The government has approved a Tk566.76 crore project to ensure safe take-off and landing at the country's three domestic airports.
Under the project, various development work, including asphalt concrete overlaying and the installment of lighting systems, will be carried out on the runways of the Jessore, Syedpur and Rajshahi airports.
The project along with three others was approved at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday. The four projects altogether will cost Tk3,228 crore.
After the meeting, Planning Division Secretary Asadul Islam and Planning Commission Secretary Zakir Hossain Akand briefed the media over the projects.
They said 280mm-, 210mm- and 270mm-thick asphalt concrete overlaying will be done on the runway surfaces of the Jessore, Syedpur and Rajshahi's airports, respectively.
According to the project proposal, Jessore Airport, established during the Second World War, is being operated as a full-fledged domestic airport where eight to nine aircrafts currently take off and land every day.
Cracks have formed on the surface which need immediate repairing to ensure safe aviation.
Similarly, the runway surface of Syedpur Airport has been severely damaged. Pebbles and stones of the runway's bituminous surface have been displaced and cracks have been created on the runway. Every day, 15 flights take off and land at this airport built about four decades ago.
The condition of Rajshahi's Shah Makhdum Airport, built three decades ago, is no different. Pebbles and stones have been displaced on its runway, too.
In this situation, the runway renovation project, to be implemented by June 2023, of three airports has been approved.
Asadul Islam said while approving the project, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina instructed that sufficient lighting be installed on the runways of these airports so that planes can take-off and land at night also.
"After the construction of special economic zones in different regions of the country is completed, use of these airports will increase a lot. That is why we have to prepare the airports with adequate facilities," he said quoting the prime minister.
Meanwhile, the ECNEC meeting also approved the Land Acquisition and Development Project for solid waste management. The Tk310 crore project will be established at Kadmarsul area of Narayanganj City Corporation.
While approving the project, the prime minister instructed the authorities concerned to ensure that nearby water bodies do not become polluted during waste management.
Quoting the prime minister, Asadul Islam said, "Rural roads have been and are being constructed during the tenure of the present government. Economic activity in the village has increased. That is why many heavy vehicles are now also plying on the rural roads."
The secretary said the prime minister has asked to make proper use of the allocation made for the construction of these roads. At the same time, she directed that the monitoring programme be intensified.
The prime minister gave the directives while approving Rural Infrastructure Development (revised) Projects at a cost of Tk2,109 crore for Madaripur, Shariatpur and Rajbari.
The meeting also approved irrigation expansion projects of the greater Dinajpur and Joypurhat districts through surface water development at a cost of Tk251 crore.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Hasina said priority should be given to ensure food security by increasing food production. She also asked that necessary measures be taken to retain river water for irrigation work.