The government has decided to build a new cantonment at the Padma Bridge project site and the army has sought Tk 1,774 crore over four years to build the security installations for the bridge.
The government is going to divert money from sluggish and low-priority development projects to fund the construction of the new cantonment.
Planning Minister AHM Mostafa Kamal had a meeting with high officials of the Bridges Division and top Bangladesh Army officers yesterday where they decided to form a committee for managing the funds.
The committee, comprising secretaries of planning, high officials of the Bridges Division and high-ranking army officers, would identify the projects that would have their funds diverted and figure out other ways to fund the cantonment construction.
The army had previously sought Tk 1,200 crore for the same cantonment but the cost went up due to high prices of land and cost of land development.
It is seeking 326 acres of land -- 250 acres in Janzira and another 76 acres in Mawa -- for the cantonment.
Bangladesh has eight division-strength cantonments and 20 smaller cantonments that the army term brigades, battalions or units. However, planning ministry documents term it cantonment.
The Padma cantonment would be one of the smaller cantonments that would accommodate the 99 Composite Brigade, formed in September last year. This brigade has an engineer construction battalion and two infantry battalions.
The engineer construction battalion would be employed for construction supervision and the infantry battalion would provide security to the project elements.
The Bridges Division has already handed over 15.75 acres in Mawa and 11.77 acres in Janzira to the army. The Bridges Division would give the army another 88 acres soon and the remaining land would have be acquired.
The Padma cantonment would be built by June 2018. It would have barracks for more than 3,300 soldiers, homes for 560 families of soldiers, homes for 81 families of officers, an officers' mess and a mosque.
In recent years, the government had given the army 1,800 acres of forest land to set up a cantonment in Ramu. Earlier this year, it also decided to build another cantonment in the southern region.