The executive committee of the national economic council on Tuesday approved establishment of a naval base at Kalapara in Patuakhali aiming at safeguarding the country’s third sea port at Payra at a cost of Tk 1,081 crore.
The committee in a meeting on the day also approved several other proposals, including creation of mangrove forests in nine costal districts under Barisal and Chittagong divisions at a cost of Tk 104 crore, strengthening the soil research facility at a cost of Tk 63 crore, establishment of the Sheikh Russel Aviary and Eco Park at Rangunia in Chittagong at a cost of Tk 125 crore and improvement of the runway at the Shah Amanat International Airport, Chittagong at a cost of Tk 540 crore.
Presided over by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the ECNEC meeting, first in the new year, approved 16 new and amended projects proposals with an overall cost of Tk 5,220 crore, of which Tk 4,757 crore come from own resources and the remaining Tk 462 crore from foreign loans.
Planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal at a briefing highlighted the importance of establishing the naval base at Kalapara to ensure safety of the adjacent sea port Payra, being operated since 2013.
He said that the Bangladesh Navy looked after the safety of the port from Mongla and Chittagong, which are 252 and 322 kilometres away from the Payra port.
He noted that the prime minister in 2013 laid the foundation stone of the naval base named after Sher-e-Bangla Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq.
It is projected to be completed by 2021.
The planning minister said that the mangrove tree plantation in nine costal districts under Barisal and Chittagong divisions would be taken to continue the process of obtaining landmasses in the Bay.
Noting that the country obtained over 2,000 square kilometres of landmasses in the Bay in the past two decades, he said that mangrove forests were effective to mitigate challenges of climate change.
Forest and environment ministry would implement the project by 2021, he added.
Another important project the ECNEC approved, he said, was widening 1.056km road in the city’s Mirpur at a cost of Tk 146 crore aiming at facilitating the under constructed elevated metro railway with Japanese assistance.
The Dhaka North City Corporation would implement the project in this year.
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