Four years have elapsed, but forest department has failed to build a 16-kilometre road at Bangabandhu Safari Park in Gazipur, resulting in a 301-per cent cost overrun.
Yet, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), chaired by the prime minister, revised the project for third time on Tuesday escalating the cost fourfold, officials said.
After the meeting, planning minister MA Mannan told the media that they approved 10 projects, including the third revision of the Bangabandhu Safari Park project.
Although forest department has reduced the scope to construct the road in its proposal, insiders say, cost has been boosted to Tk 2.82 billion from the original estimation of Tk 703.2 million.
The execution deadline has been extended for one more year up to December 2022.
The project, undertaken in January 2017, was programmed for completion by December 2019.
However, the department has failed to complete road construction and development of the project in time and the government escalated the cost to Tk 1.61 billion for the first time.
The implementer failed again and the government uplifted the cost to Tk 2.39 billion and extended the deadline for another year up to December 2021.
Yet, it failed signally.
Mr Mannan said the PM exhorted local entrepreneurs outside Bangladesh to invest in fertiliser output with intent to reduce pressure on resources like gas.
The ECNEC revised five projects and approved five others fresh at a total cost of Tk 46.21 billion.
The ECNEC meeting revised Netrakona-Bishiura-Ishwarganj Road (Z-3710) development (first revision) project at Tk 4.81 billion, construction of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission building (first revision) at Tk 2.62 billion, construction of 16 regional passport offices (construction of revised 17 regional passport offices and vertical expansion of 4 passport offices) (first revision) at Tk 1.28 billion, establishment of Sheikh Hasina Cantonment Barisal (first revision) at Tk 20.30 billion and Bangabandhu Safari Park approach road-widening and other necessary infrastructure development (third revision) at Tk 2.42 billion.
The approved fresh projects are flood and riverbank erosion risk management in Padma and Jamuna rivers at Tk 18.03 billion, establishment of six Bangladesh Industrial Technical Assistance Centre in Gopalganj, Sunamganj, Barishal, Rangpur, Jamalpur and Jashore districts project at Tk 11.33 billion, establishment of urea formaldehyde-85 (UF-85) plant at Tk 7.24 billion, agricultural development of Sylhet region through modern technology project at Tk 2.00 billion and climate-smart agriculture and water management (DAE part) project at Tk 1.06 billion.