As a project under implementation with financial assistance from Japan had remained suspended for four months after the horrific attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan, its contracting organisation claimed Tk502 crore in compensation and for additional security.
Later, the issue was resolved by paying Tk78 crore with the interference of the Prime Minister's Office, the project implementing organisation and the monitoring body.
After approving a proposal at the cabinet committee on public purchase to this end, the money has recently been paid to the contracting organisation, said Project Director and Additional Chief Engineer Abu Saleh Md Nuruzzaman.
The project, which involves construction of a Kanchpur bridge, a Meghna bridge and a Gumti bridge and renovation of the existing ones, with the financial assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) was halted for four months due to the Holey Artisan Bakery attack in July 2016.However, construction of the three bridges at a total estimated cost of Tk8,487 crore completed much before the deadline.
Excluding the compensation amount, the final cost of the project was around Tk1,000 crore less than what had been estimated.
But the murder of nine Italians, six Japanese, a Bangladeshi-origin US citizen and an American national in the militant attack had come as a big blow to the country's economy.
Consequently, works on the ongoing projects under the financial assistance from Jica came to a stalemate as project engineers, advisers and other people concerned from the two countries had left Bangladesh.
Besides, engineers of other countries also followed in their footsteps, resulting in uncertainty in mega projects such as Padma bridge, Rooppur nuclear power plant and Dohazari-Ramu-Cox's Bazar dual gauge project. The loan deal for Padma rail link had also been deferred.
After the attack, Jica President Shinichi Kitaoka expressed his deep condolence and vowed to stay beside Bangladesh for its development.
In spite of the assurance, the government had to slash a record Tk7,000 crore in foreign aid from the Annual Development Programme due to slow disbursement of external funds.
In 2017, during his visit to Bangladesh, the Jica president again assured the government that it would release the funds and help Bangladesh in implementing its ongoing projects. Thus, the stalemate was over.
Planning Minister MA Mannan told The Business Standard that all the mega projects had slowed down due to the immediate impact of Holey Artisan attack.
Now the project works have got pace after the government have been successful in bringing back confidence in donor organisations, project advisers and engineers.
Bangabandhu Rail Bridge Project, which was approved on the day of Holey Artisan attack, received only Tk189 crore out of its commitment of Tk9,734 crore.
"The project will pick up pace when the contract is awarded by March next year," said the planning minister.
The metro rail project was affected most as six of its project officials were killed in the terrorist attack.
After the delay, work on the 19.20-kilometre metro rail restarted and the construction has been going on in full swing.
Jica has committed to provide Tk16,594 crore for the project undertaken at an estimated cost of Tk21,925 crore. Until now, only 30 percent has been released from the total allocated fund. The project authorities said they will finish the remaining 70 percent work by 2030.
For the Matarbari coal-fired power plant, Jica promised Tk28,939 crore for the project worth Tk35,984 crore. As of now, its expenditure is Tk7,696 crore which is 21.39 percent of the total allocation. The Power Division expects to complete the project by 2023.
Recently, Jica has committed for $4.3 billion in loan under two packages. After a $1.8 billion loan deal towards the end of 2018, Jica also signed a deal for $2.5 billion loan at the beginning of 2019.
Another loan deal will be signed soon.
Under the new packages, two new metro rails will be constructed, and the ongoing projects will be implemented too.
The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) has recently approved the projects at a cost of total Tk93,799 crore. Jica will provide Tk68,561 crore.