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ECNEC approves poverty reduction project for 14 northern districts

DHAKA, Mar 5, 2013 (BSS) - The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) today approved a development project aimed at reducing poverty and accelerating growth in 14 northern districts through development of rural communication, infrastructures and expanding services to the people.

The project titled "Northern Bangladesh Integrated Development Project" will require Taka 2,706 crore. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide Taka 2,128 for the project.

The approval came from the ECNEC meeting held at the NEC conference room in Sher-e-Banglanagar with ECNEC chairperson and
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The ECNEC approved a total of six development projects including the poverty reduction project involving a total cost of Taka 4,507 crore, said Planning Division Secretary Bhuiyan Shafiqul Islam while briefing reporters after the meeting.

"Of the total cost, Taka 1,431 crore will come from the national exchequer while the remaining Taka 3,076 crore will come as project assistance," he added.

The Northern Bangladesh Integrated Development Project includes development of about 1,000 kilometer union and upazila roads, rehabilitation of 300 kilometer roads at Upazila level and construction of about 3,000 meter bridge/culverts at upazila and
Union levels.

Besides, development of 70 growth centers and 74 hat-bazars and maintenance of nearly 1,300 kilometer road have also been included in the project.

ECNEC also approved a revised project for widening and reconstructing of 118 bridge/culverts on 12 national and regional
highways in order to ensure safe communication. About 4,500 meter
bridge/culvert would be constructed under the project called 'Eastern Bangladesh Bridge Improvement project' with a cost of Taka 1,188 crore.

The other projects approved in the meeting are: Establishment of Jessore Software Technology Park" (Taka 48 crore-GoB); (Construction of Bangla Academy Staff Quarters" (Taka 53 crore- GoB); 'Rehabilitation and Expansion of Existing Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System of National Gas Grid under GTCL (Taka 294 crore, Taka 54 crore GoB and Taka 240 crore PA) and 'Development of Gournadi-Agaljhara-Paysarhat- Kotalipara- Gopalgonj including Gopalgonj Bus Terminal link road (1st revised)' project (Taka 218 crore-GoB).

Ministers, Advisers to the Prime Minister, Members of the Planning Commission, Secretaries and Officials concerned were present in the meeting.