The government on Tuesday approved a project allowing Dhaka North City Corporation to install 12,218 LED lights at a projected cost of Tk 120 crore.
Each light set will cost around Tk 98,000 under the DNCC project, aimed at upgrading infrastructure in its newly included 18 wards.
The project proposal was approved in a meeting of the executive committee of the National Economic Council chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the day.
The estimated installation cost for each LED light set in the DNCC is much higher than the projected Tk 64,801 cost of a LED light set in Dhaka South City Corporation and Tk 43,887 in Chattogram City Corporation.
DNCC mayor Atiqul Islam ruled out the observation that the LED light set was overpriced as the set would include the light, cable, breakers, pole and concrete.
He told New Age that they would procure the LED light materials from European countries with a 10-year warranty.
Doubting the warranty period allowed for the LED light materials under the other city corporations, he said that the DNCC would purchase the light and its fittings at competitive prices through open tenders.
The overall DNCC project, which also includes the improvement of pavements, streets and drains, would be implemented at a total cost of Tk 4,025.62 crore and be completed by December 2022, said planning minister MA Mannan at the post- ECNEC meeting press conference.
Answering what measures the panning ministry would take to check overpriced components in the development projects, he said that the PM asked all to shun any misuse of public fund.
The PM also wanted austerity measures obeyed against the backdrop of the COVID-19-induced economic downturn.
The DNCC infrastructure project has been approved at a time when the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant scam is still fresh in people’s memory.
A probe report submitted to the High Court by the housing and public works ministry in July 2019 showed massive corruption in procuring pillows and other articles for furnishing apartments for the Russian experts of the under-construction RNPP project.
The probe detected that Tk 113.62 crore was spent on the household articles for 966 apartments though their actual price was Tk 77.22 crore.
Each pillow was shown to have been bought for Tk 5,957 and Tk 760 was shown as the lifting charge for each pillow.
An electric stove was shown to have cost Tk 7,747 with the additional lifting charge of Tk 6,650.
An electric kettle cost Tk 5,313 and its lifting cost was Tk 2,945.
The public works department purchased each room cleaner for Tk 12,018 with the additional lifting cost of Tk 6,650.
An electric iron cost Tk 4,154 and its lifting cost was Tk 2,945.
Each TV set cost Tk 86,970 with the additional lifting cost of Tk 7,698 while each refrigerator cost Tk 94,250 with the additional lifting cost of Tk 12,521.
MA Mannan disclosed that the ECNEC approved seven other proposals with an overall estimated cost of Tk 10,102.03 crore.
They include a Tk 3,020.06 crore project for agricultural mechanisation through integrated management under the Department of Agricultural Extension, to be implemented by December 2025.
The main purpose of the project are the collection and distribution of some 51,300 machines, including harvesters, rice transplanters, power threshers, dryers, power weeders, power sprayers and potato diggers.
The other approved proposals include the Increasing Production of Oil-Bearing Crops Project worth Tk 278.26 crore, a project to enhance the digital survey capacity of land recording under the Survey Department at a cost of Tk 1,212.54 crore and a land management automation project worth Tk 1197.03 crore.
The ECNEC also approved the Power Supply through Installation of Solar Panels in the remote CHT areas (Phase-I) project worth Taka 217.71 crore and the Development of Power Distribution System, Rangpur Zone (1st revised) project at a cost of Tk 94.92 crore.
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