time, it will speed up the daily life, which will create a big positive impact on the economy. Apart from this, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, Rampal Power Plant, Matarbari, Payra Deep Sea Port, Padma Bridge Rail Link and other projects have been mentioned.
Several levels of monitoring of the implementation of these projects are specifically mentioned. Among them, land acquisition, utility shipment, import of machinery through the use of ports, including rebates etc. have been mentioned in detail in the report. Apart from this, the activities undertaken at various levels are specifically mentioned.

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