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Govt’s economic affairs committee approves Meghna bridge project

  • Published at 01:21 pm August 19th, 2020
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal
File photo of Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The bridge will establish speedy communication between Dhaka, Brahmanbaria and India’s Agartala

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved, in principle, a proposal for constructing a bridge over the Meghna River on the Bhulta Araihazar-Banchharampur road.

The approval came at the 13th meeting of the committee this year, held virtually on Wednesday, with Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in chair.

During the post-meeting press briefing, also held online, the finance minister said the project would be implemented in public-private partnership (PPP) method. Once the project is complete, toll will be collected to recover the cost.

He said through collecting tolls, the government cost can be covered, while the foreign investors can be paid back as well.

The construction project will be implemented under the Policy for Implementing PPP Project through Government-to-Government (G2G) Partnership, 2017. Bangladesh Bridges Authority under the Bridges Division will implement the project.

When its finished, the bridge will ensure easier and smoother communication linking Dhaka, Brahmanbaria and India’s Agartala, via Araihazar and Banchharampur.

Asked about the contract price for the project, Finance Minister Kamal said it would be finalized by the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved another proposal for procuring 17 tug boats under the project “Procurement of 35 dredgers, ancillary marine vessels and ancillary equipment and construction of necessary infrastructures,” being implemented by Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA).

These tugboats and ancillary equipment will be purchased from Dockyard and Engineering Works operated by Bangladesh Navy, through direct purchase.

The finance minister said these tugboats and ancillary equipment would be able to meet the existing demand. “We believe that we will get good quality equipment from here,” he added. 

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