Oct 18, 2012

Chittagong Hill Tracts: Meeting Gives Go-Ahead To 10 Development Projects

Massive investment in community development in the form of education, health and infrastructure services intended to extend the goal of social equality to some 160 000 families.

Below is an article published by BDNews24.com:

The highest economic policymaking body of the Bangladeshi government on Tuesday 16 October approved a project involving a cost of Tk 3.20 billion for the development of the social and economic condition of the people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

The approval came from a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) at the NEC conference room of the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar with Prime Minister and ECNEC Chairperson Sheikh Hasina presiding over it.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Acting Planning Division Secretary Bhuiyan Shafiqul Islam said the meeting gave the go-ahead to a total of 10 development projects involving Tk 16.38 billion.

He said Tk 11.06 billion will come from the government exchequer and the remaining Tk 5.32 billion from donors.

A Planning Commission statement said the project titled 'Integrated community development in Chittagong Hill Tracts area' was proposed as the third-phase project in the light of knowledge and experience of two previous projects completed in the hill tracts.

It said the project would help continue with the development in education, health, nutrition, and water and sanitation sectors in the hill tracts. It also aims to create 'social equality through ensuring the facilities among the distressed communities of the hill areas'.

Under the project, some 160,000 families will be provided with education, health and other services through the existing 4,000 rural centres and 500 new ones to be constructed.

The statement said about 162,000 children would have the opportunity to enrol at primary schools after completing the pre-primary level studies. Two thousand water sources will be developed and repaired, and 20,000 sanitary latrines distributed among the beneficiaries, it added.

Children, young girls, newly married women, and pregnant and lactating mothers will also be given micronutrient supplements to prevent anaemia or iron deficiency. UNICEF will provide a grant of Tk 1.63 billion for the project.

ECNEC also approved the "Construction of wells at Tetuljhara and Vakurta of Savar Upazilla" project for enhancing the water supply capacity of Dhaka WASA to meet the growing demand for safe water in Dhaka city.

After completion of the project, its 46 wells through Gabtali and Mirpur will supply 150 million litres of water per day. The project cost has been estimated at Tk 5.21 billion, of which Tk 3.69 billion will come from the Korean government as credit.

The other projects approved in the meeting are Extension of Shaheed Sheikh Abu Naser Specialised Hospital Project (Tk 580 million); National livestock and poultry management institute and disease diagnosis laboratory establishment project' (Tk 280 million); Development and expansion of fish cultivation in Chittagong hill tracts region (Tk 680 million); Protection of Alatuli area of Chapainawabganj district from the Padma river erosion project (Tk 1.66 billion); Protection of Bhurungamari-Madargaong road from Dudhkumar river erosion near Shonahat bridge under Bhurungamari Upazilla of Kurigram district and protection of the left bank of Teesta river from Gunaigach to Bazra Senior Madrasah of Ulipur Upazilla project (Tk 420 million); Strengthening Phytosanitary capacity in Bangladesh project (Tk 1.39 billion); Chatmohar-Handial-Humkuria road construction (revised) project (Tk 960 million) and Development of different roads and infrastructure facilities in Khulna City Corporation project (Tk 2 billion).

ECNEC members including Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Planning Minister AK Khandker and Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Ministers and relevant Advisors to the Prime Minister, Members of the Planning Commission, Secretaries and other senior officials were present at the meeting.