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ECNEC clears Sheikh Hasina Cantonment project

ECNEC clears Sheikh Hasina Cantonment project

DHAKA: The government launched a project to establish “Sheikh Hasina Cantonment” at Lebukhali along the Payra River in Barisal involving an estimated cost of Taka 1,699 crore.

The main objective of the project is to establish a modern cantonment with all necessary physical infrastructures in line with the “Forces Goal 2030” and strengthening national defense in the coastal areas.

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) yesterday approved the project along with nine other projects in its regular meeting at the NEC conference room in the city’s Sher-e-Banglanagar with ECNEC chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Planning Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal, after the meeting, told media that there is no cantonment in the country’s southern region, especially in Barisal and Patuakhali, although it is needed strategically and on national security grounds. It is also necessary in this region as it often witnesses natural disaster.

In case of any natural disaster, the government has to take support from the Jessore cantonment which is around 200 kilometers away.

Kamal said the proposed cantonment would be set up on some 1,532 acres of land of which some 567 acres of land have already been procured under the revenue budget. So, the government needs to acquire 965 more acres of land.

This project will be implemented by the Ministry of Defense by June 2021, he added.

As per the “Forces Goal 2030”, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on June 25, 2014 approved a proposal for setting up the cantonment at Lebukhali at the middle point of Barisal and Patuakhali.

The ECNEC-approved 10 development projects would require an outlay of Taka 3,333 crore for implementation.

The planning minister said the cost of the projects will come from the national exchequer. “Of the total, Taka 3,318 crore will come from the government exchequer while the remaining Taka 15.27 crore will come from the organization’s own fund.”

Of the 10 approved projects, nine are new while one is revised. Dredging at outer bar of Mongla Port Channel project involving an estimated cost of Taka 712.50 crore has been approved by the ECNEC. Mongla Port Authority will implement the project by December 2019.

The other projects approved were Shalikha (Magura)-Arpara-Kaliganj (Jhenidah) district highway widening and strengthening project with Taka 109 crore, Construction of Goma Bridge over Rangamati River on Barisal (Dinarerpul)-Laxmipasha-Dumki district highway with Taka 57.62 crore, Greater Khulna and Jessore district small irrigation development project with Taka 127 crore, Greater Bogra and Dinajpur district small irrigation development with Taka 89.94 crore, Construction of Bheramara (Bangladesh)-Bahrampur (India) 2nd 400 ki double circuit transmission line (Bangladesh portion) with Taka 189.31 crore, Extension and completing the unfinished works of Jatiya Chittroshala abong Jatiya Sangeet O Nrittakola Kendro with Taka 137.96 crore, Establishment of Jhenidah Textile Engineering College, 3rd revised, with Taka 119.86 crore and Establishment of Institute of Bioequivalence Studies and Pharmaceutical Sciences with Taka 90.69 crore.

Ministers and State Ministers attended the meeting while Planning Commission members and Secretaries concerned were present.

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