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  1. Ecnec clears for upgrading Hatirjheel-Banashri-Demra Highway Independent Online /UNB The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved a Tk 1,209.60 crore project to support work for upgrading the Hatirjheel-Rampura Bridge-Banashri-Shekherjaiga-Amulia-Demra Highway into a four-lane one. The approval came from the weekly Ecnec meeting held at the NEC conference room with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. “Today’s (Tuesday’s) meeting approved nine projects involving a total estimated cost of Tk 4,324.61 crore,” said Planning Minister MA Mannan while briefing reporters after the meeting. Of the total cost, Tk 4,249.09 crore will come from the national exchequer, while Tk 5.68 crore from the own fund of an implementing organisation, and the rest of Tk 69.84 crore will come as project assistance (from Korea Eximbank). Among the approved projects, eight are fresh and the rest one is a revised one. About the Hatirjheel-Banashri-Demra Highway project, the Planning Minister said the Department of Roads and Highways will implement the project titled ‘Public Private Partnership-based Supportive Project for Upgrading Hatirjheel-Rampura Bridge-Banashri-Shekherjaiga-Amulia-Demra Highway into Four Lane’ one by December 2024. Once the 13.50-kilometre highway project is completed, he said, those travelling to and from Chattogram and Sylhet using the highways will be benefited. The main project operations include some 25.47 hectares of land acquisition, compensation and rehabilitation alongside other necessary consultancy and procurement works. Besides, the Ecnec meeting approved a project for conducting dredging at Mongla Port Channel with an estimated cost of Tk 793.73 crore to ensure the necessary depth for handling capacity of ships having 9.5 to 10 metres depth at Mongla Port Jetty. The meeting also endorsed the first revision of Bhandal Juri Water Supply project with an additional cost of Tk 958.85 crore. The total estimated cost of the project now has been increased to Tk 1995.15 crore from the original cost of Tk 1,036.30 crore. The rest six fresh projects approved at the meeting are Procurement of Necessary Vehicles and Equipments for Rangpur City Corporation with an estimated cost of Tk 113.69 crore, Construction of Rajshahi Wasa Bhaban with Tk 65.99 crore; Upgradation of Narayanganj Link Road (from Signboard to Chashara) into six-lane one with Tk 449.58 crore, Agricultural Development at Rajshahi Division through Expansion of Modern Technology with Tk 147.03 crore; Arial Kha River Bank Protection and Dredging under Shibchar upazila in Madaripur district with Tk 394.47 crore; and River Bank Protection near Doarabazar upazila Parishad complex, Rokkhibaor and Betura on the right side of Surma River under Sunamganj district with Tk 191.67 crore.
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