Tk 665cr to build places of worship

Plans the govt on recommendations from MPs; the project may get Ecnec nod today

Following recommendations of MPs, the government has planned to spend Tk 665 crore for building religious institutions and other establishments in their constituencies.

The government has prepared the three-year project eyeing the next parliamentary elections, say officials concerned.

The project, titled "Universal Social Infrastructure Development", is likely to get approval today at the Ecnec meeting, sources in the planning ministry said.

Each upazila would be allocated Tk one crore (total Tk 491 crore) and Tk 109 crore would be kept as lump sum allocation. The rest of the money would be spent as project related expenditure.

The money, according to the project proposal, would be spent for mosques, Eidgahs, graveyards, temples, crematoriums, churches, pagodas and playgrounds. 

The Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) would build the infrastructures as per recommendations from local lawmakers, upazila and union parishad chairmen.

The project work would begin this year.

Usually, such religious institutions are run with contributions from local affluent people. Small contributions also come from those who are not affluent.

A planning ministry official said lawmakers are often requested by locals for grants for such institutions and if the MPs could manage the donations, their popularity increases manifold.

However, allegations of irregularities in such cases are plenty.

To stop irregularities, another planning ministry official said, various conditions had been fixed. One of the conditions was ensuring the use of digital geographical positioning system (GPS) machines.

Besides, the work has to be done through small projects and the name of specific implementing authority must be mentioned in the detailed project proposal.

Due to the demands of the locals, several other projects eyeing the elections are also under consideration of the planning ministry.

The LGED has sent to the planning ministry a special project for water supply and sanitation. Under the project, each lawmaker would be given Tk 3 crore.

Another project for development of Haat Bazar in rural areas, drawn up following demands of lawmakers, is now under consideration of the planning ministry.

For building roads and small infrastructures in the rural areas, a project was taken during the first term of the Awami League led government and under this, every MP was allocated Tk 15 crore.

In 2015, the second phase of the project started.

The Ecnec approved Tk 6,076-crore for the Priority Based Important Rural Infrastructure Development Project-2. Every lawmaker was allocated Tk 20 crore under this project.

The work of the project started in 2016 but until February 2017   only Tk 1,262 crore could be spent.


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