Mahindra Consulting Engineers Limited of India has been appointed as project management consultant (PMC) to establish the government to government (G2G)-based Indian Economic Zone (EZ) in Mirsarai.
To this end, the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza) has inked an agreement of Tk26.66 crore with the consulting firm at Beza's conference room in Dhaka on Monday.
Through the contract, Mahindra Construction will be engaged as a project management consultant for the design and supervision of the project named "Establishment of Indian Economic Zone in Mirsarai" on about 900 acres of land in sub-zone 19 of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar.
The cost of the project is estimated at Tk964.85 crore (including Indian flexible line of credit LOC-3, $115 million). The main work of this project is land development, construction of connecting road, administrative building, security system, water supply system, telecommunication, water treatment plant and other investment friendly facilities.
Earlier on 1 April, the Beza inked a term sheet agreement with Adani Ports and SEZ Limited of India in Mumbai to establish an economic zone at the Bangabandhu Sheik Mujib Shilpa Nagar.
Executive Chairman Beza Sheikh Yusuf Harun, who chaired the program, said, "With the signing of these agreements, the work for the development of Indian EZ in Mirsarai is going to start."
"Mahindra Engineering Consultant has an experience in establishing large economic zones in India. We want to establish an international standard Indian EZ by combining its experience and technical knowledge," he said.
Addressing the programme, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram K Doraiswami said India and Bangladesh have a remarkable friendly and bilateral relationship. The establishment of the Indian EZ will further strengthen the economic ties between the two countries. The implementation of this economic zone will accelerate the economic development of Southeast Asia as a whole.
"Over 350 Indian companies are now registered in Bangladesh. If this economic zone is established, Indian investment in Bangladesh will increase further. Indian companies have the opportunity to invest in automobile industry, food possessing and logistic service in Bangladesh," he said.
Responding to a question, Beza Chairman Yusuf Harun said the consulting firm has to start work within 15 days. And then the next phases of work will be done quickly.
Mokhlesur Rahman, project director for the establishment of Indian SEZ in Mirsarai, told The Business Standard, "We will float a tender soon. Hopefully we can start the main work. 900 acres of land will be developed and a boundary will be built. It will take around three years to complete the project work after floating a tender."
"This contract for the PMC is one of the milestones in the process of implementation of the 'Establishment of Indian EZ in Mirsarai project."
Mahindra Engineering Consultant limited President and Chief Operation Officer C S Narayanan, Senior General Manager Srinivasan A and Chief Manager India Exim Bank Alok Bora were also present at the signing ceremony.
In June 2015, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Bangladesh and the Indian governments to establish the Indian EZ in Mirsarai.