Fast-track projects back in fast lane
Although fast-track projects had previously witnessed slow implementation for various reasons including the pandemic, they are now progressing gradually, according to a report.
The Padma bridge project is nearing completion, said the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) report.
According to the officials concerned, these projects are likely to be opened to the public by next year.
The Rooppur nuclear power plant project in Pabna recorded physical progress of 39.64 per cent while an estimated 38.18 per cent of the project fund has been spent as of September this year.
The government has allocated Tk 18,426 crore for the project from the current fiscal year's annual development programme (ADP). The plant, set to be constructed by 2025, will cost Tk 113,092 crore.
Meanwhile, on October 10, reactor pressure vessels were installed inside the physical structure of unit-1 of the plant, being built with support from Russia.
Md Shawkat Akbar, the project's director, yesterday said 50 per cent of the construction work would be completed by December this year. The construction work had continued during the pandemic, he said.
He also hoped the first unit of the plant would start running ahead of its 2023 schedule and the second unit by the subsequent five to six months.
According to the IMED report, the Padma multipurpose bridge project saw 86.25 per cent of its funding having been spent and physical progress of 88 per cent.
Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) finished installing all the road slabs, linking both sides of the river to the roadway of the Padma bridge, the largest bridge infrastructure in Bangladesh.
The Tk 30,193.39 crore bridge, whose physical works started in November 2014, is expected to be opened to the public in June next year.
The Padma bridge rail link project had witnessed 49.85 per cent of its funds being spent and 44.50 per cent physical progress.
Bangladesh Railway is implementing this rail link project, building a 169-kilometre rail line to connect the capital with Jashore via the Padma bridge at a cost of Tk 39,246.80 crore.
The rail link project was approved in March 2016. But the physical work of the project commenced only in July 2018, mainly due to a delay in signing the loan contract with Chinese Exim Bank. In the meantime, the deadline was extended up to 2024.
Although the revised deadline of the railway project is 2024, the authorities plan to operate trains on the Mawa-Bhanga section on the day the bridge opens.
However, the physical progress of a Maitri super thermal power plant has been estimated at 70.56 per cent while fund expenditure at 70.68 per cent until September.
Bangladesh Power Development Board and NTPC Ltd of India jointly initiated the 1,320-megawatt (MW) power plant in Rampal of Bagerhat at a cost of Tk 16,000 crore.
The physical progress of the Payra port in Kalapara under Patuakhali stood at 83 per cent while fund expenditure of the country's third seaport at 70.19 per cent. The port, which is scheduled to be complete by June 2022, will cost Tk 4,375 crore.
The Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project saw physical progress of 50 per cent for its MRT-6 from Uttara Third Phase to Motijheel, with 73.04 per cent of its Tk 21,985 crore funding having been spent.
Meanwhile, for the 1,200MW coal-powered electricity plant in Matarbari of Moheshkhali, the IMED report showed 59 per cent physical progress and 50.69 per cent of funds having been spent as of September.
The project, funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency, will cost Tk 35,985 crore. It is scheduled to be completed by June 2023.
Another fast track project, the Dohazari-Cox's Bazar-Gundum rail line, saw 63 per cent of its construction having been completed and 32.81 per cent of funds being spent. The railway ministry is implementing the project at Tk 18,034 crore.
Multiple officials concerned with the fast-track projects told The Daily Star that though the progress of the projects was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, now the construction work of the projects are going on in full swing.