Ecnec approves five revised projects
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday endorsed the third revision of a project to develop the approach road to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park in Gazipur.
In its third draft, the project cost has been set at about Tk 242 crore, up a whopping 344 per cent from the original estimate of around Tk 70 crore.
The project duration was initially scheduled for between January 2017 to December 2019 but following three revisions so far, the completion date has been pushed back until December 2022.
After the first revision, the project cost jumped 128 per cent to about Tk 160 crore while the second revision drove it up another 49 per cent to Tk 239 crore.
The third draft of the project received the council's approval at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the NEC conference room.
With this, the Ecnec approved five revised projects yesterday, pushing up the collective completion costs by some Tk 654 crore.
As such, the five projects will now cost a total of about Tk 3,142 core, up 35 per cent from the original estimate of Tk 2,320 crore.
The project to widen the approach road to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park was included on the list in a bid to reduce traffic congestion in the area, according to Planning Minister MA Mannan.
"However, the frequent revision of projects is really disappointing," he told reporters after the meeting.
Mannan went on to say that the prime minister has directed all concerned to stay ahead of potential issues, including land acquisition, so that projects are complete in the stipulated time instead of being revised.
Under the existing master plan for the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park, the Forest Department in Gazipur has been implementing a project to eliminate traffic congestion on both external and internal roads.
In addition, the local Forest Department is working to ensure the safety of visitors as well as local wildlife, and develop more recreational facilities as a part of its efforts to maintain an international standard at the park.
The meeting also approved the first revision of the "Netrokona-Bishiura-Ishwarganj Road Development" initiative, increasing the project cost by Tk 220 crore and duration by one year.
The project will now cost about Tk 481 crore, up 84 per cent from Tk 261 crore initially.
According to the project summary, the cost rose due to increased expenditures on land acquisition and compensation, and the groundwork for new roads and dams.
The project duration has been extended until December 2022 from December 2021.
Similarly, the first revision of "Construction of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Building", has increased project costs by Tk 59 crore with a one-and-a-half-year extension.
The project, which was originally supposed to cost about Tk 203 crore, will now involve around Tk 262 crore as per the revised project guidelines.
The project duration has been extended until June 2022 while it was previously scheduled to be built between April 2018 to December 2020.
A project to establish 16 regional passport offices was also revised to include another office and the upward expansion of four existing passport office buildings, increasing costs by some
Tk 41 crore.