Four fast-track projects on course
With the much-talked about Padma bridge project nearing completion as only 11 per cent of the construction work remains, the authorities concerned hope to complete the project within the deadline by June next year.
The Padma Multipurpose Bridge project achieved 89 per cent physical progress while an estimated 87.67 per cent of the project fund had been spent as of November, according to a report by the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) on the progress of eight fast-track projects.
Shafiqul Islam, project director for Padma bridge, told The Daily Star that the rest of the physical works include installation of a gas pipe line, electrical works, river training and others.
When asked about the carpeting of the associated approach road, Islam said a little bit of carpeting has been done so far while the rest would be done later.
However, Islam went on to say that there is no possibility to complete the project ahead of the deadline.
Construction of the bridge started in November 2014 to connect the country's south-western region with the capital via road and rail.
Once in service, the 6.15 kilometre-long bridge will connect Dhaka with 21 south-western districts. It is expected to boost the country's gross domestic product by 1.2 per cent.
Counting this project, three other fast-track projects, such as the Rampal super thermal power project, Payra deep-sea port and the Chattogram-Cox's Bazar rail link are among those making good physical progress ranging from 65 per cent to 73 per cent while the other four have witnessed 50 per cent or below, according to the IMED report.
The Dhaka metro rail project, officially known as Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project Line 6, has recorded physical progress of 50 per cent having spent 75.63 per cent of its allotted fund, the report said.
The country's first ever metro rail is set to begin commercial operations in the Uttara-Agargaon section on December 16 -- Victory Day -- next year.
The metro rail authorities will start partial operation of the new mode of public transport with 10 sets of trains, an official said.
Formally known as the Mass Rapid Transit Line 6, the elevated rail line is being constructed between Uttara Sector-3 and Motijheel at a cost of around Tk 22,000 crore.
Once completed, it will be able to transport 60,000 people per hour and would reduce travel time from Uttara to Motijheel from about two hours to just 40 minutes.
Around 73.06 per cent of the construction of the Maitree Super Thermal Power Project (2X660 MW) at Rampal has been completed as of November with 71.95 per cent of project fund, estimated at Tk 16,000 crore, having been spent.
Power Development Board (PDB) officials said the plant would start generating electricity on an experimental basis in March next year while it may add electricity to the national grid from May or June.
The Tk 18,034.47 crore Chattogram-Cox's Bazar Rail Link project saw progress of 65 per cent in its physical works while 33.88 per cent of its allotted fund was spent till November, the IMED report said.
The project aims to bring the tourist town under a railway network and establish connections with the Trans-Asian railway corridor.
The Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project in Pabna recorded physical progress of 42.12 per cent with 40.44 per cent financial progress as of November.
The project is expected to become operational from 2023, months ahead of the scheduled 2024 timeframe, according to its project director Shaukat Akbar.
Originally, the first unit of the nuclear power plant was scheduled to open by 2024 and the second unit by 2025.
Now, the first unit will be running in 2023 and power would be supplied to the national grid accordingly, Akbar told a group of journalists in October.
The second unit will become operational six to eight months after the first unit is opened, he said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the reactor pressure vessel installation work in the first reactor building of the plant on October 10.
The Payra Deep Seaport project, involving an estimated Tk 4,374.47 crore, achieved 83 per cent physical progress and 71.24 per cent financial progress.
Meanwhile, the Tk 39,246 crore Padma Bridge Rail Link project saw 48 per cent physical progress while achieving 51.82 per cent financial progress till November, the report added.