Bangabandhu Shilpanagar: Govt takes a big bet involving Tk 4,347.21cr

Dhaka, Feb 03 (UNB): The government has cleared a Tk 4,347.21-crore project to develop Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpanagar as a green economic zone at Mirsarai in Chattogram and Sonagazi in Feni to attract private investment.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the project at a meeting held at the NEC Bhaban in the city on Wednesday.
Ecnec Chairperson and also Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the meeting, joining it virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.
The meeting approved eight projects with an overall estimated cost of Tk 11,324.33 crore (only additional costs of two revised project were counted here),” said Planning Minister while briefing reporters after the meeting.
Of the total project cost, Tk 5,140.39 crore will be borne from public funds while Tk 18.12 crore will come from the funds of the agencies concerned and the rest Tk 6,165.82 crore as loan from foreign sources, he said.
About the Shilpanagar development project, the Planning Minister said Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) will implement the project titled ‘Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpanagar Development’ with an estimated cost of Tk 4,347.21 crore by December, 2025.
Of the project cost, Tk 379.74 crore will come from the government of Bangladesh portion, while Tk 3,967.47 crore from IDA of the World Bank.
According to the project factsheet, the main project objectives include creating private investment-friendly atmosphere through infrastructural development in Zone-2A and 2B and surrounding zones of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpanagar, and developing the industrial estate as an environment-tolerant green economic zone.
The major project operations include land development (990.41 acres: 100 lakh cubic metres), resilient site upgrade (earth preparation of 1.23 lakh cubic metres, tree plantation in 1.27 lakh square metres and tree-guards), construction of an investor club (6,000-sq metres), one stop service (OSS) centre, one mosque, emergency response centre, skilled development centre, drainage infrastructures, childcare and emergency health service centres and 30 km of roads, installation of sanitation and water supply network (40km), telecommunication network (25km) and electricity network (33km) and gas pipeline network (28km), and construction of security boundary walls (40km).
Talking about another approved project titled ‘Vehicle Operation Training’ involving Tk 105.94 crore, the Planning Minister said some 40,000 drivers will be imparted trainings under the project as there is a great demand of the drivers in the country.
At least Class-8 healthy qualifiers will be entitled to receive the trainings, he said.
The four other fresh projects are ‘Flourishing female entrepreneurs for Economic Empowerment at Grassroots Level’ with estimated cost of Tk 427.98 crore, Infrastructural Development of 10 Municipalities under Tangail district with Tk 272.34 crore, Development of Eco System towards creating digital entrepreneurs and innovation with Tk 353.06 crore, and Cent percent reliable and sustainable electrification at Hatia, Nijhum and Kutubdia Dips (islands) with Tk 384.36 crore.
The two revised projects are ‘Construction of important bridges on rural roads (1st revised)’ with an additional cost of Tk 2,530.43 crore and ‘Dhaka Environmentally Sustainable Water Supply (1st revised)’ with an additional cost of Tk 2,903.01 crore.
The cost of bridge project was raised to Tk 6,457.19 crore in the first revision from Tk 3,926.76 crore in the original project. The project deadline was extended till June 2024 instead of June 2021.
The estimated cost of water supply project was raised to Tk 8,151.07 crore in the first revision from Tk 5,248.06 crore in the original layout. Its deadline was extended till June, 2022 in place of December, 2019.