PM orders emergency overhaul of bridges

Staff correspondent | Published: 19:25, Jun 25,2019 | Updated: 00:51, Jun 26,2019


Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday asked railways ministry and transport and highways division to locate old bridges for emergency repairs following the derailment of a train that killed 4 and injured more than 100 passengers in Moulvibazar at midnight Sunday.

The directive was given while the PM was presiding over a meeting of the executive committee of the national economic council at planning commission in the capital.

The ECNEC approved 10 projects with an estimated cost of Tk 6,868 crore.   

Planning minister MA Mannan told reporters at a briefing that the PM wanted emergency repairs of the risky bridges and demanded that they should be completed within the current wet season.

PM’s directive came on the heels of the railways minister’s claim that the primary reason for the derailment of the Dhaka Upaban Express was overcrowding.

However, the authorities also acknowledged that the condition of the Barochhara Bridge at Boromchal railway station area under Kulaura upazila was bad.

Planning minister Mannan said that the PM also directed that the railway department followed same design for construction of public buildings across the country.

He said the PM wanted that there would be three separate designs for big, medium and small structures.

The PM praised the national cricket team for winning against Afghanistan in the world cup tournament in England and noted that a welfare fund for sportsmen should be raised so that they would not suffer financial constraint after retirement.

The planning minister said the ECNEC approved proposals for widening a regional highway in Gaibandha at a cost of Tk 425.81 crore and renovation of streets, footpaths and drains of the Gazipur City Corporation at a cost of Tk 3,828 crore.

The government would construct a multi-storied building at the Officers’ Club Dhaka at a cost of Tk 228 crore and a multi-storied government building in Manikganj at a cost of Tk 95, he said.

He also said the government would spend Tk 241 crore to renovate 21 metre-gauge locomotives by implementing a project by Bangladesh Railway.

Besides, the ECNEC also approved project proposals including renovation of the Dhaka Bangabandhu National Stadium at a cost of Tk 98 crore, establishment of a rehabilitation and training centre for distressed children in Gazipur at a cost 81 crore, enhancing capacity of Dhaka Metropolituan Police by implementing a project at Tk 79 crore, improving irrigation system in greater Faridpur by spending Tk 200 crore and upgrading and expansion of electricity transmission system in the west zone by carrying out a project worth Tk 1,687 crore.

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