The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved a project for improving security along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Cox’s Bazar to prevent illegal intrusion from the other side of the border.
The project titled ‘Rehabilitation of Polders (67/A, 67, 67/B and 68) along Naf River at Ukhia and Teknaf Upazilas for improving the security on Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Cox’s Bazar’ will be implemented at an estimated cost of Tk 141.65 crore by June 2020.
The project was approved in the regular Ecnec meeting held at the NEC Conference Room, with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal briefed reporters after the meeting, saying the entire cost of the project will come from the national exchequer.
He said controlling flood and improving water extraction system in the project area are also the main goals of the project.
The minister said there are a 47.60-km flood control dam and 46 water extraction infrastructures under polders 67/A, 67, 67/B and 68 built by Bangladesh Water Development Board along the right bank of the Naf River.
The flood control dam and water extraction infrastructures were damaged by natural disasters, including cyclone, flood and excessive rain, in 1991, 2007, 2008 and 2010.
“Border Guard Bangladesh has been using the flood control embankment to resist the influx of Rohingya. It has become difficult for BGB members to continue their border patrolling works as the dam remain damaged,” he said.
The project was taken following the proposal of a technical committee formed in this regard by Bangladesh Water Development Board formed in 2015, he added.
Besides, the 16th Ecnec meeting of the current fiscal year also cleared 13 other projects, including Implementation of Value Added Tax and Supplementary Duty Act 2012 (VAT Online) (2nd revised) Project.
Mustafa Kamal said, “A total of 14 projects were approved at the meeting today involving an overall estimated cost of Tk 6,228.49 crore.”
Of the estimated cost, Tk 5,421.40 crore will come from the national exchequer, while Tk 65.81 crore from the own funds of the organisations concerned and Tk 741.28 crore as project assistance, he said.
Of the 14 projects, nine are new, while five projects are revised ones.
About implementation of the Value Added Tax and Supplementary Duty Act 2012 (VAT Online) (2nd revised) Project, the minister said though the government enacted the VAT Act in 2012, it could not be implemented due to misunderstanding created over it. “It was a more flexible law than those in other countries. But the law was misinterpreted.”
The projects approved at the meeting also include ‘Power Distribution System Development, Comilla Zone Project’ involving the estimated cost of Tk 1,521.76 crore; ‘Excavation of Connecting River to Gaznar Beel, Irrigation Facilities Development and Fisheries Cultivation under Sujanagar Upazila in Pabna (3rd revised) Project’ involving Tk 484.68 crore; ‘Strengthening of Study on Spices Related Crops of Bangladesh’ involving Tk 94 crore; ‘Greater Noakhali district Rural Infrastructure Development Project (3rd phase)’ involving Tk 1,152 crore and ‘Widening of Morjal-Belabo Road and Poradia-Belabo District Highway with Due Standard Project’ involving Tk 107.76 crore.
The remaining projects are ‘Construction of Bogra Town to Medical College Link Road (N-519) Project’ with Tk 105 crore; ‘Installation of GMDSS and Integrated Maritime Navigation System (1st revised) Project’ with Tk 455.96 crore; ‘Gobrakura-Koroitoli Land Port Development Project’ with Tk 67.23 crore; ‘Introduction of Machine Readable Passport (MRP) and Machine Readable Visa (MRV) in Bangladesh (3rd revised) Project’ with Tk 714.75 crore; ‘Learning and Earning Development (2nd revised) Project’ with Tk 319.77 crore; ‘Strengthening Government through Enhancing Capacity of BCS Cadre Officials (2nd phase) Project’ with Tk 240.69 crore and ‘Enriching Chemical Meteorology Infrastructures Project’ with Tk 133.11 crore.