• Monday, Jan 24, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Cost of canal project up by Tk967 crore in 3 years for delay in implementation

  • Published at 01:17 am December 9th, 2018

The canal from Baraipara of Bahaddarhat to the Karnaphuli River was recommended in the drainage master plan formulated by Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) in 1995

Cost of canal excavation project went up by Tk967 crore within three years due to delay in implementation.

Initially the project cost was estimated at Tk289.44 crore. Later, on August 13, 2015, the project got administrative approval at Tk326.85 crore and the implementation period was fixed at  July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017.  

In January of 2017, the project was revised and sent to the concerned ministry at Tk615.26 crore. On July 18 this year, the LGRD Ministry gave the final approval to the mammoth project with an outlay of Tk1256.15 crore that shows a budget increase of Tk967 crore.

With a view to addressing the city’s perennial water-logging problem, the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved a project of excavating a new canal from Bahaddarhat Baraipara to the Karnaphuli River on June 24, 2014. Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) is implementing the project. 

The canal from Baraipara of Bahaddarhat to the Karnaphuli River was recommended in the drainage master plan formulated by Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) in 1995. However, the recommendation has not been implemented in the last 23 years.

According to the CCC, about 10 hectares of land is required for constructing the 2.97km long and 65-feet wide canal. Also, two roads with a width of 20 feet and pavement with a width of 6 feet, will be constructed on the two sides of the canal.

Why the project deadlines were extended

According to CCC engineers, project implementation was delayed mainly due to fund crunches and tangles related to land acquisition.    

Land acquisition is a cumbersome process. The compensation was one and a half times more for acquiring the land when the project was initially approved. As per the new land acquisition rules, the owners receive  three times more compensation, CCC engineers said.

It is the task of district administration to acquire land for any project and the money has to be paid in full. The corporation authorities failed to pay for the land acquisition due to fund constraints. As a result, the project cost rose to four times  the initial cost.

CCC Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin said: "This time, the project will be implemented within the deadline. With the excavation of the new canal, the water retention capacity of the city will be increased and eventually the long-standing water congestion problem will be resolved. Besides, the canal excavation project will have a positive impact on the communication, trade, and commerce of the port city which will also expand."

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