ECNEC approves Tk 1,417 cr for REB aiming to 3.20 lakh new connections

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Dhaka, May 10: The government is contemplating to give 3.20 lakh new rural power connections under the Rural Electrification Board (REB).

Against the backdrop, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved the expansion of rural electrification operations in Sylhet division project alongside developing physical facilities at the REB headquarters with Tk 1,417.10 crore.

The approval was given at the 30th ECNEC meeting of the current fiscal year held at the NEC conference room chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

A total of seven projects were approved involving an overall cost of Tk 5,727.40 crore, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told reporters after the meeting.

“Of the total project cost, Tk 2,769.35 crore will come from the national exchequer, Tk 9.99 crore from the organisation’s own fund while Tk 2,948.06 crore from project assistance,” he said.

Of the approved seven projects, six are new while one is a revised project.

The Planning Minister said Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) under the Power Division will implement the expansion of rural electrification operations in Sylhet Division project by December 2018.

Of the total project cost of Tk 1,417.10 crore, Tk 1,407.11 crore will come from the state exchequer while Tk 9.99 crore from the organisation’s own fund. The project will be implemented at six Palli Bidyut Samities under four districts of Sylhet division — Habiganj, Moulvibazar, Sunamganj, Sylhet-1, Sylhet-2 and Netrakona Palli Bidyut Samities.

Mustafa Kamal said REB provided some 1.50 crore power connections through setting up 3,01,000 km of lines considering the overall development of the power system in Sylhet region as of March 2016.

The main projects activities include setting up of some 7,300 kilometer 33 KV lower voltage line, construction of some 12 new power sub-stations, some 19 power sub-station augmentation, construction of three switching stations, some 7.65 acres of land acquisition, constructing a six-storey office building with a 10-storey foundation at the BREB headquarters.

The ECNEC meeting approved another project titled ‘pro poor slum integration project (PPSIP) with Tk 304.25 crore in a bid to improve the lifestyle of the low-income group in selected pourasava and city areas alongside improving the standards of formal settlement.

Of the total project cost, the government will provide Tk 59.35 crore while the World Bank will provide the rest of Tk 244.90 crore as project assistance.

National Housing Authority under the Ministry of Housing and Public Works will implement the project by March 2020 to be implemented at Comilla City Corporation, Sirajganj Pourashava and Narayanganj City Corporation.

The main project operations include construction of tertiary infrastructures for 19 communities, construction of primary and secondary infrastructures in three cities, ensuring environmental and social mitigation system in three project areas, community mobilisation for the project operations, appointing design and supervision consultant, monitoring and evaluation consultant and land acquisition.

The Planning Minister said the project aims to enhance the capacity of underprivileged communities of this three areas so that they could live a better life through ensuring better sewerage facility and safe drinking water.

The ECNECmeeting also gave nod to capital dredging of Pashur Channel project from Mongla Port to Rampal Power Plant with Tk 166.50 crore in a bid to conduct capital dredging in Pashur Channel to maintain its navigability.

Under the project, some 38.81 lakh cubic meters of dredging will be conducted from Mongla Port to Rampal Power Plant so that the marine vessels having 7.5 meters of draft could easily transport imported coal for the Rampal Power Plant. Mongla Port Authority under the Shipping Ministry will implement the project by December 2017.

The other projects approved at the meeting are construction of 17 regional passport offices with Tk 107.61 crore, protecting Charfashion poura town under Bhola district from river erosion of Meghna with Tk 209.04 crore, Bangladesh scouting expansion and construction of Scout Shatabdi Bhaban with Tk 122.10 crore, secondary education quality and access enhancement project, 3rd revised with Tk 3,400.80 crore.

Ministers and State Ministers, Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned were present at the meeting.

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