The government has undertaken a project to repair the road infrastructure, damaged in Cyclone Amphan as well as floods and heavy rains in the country, at an estimated cost of over Tk5,905 crore.
The meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the project on Tuesday. The government will bear the entire expenses of the project.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting held at the NEC Conference Room in the capital's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar. In a press briefing after the meeting, Md Ashadul Islam, senior secretary of the Planning Division, gave details of the approved projects.
He said the meeting passed three new projects as well as amendments to two ongoing projects. The implementation of all these projects will cost more than Tk7,505 crore.
Of the total expenditure, more than Tk7,426 crore will come from the government's own funds and the rest from foreign sources in the form of project assistance.
Planning Commission Member Mohammad Zakir Hossain Akanda told reporters that the project would rehabilitate over 2,388 kilometres (km) of upazila roads, over 2,274km union roads, nearly 1,535km rural roads and 78km RCC roads.
In addition, 268 bridges of a collective length of nearly 4,632 metres and 239 culverts of a total length of more than 692 metres will also be rehabilitated or reconstructed.
The Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) will implement the project in 355 upazilas under 55 districts of the country, said Zakir Hossain.
He also said the project would be implemented to facilitate marketing of products grown in the affected areas by saving both transportation costs and time through a sustainable road maintenance.
Besides, the implementation of the project will be completed by 2023 with the objective of keeping the rural economy afloat by directly and indirectly creating rural employment in the agro- and non-agro sectors through repair and rehabilitation of the road infrastructure.
According to the project proposal, 200 bridges and culverts were damaged by Cyclone Amphan. Meanwhile, 154 upazilas of 33 districts of the country went under water for 43 consecutive days due to continuous rains, causing extensive damage to many roads, bridges and culverts.
The LGED, along with public representatives from across the country, collected data on damaged roads and culverts caused by two major natural disasters in just three months.
On the basis of the data, the government has undertaken the project for the development of areas affected by Cyclone Ampan, floods and heavy rains.
During the briefing, the planning secretary said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had issued instructions, at the Ecnec meeting, for the completion of the road repair work in quick time. To this end, the prime minister has directed ensuring coordination among ministries, departments and agencies of the government.
Among the other projects approved at the meeting, a project to protect Gaibandha's Katlamari under Fulchhari upazila, and Gobindi and Haldia areas under Saghata upazila will cost an estimated Tk798 crore.
The government also approved the first amendment to the project, entitled "Important Rural Infrastructure Development Project: Barishal, Jhalakati and Pirojpur Districts," at an estimated cost of Tk1,255 crore. Initially, the project cost was set at Tk950 crore.
Another approved project, "Development of Khulna City Corporation's Waste System", will cost approximately Tk393 crore.
Besides, the first amendment to the ongoing "Construction of Sheikh Hasina Sangskritik Palli" project was approved at the Ecnec meeting, raising the cost by almost Tk127 crore to over Tk229 crore