Project Rush at ECNEC: 35 more lined up for nod | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 04, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:46 AM, November 04, 2018

Project Rush at ECNEC: 35 more lined up for nod

More than 35 projects, mainly involving police, rural and urban infrastructure development, are likely to be placed for approval before a special Ecnec meeting today.

The government wants to pass the projects right away apparently to appease law enforcers and other voters ahead of the upcoming national election, said planning ministry officials.

The Election Commission is likely to announce the polls schedule soon.

Ministry officials worked extra hours on the weekend yesterday to prepare documents related to the projects. Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal was also in the office, the officials said.

Till yesterday afternoon, papers on 33 projects were sent to the minister for his approval needed for placement of the projects in the meeting of the Executive Committee of National Economic Council, they said, adding, four to five other projects might also be placed for approval.

Today's meeting is scheduled to be held at the planning ministry. Usually, Ecnec meetings are held on Tuesdays.

'POLICE PROJECTS'

Five of the projects involve police. The projects are aimed at building residential towers for policemen, including top officials, setting up a police centre for combating terrorism and other international crimes and increasing Rab's technical capacity.   

Under the projects, 994 vehicles would also be purchased for increasing police capacity, the officials said.

'URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS'

The urban infrastructure development project include: development of infrastructure of Tangail municipality, Tepakhola Lake in Faridpur town and five municipalities in Cumilla, setting up of Bogura-Rangpur-Syedpur gas transmission pipeline, construction of a bridge on the Mathabhanga river near Kushtia-Jhenidah highway, renovation of Ranishankail-Pirganj road portion of the Thakurgaon-Pirganj highway, construction of a bridge on the Punarbhava river and renovation of Birganj-Kaharol highway. One of the project is aimed at digging and developing 100-feet canals on both sides of the Purbachal Ring Road.

RURAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Some of the projects are meant for infrastructure development of rural areas of greater Kushtia, Gopalganj, Faridpur and Dhaka. Some are to renovate road infrastructure damaged by natural disasters in the three hilly districts of Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban.    

Projects related to the development of Paira Port, dual gauge rail line, setting up of medical colleges and development of different universities are also among those likely to be placed before the Ecnec meeting today.

With the national election possibly next month, the government continues to approve, inaugurate, and lay foundation stones of development projects, a move apparently to appease voters.

At least 82 projects involving Tk 88,782 crore were approved last month.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has inaugurated and laid foundation stones of development projects across the country.

Usually, once the election schedule is announced, no projects are approved. So, the officials of ministries and divisions are rushing to the planning ministry to get the green light for their projects.

The Election Commission is set to have a meeting on the polls schedule at its office today. 

The 90-day countdown to the national election began on Wednesday. According to the constitution, the polls must be held by January 28 when the five-year tenure of the 10th parliament expires.

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