The government has approved a Tk319-crore project to ensure and improve road safety by developing a traffic infrastructure in areas under the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC).
Under the project, escalators will be installed at foot-overbridges in 16 places in Dhaka North, with each escalator costing Tk1.18 crore. The DNCC will complete the project by June 2023.
The 13th Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) meeting of the current fiscal year approved three projects, including this one, worth over Tk5,189 crore.
Among them, one is a fresh project, entitled "Road Safety Including Development of Traffic Infrastructure in Dhaka North City Corporation", and the other two are revised projects.
Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined the virtual meeting from her official residence, Ganobhaban, while other Ecnec members were connected from the NEC Conference Room in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.
Of the total cost for three projects, over Tk2,270 crore will come in project assistance and the rest from the government and local funds, said Planning Division Senior Secretary Md Ashadul Islam while briefing journalists following the meeting.
The new project has been approved with the aim of easing the movement of people and traffic, curbing traffic congestion and enhancing road safety in planned ways, he told the media.
Under the project, escalators will be installed at different foot-overbridges on Sonargaon Janapath, Uttara's Jashim Uddin Avenue, Rabindra Sarani, Begum Rokeya Sarani, Gulshan Avenue, Airport Road, Pragati Sarani, Dhanmondi's Asad Avenue and Satmasjid Road.
Thirty-six new foot-over bridges will also be built under the project at an estimated cost of over Tk2.50 crore for each. Besides, 47 foot-over bridges will be repaired at a cost of over Tk9 crore.
Other major project operations include road development, construction of roadside drainage and pipe drainage, development of footpath and road median, installation of MS grill fencing, SS grill fencing and traffic signs, Ashadul said.
The planning division senior secretary said the prime minister has also given the relevant authorities some instructions, urging all to ensure a timely completion of all projects.
Sheikh Hasina said newly appointed secretaries and project officials should be briefed well about ongoing projects so that the pace of work does not slow down, Ashadul mentioned.
The head of government also directed the authorities concerned to make arrangements to retain normal water passage by building necessary bridges and culverts in order to avoid waterlogging in the city.
"We must preserve our water bodies because these are our lifeline and protect the groundwater levels," Ashadul Islam quoted the prime minister as saying.
She further said that implementation is delayed at times due to lawsuits over projects. Whenever a case is filed, the relevant ministry should take immediate action so that the implementation is not hampered in any way, Ashadul Islam told the media.
Meanwhile, the Ecnec also approved the revised project, Development of 4-Lane Elenga-Hatikumrul-Rangpur Highway.
The cost of the project has increased by 40% (Tk4,763 crore) due to the addition of some new components, including land acquisition cost. The original cost of the 190km road was set at Tk11,899 crore.
The third project approved is the Sonapur (Noakhali)-Sonagazi (Feni)-Jowarganj (Chattogram) Road Development Project.