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ECNEC approves 8 projects with Tk 48.26 billion

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The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved a Tk 25.80 billion Coastal Towns Climate Resilience Project (CTCRP) to strengthen climate and disaster resilience in 22 coastal towns or pourasabhas in Bangladesh. 

The approval came from a meeting of the ECNEC held on Tuesday with its chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at the NEC Conference Room in the Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area of Dhaka. 

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said a total of eight projects were approved today involving an overall estimated cost of Tk 48.26 billion. "Of the total project cost, Tk 23.41 billion will come from the government of Bangladesh portion, Tk 2.78 billion from the concerned organisation's own fund while the rest of Tk 22.07 billion as project assistance."  

State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam, Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned were present at the briefing, reports BSS.  

The Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) under the Local Government Division will implement the project by June 2029.  

This project will improve climate and disaster resilience in 22 coastal towns by enhancing municipal infrastructure and services that are critical for resilience building, strengthening adaptive capacities and raising awareness.  

The project will also develop infrastructure for building climate resilience in coastal towns including infrastructure to improve urban flood risk management such as stormwater drainage, nature-based solutions, water body restoration and integrated waste management.  

Besides, cyclone shelters with early warning systems will be established, taking into account the needs of the elderly, women, children, and persons with disabilities. Bridges, culverts and roads with storm water drainage will be constructed and rehabilitated. 

Officials said a comprehensive set of interventions in six project towns will be implemented to help vulnerable households, especially poor women, cope with climate shocks and develop livelihood resilience. These include climate risk assessment for diversifying livelihoods, household skills and resources mapping, enterprise and employment matching and provision of livelihood training. 

The project will strengthen the knowledge and capacity of the Local Government Engineering Department and the project towns in managing climate and disaster resilience.  

They will be trained on nature-based and green solutions, gender equality and social inclusion-responsive climate and disaster risk-sensitive master planning, and information technology-based remote monitoring to inform risk-based urban development plans and develop mitigation measures. The project will also enhance public awareness to prepare for future emergencies and crises.  

The day's meeting approved a project for building a bridge over the River Rabnabad on the 70th kilometer of the Lebukhali-Baufal-Golachipa-Amragachia district highway with Tk 5.21 billion, the planning minister said.  

The premier asked the authorities concerned to name the Bridge as per the River Rabnabad instead of the proposed Golachipa Bridge.  

Planning Commission member Satyajit Karmaker said under the Transport Master Plan and Preliminary Feasibility Study for Urban Metro Rail Transit Construction of Chattogram Metropolitan Area (CMA) project with Tk 706.30 million, a pre-feasibility study would be conducted for introducing metro rail in the port city.  

After the pre-feasibility study, then a feasibility study would be conducted while an integrated and comprehensive plan would be framed for the transport sector of Chattogram, he informed. 

Answering to a question, Planning Division Secretary Mamun-Al Rashid said that efforts are on involving all the ministries and divisions to form a specific guideline for conducting feasibility studies so that they could decide which firms would be able to conduct feasibility studies. 

He told another questioner that a good number of projects in the agriculture sector are under process at the Planning Commission while those have been included in the Annual Development Programme (ADP).  

Replying to another question, Mamun said efforts are on how to minimize the trend of revising projects time and again saying that a move is already underway to review the performances of those project directors under whom development schemes witness the most revisions. 

The other projects approved in the meeting are Upgrading four district highways into due standard and width under Cumilla Road Division with Tk 10.23 billion, Installation of a third submarine cable for expanding the international telecommunication system in Bangladesh, first revised with an additional cost of Tk 3.62 billion, time extension of modernisation of jail security in Dhaka, Mymensingh and Chattogram Divisions, first revised with an additional cost of Tk 1.79 billion, National information and communication technology development (Info Sarker, third phase) project, third revised with an additional cost of Tk 1.01 billion and strengthening nutrition and food security through agricultural development with Tk 1.48 billion. 

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