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Cumilla sub-station to help ease Indian power import

ECNEC approves over Tk 95b projects

FE Report | May 30, 2018 00:00:00

The government has approved installation of a high-voltage sub-station in Cumilla for importing 500-megawatt (mw) power from India's Tripura.

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the sub-station project on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting in Dhaka.

Including the sub-station, the 13 projects involve a combined cost of Tk 95.18 billion (9518 crore).

Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told reporters that the ECNEC approved the high-voltage back-to-back sub-station project in Cumilla North for transmitting cross-border power to and from Surjomoninagar of Tripura in India at a cost of Tk 13.42 billion.

He said initially Bangladesh would import 500mw of electricity from the Indian northeastern state for supplying to the local consumers.

Mr Kamal said, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide the lion's share of Tk 10.20 billion out of the total project cost.

The internal resources will make up the rest.

The ECNEC meeting revised the ongoing voter ID card project, enhancing the cost to Tk 18.83 billion.

The original costs were Tk 13.79 billion.

The project was scheduled to be executed between July 2011 and June 2016.

Now the project tenure has been extended upto December 2018.

Under the project smart identity cards are being given to all voters across the country.

Mr Kamal said out of the total costs of the 13 development projects, about Tk 68.54 billion would come from the public exchequer.

Some Tk 25.92 billion will be available as external project assistance.

The implementing agencies will provide the remaining Tk 715.9 million.

Referring to the construction of broad-gauge railway track from Modhukhali to Kamarkhali via Magura at a cost of Tk 12.02 billion, the minister hinted that cricketer Mashrafe Bin Mortaza could be a candidate in the next national polls.

"Mashrafe will certainly contest election in the future," Mr Kamal said.

When asked whether he could be a candidate from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), the minister said, "Please, support him even if he contests election from that party."

Answering another question, the planning minister said cricketer Shakib Al Hasan has been mature enough for contesting election.

"He could also go for election."

The meeting endorsed five separate road widening and strengthening projects in Rajshahi, Khulna, Rangpur, Chattogram and Sylhet zones.

They involve the costs of Tk 7.66 billion, Tk 7.57 billion, Tk 6.54 billion, Tk 6.52 billion and Tk 5.38 billion respectively.

Other approved projects include solar irrigation pump and technology-based jute and jute seed production and construction of a river port at Nagarbari.

Ministers, members of the Planning Commission and high officials of the relevant ministries were present at the ECNEC meeting.

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