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MoRTB seeks ‘double’ fund in FY19 than planned allotment

Munima Sultana | Published: March 02, 2018 09:53:14 | Updated: March 04, 2018 10:16:52


Picutre used for representational purpose.

Ministry of Road, Transport and Bridges (MoRTB) has placed almost double demand than the government's proposed allocation in the budget for the next fiscal year (FY), 2018-19, on the ground of keeping the country's road network safe and usable.

Sources said Roads Transport and Highways Division (RTHD) recently placed the demand for Tk 380.39 billion to the Ministry of Finance (MoF), assessing the need for implementing a number of 'fast track' and new projects as well as maintenance of the existing road network.

The amount is about 90 per cent higher than the MoF-proposed allocation for the organisation in FY 19. MoF earlier proposed an allocation of Tk 216.66 billion for RTHD in the next FY. RTHD was allocated Tk 196.97 billion in the current fiscal.

Sources said RTHD placed the demand, still under the scrutiny of MoF, on the basis of the requirements of its agencies concerned, mainly Roads and Highways Department (RHD).

Among its two other agencies, Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) placed a demand for Tk 35.97 billion, as it will start work on two more metro-rail projects.

On the other hand, Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) placed a demand for Tk 6.0 billion for implementing two projects.

Official sources said RHD will need the higher amount, as it has planned to complete 30 projects and undertake 46 new projects during the period from July 2018 to June 2019.

Among the new projects, Dhaka-Sylhet Highway four-lane project will require the government fund due to failure in negotiation with a Chinese company.

Besides, RHD has to carry out 67 ongoing projects.

The sources said the agency placed a demand for Tk 22.63 billion from the non-development fund for necessary maintenance of the existing road network, damaged amid prolonged flood and incessant raining during July and October last year.

RHD was allotted Tk 18.01 billion for the periodical road maintenance work in the current FY.

In the next FY, RHD also included a project for conducting road maintenance work in 10 zones under the annual development programme (ADP), they added.

In the revised budget for the current fiscal, RHD demanded Tk 12.24 billion from non-development budget on the ground of making the road network fit after flood and rain.

An RHD official, however, said the agency has already made record in implementing 100 per cent of the ADP since FY 2013-14. The additional fund has been claimed to continue the trend in future also.

smunima@yahoo.com

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