The renovation costs of 2nd Kanchpur, Meghna and Gumti bridges, expected to open for vehicular movement before Eid, lastly went up to Tk 78.2 crore.
Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal disclosed this while approving the escalated cost at a meeting of the cabinet committee on national purchases at the secretariat.
He said the delay in renovation works of the three important bridges on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway pushed up the project cost by 78.2 crore.
He attributed the delay to an attack by terrorists in the Holey Artisan Bakery in 2016 that killed 29 people, including 18 foreign and Japanese citizens.
The bridge project worth Tk 8,487 crore, including a loan of Tk 6,429 crore from Japan International Cooperation Agency, was approved in 2013.
Mustafa Kamal said the project was almost stalled as the Japanese experts involved in the renovation scheme lost their lives in the Holey Artisan incident.
The finance minister said they have sent back a proposal to purchase a vehicle-mounted mobile interceptor by National Telecommunications Monitoring Centre under the ministry of home affairs.
He pointed out that they sent back the proposal since there was no sufficient study in connection to the proposal.
Last week, the same committee, however, approved a proposal for obtaining a similar item without any tender.
Commenting on the issue, Mustafa Kamal said the previous proposal had adequate information including a study.
Officials said the National Telecommunication Monitoring Centre, or NTMC, has been operating under the ministry of home affairs for the past one decade.
Since 2015, the government decided to increase its capacity by equipping it with modern and sophisticated devices.
Additionally, the cabinet committee on national purchases agreed in principle to a proposal for constructing a 400 megawatt power plant by a consortium of Anlima Textiler Ltd and GE Capital Global Energy.
But it gave the green light on various conditions, including more study on ‘demand capacity’, supply and projection of gas price for next 22 years.
The committee sent back a proposal for appointing contractors in the project of digging a waterway from Chittagong to Dhaka via Ashuganj.
The committee also approved two power related proposals — procurement of equipment from general Electric at Tk 207 for a power plant in Bhola and purchases of equipment at Tk 64.80 crore for the rural electrification board.
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