The total cost of the project now stands at Tk39,246.80 crore
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) has approved a revised budget for the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project, adding Tk4,257.94 crore to the total project cost of Tk34,988.86 crore.
The total project cost now stands at Tk39,246.80 crore, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told reporters on Tuesday.
The revised budget of the project, along with 15 others, was approved at Ecnec's weekly meeting held at the NEC conference room on Tuesday, with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in chair.
Speaking at the post-meeting press briefing, the planning minister said the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project aims to establish rail links between Dhaka and Jashore through the Padma Multipurpose Bridge, which is currently under construction.
Of the latest estimated cost, Tk18,210.11 crore will be funded by the government, while the rest will be provided by China as project assistance.
The project will be implemented by June 2024, according to the project documents.
“A total of 16 projects were approved with an estimated cost of Tk96,235 crore,” he further said, adding that 12 of these projects are new.
Of the overall cost, Tk52,685.05 crore will come from government funds, Tk43,221.17 crore from donors as project assistance, and Tk328.55 crore from the funds of the government agencies concerned, the planning minister said.
Among the projects are the 4th Primary Education Development Program (PEDP 4) worth Tk38,397.16 crore, to be implemented by the Directorate of Primary Education by June 2023.
Of the project's estimated cost, the government will provide Tk25,591.57 crore, while the rest will come from donors.
Kamal said the government is giving importance to primary education as the primary education sector needs continued and further investment, because it is essential to strengthen the base to keep up the pace of human resource development.
The main project operations in PEDP 4 include providing teaching-learning-education equipment and textbooks in due time, appointment of 165,174 teachers, providing foundation, ICT and other trainings to teachers, and construction of 39,000 male wash blocks and 39,000 female wash blocks.
The planning minister further said the prime minister had asked the authorities concerned to focus on teaching foreign language alongside Bangla at the primary level as it is easy for children to learn several languages at young age.
She also emphasized dissemination of knowledge about basic traffic rules among children at the primary level, he added.
Another project that was approved is establishment of effluent treatment plants (ETPs) in 14 state-owned sugar mills.
Kamal said the sugar mills can remain in production just for three months a year for lack of sugarcane in the country, so the prime minister has asked the relevant authorities to utilize the sugar mills as refineries when they are not in production.
This project is estimated to cost around Tk85.10 crore will be implemented by June 2020.