2020-01-16 22:57:58 BdST

PM to assess 10 'fast-track' projects Sunday

The PM-headed 'fast-track project monitoring committee'


Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is going to review the current status of 10 ongoing 'fast-track' mega projects on Sunday for streamlining their implementation, officials said on Tuesday.

The PM-headed 'fast-track project monitoring committee' is likely to add two-three projects and programmes to the 'fast-track' list in its fifth meeting, to be held at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) next week.

The premier will sit with the project implementing authorities after three years of its last (fourth) review meeting in 2016, they said.

Meanwhile, the 'fast-track project monitoring taskforce', headed by chief coordinator for SDG Affairs in PMO Zuena Aziz, will sit with the implementing agencies today (Wednesday) for taking necessary preparations of the review meeting with the PM.

The Economic Relations Division (ERD)'s additional secretary Dr. Pear Mohammad said the PM-headed monitoring body will sit with the agencies concerned for resolving problems to push up implementation of the mega projects.

"Since the PM is going to review the present status of 10 mega projects after three years of her last meeting, we are considering it very important for expediting their implementation," he said.

The ERD is assigned to provide secretarial support to the PM-headed monitoring committee.

Another senior official at the ERD said they have received request to include recently approved metro-rail-1 and metro-rail-5 construction projects in Dhaka as well as Matarbari-Maheshkhali development programme in the fast-track list from the ministries concerned.

"The Matarbari 1,200-MW coal-fired power plant has already been included as a fast-track project. Now the government is going to undertake some 17-18 development projects in Matarbari-Maheshkhali Island, all of which will be proposed to include together as a programme in the fast-track club."

"We will place the proposals before the PM. She will give decision on whether or not those two projects and the programme will be included as fast-track ones with the existing 10 projects," the official also said.

"We have already taken reports on implementation status of all 10 projects from the ministries concerned. The ERD secretary will submit the report to the PM on Sunday."

"Some projects are on track, and some are behind target due to different factors. We hope the PM's meeting will streamline implementation of all of the projects," he added.

After an initial delay at the start, at least five out of 10 ongoing fast-track mega projects are going on duly, giving a push to the country's overall development scenario.

Floating LNG Terminal in Maheshkhali, one of the ten fast-track projects, has already been completed.

Besides, the US$ 2.5-billion Padma Bridge, Russia-supported $14.14-billion Rooppur nuclear power plant, Japan-supported $4.5-billion Matarbari coal-fired power plant, and $2.74-billion Uttara-Motijheel metro-rail projects have momentum in implementation.

However, the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-supported $2.25-billion cost Dohazari-Cox's Bazar-Gundhum railway line, China-supported $4.37 billion Padma Bridge railway link, and the multi-donor-supported Paira deep seaport projects still have some problems in execution.

Besides, the 1,320-MW Rampal coal-fired power plant project near the Sundarbans has also faced initial delay amid massive criticism from environmentalists.

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