Speed up work on expressway
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed the communications ministry to speed up tendering for the contract to construct an elevated expressway in the capital.
Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain said this while replying to lawmakers' queries in parliament yesterday.
He also said the government has taken steps to purchase 30 railcars to introduce commuter train service in efforts to ease traffic congestion in the city.
Besides, it plans to have magnetic trains plying Dhaka-Chittagong route. Bangladesh Railway will soon commission a feasibility study to that end.
About tender process for the expressway contract, Abul Hossain said the prime minister has instructed them to get things moving even if it takes relaxing of some rules and regulations.
The instructions came after a summary of the project was sent to her, he continued.
“The government won't be able to complete the work during its tenure if it should follow the tender rules to the letter.”
The minister said the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) would decide on the project proposal for the expressway on September 20.
On approval from Ecnec, the proposal will be placed before the cabinet, which may relax the rules to avoid delays in getting the work started.
About modernisation of the railway, he said the government has assigned the Planning Commission to draw up a 20-year master plan.
On a query about the proposed Padma Bridge, Abul Hossain said the whole of $460 million pledged by the World Bank for development of the road sector will be spent on construction of the bridge.
The Ecnec-approved proposal for the bridge estimates the construction will cost over Tk 10,000 crore.
But the final scheme design submitted by the consultant organisation puts the price tag at Tk 16,602 crore, he added.
The communications minister said the government will issue bonds to collect funds from the capital market for construction of the bridge, which may take around three years to be complete.
About the proposed Asian Highway, he said national security will be the top priority in implementation of the project.