Mega projects involving China, Japan to be completed on time: Momen | The Daily Star
01:02 AM, April 05, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:06 AM, April 05, 2020

Mega projects involving China, Japan to be completed on time: Momen

Even though the progress of some mega projects involving China and Japan has slowed down amid the ongoing coronavirus situation, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said the projects will be completed on time.

"The projects [speed] have slowed now due to coronavirus. I have talked to the Chinese and Japanese ambassadors. They said after the pandemic, they will double the efforts and ensure completion of the projects on time," Momen told journalists at his residence yesterday.

There has been some apprehension that projects like the Padma Bridge and Metro Rail will be delayed as the activities for those have stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Some of the Japanese project officials have returned home due to the government-declared general holiday, but they will return immediately after it is over, the minister said.

He also informed that some of the OECD countries, including Australia and UK, want regular operations of the flights. Especially, the UK has been requesting for flight operations from Bangladesh to Manchester and London routes.

Presently, all flights of Biman Bangladesh Airlines have been suspended.

Last week, the US had chartered a flight for repatriation of nearly 300 of its citizens, including some diplomats and their families.

Another chartered flight with US citizens will leave Bangladesh tomorrow.

UK had also asked its citizens in Bangladesh to return due to the virus outbreak, but many got stuck after Biman suspended its flight operations to London and Manchester last week.

Asked if Bangladesh is considering to resume regular flights to London and Manchester, Momen said a committee comprised of officials from the Prime Minister's Office, and foreign and civil aviation ministries will take a decision in this regard.

"But many expatriate Bangladeshis are saying that it will not be the right decision to resume regular flights at this moment for health reasons," he told journalists.

He pointed out that the initial infection of coronavirus was imported from abroad. If regular flights start now, there will be more people coming and it may not be a wise decision, he said.

The countries that are seeking operation of regular flights themselves have suspended incoming or outbound flight operations, the foreign minister added.

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