Rural water supply, 4 other development projects get Ecnec nod


Dhaka, Dec 22: A Tk 1,882.59-crore project for the improvement of water supply and sanitation in arsenic and iron-hit 98 upazilas of 30 districts was cleared by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday along with four other development projects.

The approval came from the weekly meeting held at the NEC Bhaban in the city’s Sher-e Bangla Nagar area virtually with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. She joined the meeting from her official residence Ganobhaban.

“Five projects of three ministries were approved. The total estimated cost of the projects is Tk 3,308.36 crore (only additional costs of three revised projects were counted here),” Planning Division Senior Secretary Md Ashadul Islam told reporters after the meeting.

Of the amount, Tk 1,245.35 crore will come from the government exchequer, Tk 20.98 crore from the own fund of the agency concerned and the rest Tk 2,042.08 crore as project assistance from foreign sources, he said.

About the “Rural Water Supply, Sanitization and Health Code in Development of Human Resources” Project, member (Physical Infrastructure Division) of the Planning Commission Md Mamun-Al-Rashid said the Public Health Engineering Department will implement the project from January 2021 to December 2025.

He said the project has been undertaken to supply safe water through pipelines in villages in the arsenic and iron-hit areas and set up sanitary latrines for the poor and install wash services at schools and community clinics in the project areas.

Another objective of the project is to construct handwash stations at schools and places of mass-gathering to prevent the spread of Covid-19, he said.

To implement the project, only Tk 50.83 crore will be borne from the GoB fund. The rest Tk 1,831.76 crore will come as project loans from IDA and AIIB.

The major project operations include implementing 78 large piped water supply schemes, 3,364 piped water supply schemes at community level, 352 public sanitation and hygiene facilities, some 500 sanitation and hygiene facilities at community clinics, some 780 running water facilities at community clinic toilets, installing 3,51,270 toilets for the extreme poor and installing 882 handwashing stations to prevent Covid-19.

Talking about another fresh project endorsed by the Ecnec, member (Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Institutions Division) of the Planning Commission Md Zakir Hossain Akanda said the project titled ‘Narsingdi District Rural Infrastructure Development’ involving Tk 795.16 crore will be implemented by June 2023.

He said the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) will execute the project aimed at accelerating industrial, agricultural and non-agricultural economic activities through the development of roads and other infrastructures in Narsingdi.

320,000 prepaid gas metres to be installed

Besides, Ecnec cleared the second revision of Installation of Prepaid Gas Metre (2nd revised) project with additional cost of Tk 254.9 crore extending the project deadline till December 2022.

The original project cost was Tk 712.1 crore, which was revised to Tk 498.94 crore but was raised to Tk 753.84 crore later as some 1,20,000 additional prepaid metres will be installed under the project, said member (Industry and Energy Division) of the Planning Commission Nasima Begum.

She said a total of 320,000 prepaid gas metres will be installed under the project.

Quoting a Titas Gas Ltd survey, Nasima Begum said that installation of such prepaid gas metres reduced the household consumption of gas on average.

On average, a family uses 78.12 cubic metres of gas through a two-burner stove and needs to pay Tk 975 per month, she said.

Under the prepaid coverage, on average a family uses 48.06 cubic metres of gas with a double burner stove and pays Tk 605 on average a month, she added.

The meeting also cleared the first revision of the land acquisition for constructing sewerage system in Khulna metropolitan with an additional cost of Tk 116.54 crore and extended the project deadline to June 2021 instead of June 2019.

Another revised project is “Extensive Development of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology” with an additional cost of Tk 259.12 crore.

The project deadline was also extended till June 2022 in place of June 2020. The original project cost was Tk 340.13 crore, which now stands at Tk 599.3 crore in the first revision.