Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved the ‘Modernisation of Telecommunication Network for Digital Connectivity’ project involving Tk 2,573.40 crore in order to construct reliable and modern telecommunication facilities in the country.
The approval came from an ENEC meeting held at the NEC conference room on Tuesday, with its chairperson Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal briefed reporters after the meeting and informed that a total of 10 projects were approved involving an estimated cost of Tk 5,783.4 crore.
“Of the total project cost, Tk 3,296.32 crore will come from the national exchequer, Tk 15 crore from the organisation’s own fund while the rest of Tk 2,472.08 crore from project assistance,” the minister told reporters.
Nine of the ten projects are new and the other one is a revised one.
The Modernisation of Telecommunication Network project aims to offer triple-play services (voice, video and data) through a single network.
Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) under the Post and Telecommunications Division will implement the project by June 2020.
It mainly focuses on establishing modern telecommunication facility expanding tele-density and tele-access as well as information and communication technology services for the people.
Of the total cost, the government will provide Tk 756.12 crore from the national exchequer while the remaining Tk 1,817.28 crore will come as project assistance from China.
The existing BTCL network has been using outdated technology and is only able to offer voice services.
To meet the government’s vision-2021, the government approved the new project to upgrade the existing equipment, replace copper cable-based network by fiber optic cable and modern transmission system of BTCL.
Under the project, three internet protocol multimedia sub-system platforms with the capacity of 16 lakh connections will be installed while copper cable would be replaced by 2,367 km fiber optic cable and 793 km new copper cable would also be installed from transmission.
Other than that, a central monitoring system will also be installed for 24-hour telephone connection, network operation and maintenance.
The ECNEC meeting also approved a project for building the ‘8th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge’ over River Kocha to ensure fast and uninterrupted road communications between Barisal and Khulna.
Roads and Highways Department, under the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges will implement the proposed project by January 2021 with an estimated cost of Tk 821.84 crore. Of the total project cost, the government of China will provide Tk 654.80 crore while the rest of Tk 167.04 crore will come from the state exchequer.
The main project operations include construction of main bridge and viaduct, including river training of 1,493 meters, construction of 16.5 meter small bridge and culverts, some 13.32 hectares of land acquisition, some 37,024 square meter of land development.
The other projects approved at the meeting are Protecting Charbaria area under Barisal Sadar upazila from the erosion of Kirtankhola River with Tk 331.24 crore; vegetables and spices cultivation on floating beds, its extension and popularisation project with Tk 63.17 crore; establishment of 10 secondary government schools project near the capital with Tk 673.46 crore; establishment of Islamic Arabic University project with Tk 413.75 crore; establishment of three regional offices of National University with Tk 119.02 crore; Jinzira-Keraniganj-Nababganj-Dohar-Srinagar highway development with Tk 469.93 crore; preservation of historic sites of War of Liberation and construction of memorial museum project with Tk 178.98 crore and construction of 50 Highway Outposts for Bangladesh Police across the country with Tk 138.61 crore.
Ministers, State Ministers, Planning Commission members and Secretaries concerned were present.