The executive committee of the National Economic Council at a meeting on Tuesday approved a proposal to bring majority of the capital city and its adjoining district Narayanganj under the smart prepaid electricity regime.
The meeting presided by prime minister Sheikh Hasina at the planning commission approved a Tk 657.95 crore project to be implemented by 2021 starting from this year by Dhaka Power Distribution Corporation.
Planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal at a briefing said that the distribution company would install 8.50 lakh prepaid electric meters at Ramna, Jigatala, Dhanmondi, Adabar, Paribagh, Kakrail, Banasri, Mogbazar, Syamali, Kamrangirchar, Bangla Bazar, Narinda, Postagola and Demra in Dhaka and Fatulla, Sitalakhya and Siddhirganj.
He expected that system loss would be reduced with the installation of the smart prepaid meters.
He also expected that service by the state-owned power distributor would improve and load management would be easier because of better assessment.
On August 7, the ECNEC also approved installation of two lakh smart prepaid meters against the electricity connections run by Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited at Mirpur, Pallabi, Agargaon, Kafrul, Shah Ali, Dhaka Cantonment, Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, Badda, Uttarkhan, Dakkhin Khan and part of Tongi at a cost of Tk 186.50 crore.
According to power division officials, the installation of the prepaid meters would be completed in 2020, allowing the power supply company to complete installation of about 5 lakh prepaid meters out of existing 8.65 lakh connections.
The officials said that the successful implementation of the projects would enable the government to install prepaid meters almost all areas of the capital, a long standing demand by consumers to reduce the hassle faced by them with the post-paid meter regime.
Mustafa Kamal said that eight more projects were approved by the meeting with an overall cost of Tk 3,088.35 crore.
Most of the projects are linked to improvement of the regional highways like upgrading the Nabinagar-Ashuganj Highway (Tk 421.45 crore), Valuka-Gafargaon-Hossainpur Highway (Tk 218 crore), Delduar Higway in Tangaul, Pakulla-Delduar Highway and the Karatia-Basail Zilla Highway (Tk 140.98 crore), Gaibangha-Gobindaganj Highway (Tk 99 crore) and approach rod of the Mahananda Bridge (Tk 255 crore).
The meeting also approved proposals for establishment of integrated education information management system at a cost of Tk 313 crore and capacity enhancement of data centre of police at a cost of Tk 154 crore.
Besides, a Tk 826 crore project would be implemented by 2023 for improving life standard of marginalised people in cities across the country.
The UK aid agency DFID and the UNDP would provide Tk 697 crore and the rest would be given by the government to provide housing, medical and employment to the urban poor.
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