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The Financial Express

Costs of mega projects escalate; RHD demands higher funds

| Updated: January 27, 2021 10:59:21


Costs of mega projects escalate; RHD demands higher funds

The Roads and Highways Department (RHD) has sought 10 per cent higher funds than its allocation to finance some mega projects ahead of the annual development programme (ADP) revision, officials said on Monday.

They said the state-run road developer has sought Tk 189.21 billion, up from Tk 171.87 billion against its allocation during fiscal year 2020-21. The revised ADP is expected to be finalised by next month.

"We have already sent the revised fund demand to the Planning Commission for finalising the RADP for the current fiscal year," said a senior Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges official.

He said since some of their mega projects need higher funds for completing the work in the last half (Jan-Jun) of the current fiscal, they had sought 10 per cent additional funds in the upcoming RADP.

Besides, the government has already approved some fresh projects in the last six months of the current fiscal, which also require the allocation afresh, he added.

According to the current ADP, the RHD is implementing 182 investment projects in the current fiscal for developing transport sector of the country.

A commission official said they have obtained the RHD's higher fund requirements for the RADP.

"We are scrutinising the revised fund demand. After examining the demands, the outlay would be finalised," he added.

The commission has started work on revising the Tk 2.14 trillion ADP for FY2021 as the project implementation performance of the ministries and agencies was weak.

During the first half of the current fiscal, all the government ministries and agencies implemented 24 per cent of the ADP.

The Roads and Highways Division had executed 23 per cent of the ADP in the H1 this fiscal, government statistics showed.

Another RHD official said some of their large projects, including the SASEC-II (Elenga-Hatikamrul-Rangpur 4-lane) project, SASEC-I (Joydevpur-Tangail-Elenga 4-lane) project, Dhaka-Sylhet road's land acquisition project, and the Faridpur-Bhanga-Barisal-Patuakhali road building project.

Among the projects, the RHD has sought Tk 25.50 billion for the SASEC-II project in the RADP, 121 per cent higher than that of the current ADP outlay of Tk 11.50 billion.

It has also demanded Tk 6.10 billion in the upcoming RADP, 39 per cent higher than Tk 4.40 billion allocations in the original ADP.

The RHD has sought Tk 7.96 billion extra funds for the ongoing land acquisition for the Faridpur-Bhanga-Barisal-Patuakhali 4-lane project.

In the ongoing ADP, the road development project secured Tk 4.77 billion worth of allocations.

Similarly, the state-owned road developer has sought 77 per cent higher funds to Tk 23.02 billion for the upcoming RADP for the land acquisition of the Dhaka-Sylhet-Tamabil 4-lane project.

In the ongoing ADP, the project has received an allocation of Tk 13 billion.

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