The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) today approved eight development projects involving Taka 1,591 crore including one for strengthening the capability of Bangladesh Coast Guard.
"Enhancement of Operational Capability of Bangladesh Coast Guard" project would help strengthening its surveillance activities in the country's inland water and maritime boundaries to thwart any kind of illegal activities as well as human trafficking in the sea.
The approval came at the 28th meeting of the ECNEC held at the NEC Conference Room in city's Sher-e-Banglanagar with ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Planning Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal briefed the newsmen about the outcome of the meeting. He said the government will bear Taka 1,565 crore from the national exchequer while the organizations concerned will contribute the remaining Taka 25.50 crore from own fund.
Speaking on the project of Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG), Mustafa Kamal said: "the government has taken the project involving Taka 468 crore to protect the national resources in the sea and ensure its effective uses."
Under the project, three inshore patrol vessels, six high-speed boats, one floating crane, office equipment and furniture would be procured.
Kamal said the government has put concentration to strengthen the capacity of BCG to secure the 710-km long costal belt and the economic zone in the maritime boundary, which has been expanded to over 200 nautical miles in the Bay of Bengal.
"The strengthening of BCG with modern equipment and vessels would also help it to ruin human trafficking in the sea," he added.
Apart from the 16 districts, 131 upazilas and 14,578 villages in the country's coastal belt, there are a huge number of char lands and islands. So, BCG has the huge responsibility of protecting illegal fishing, illegal movement and smuggling in country's maritime boundary.
BCG is entrusted to implement the project by August, 2018 in its headquarters (Dhaka), eastern fishing port (Anwara, Chittagong), western zone (Mongla, Bagerhat) and southern zone (Bhola).
Replying to a query, the planning minister said: "the Prime Minister has directed us (ministries) not to run any renovation work of riverbank during the erosion in rainy season, rather she (prime minister) ordered to implement the works during winter season to minimize the losses."
"We will complete all the process including tender in rainy season and start the work in dry season," added Kamal.
The other projects approved by the ECNEC are: Road widening and development from Rajshahi Kalpana Cinema Hall to Talaimari Crossing (TK 127 crore), Road Development of Baburhat-Matlab-Pennai, 2nd phase, (TK 134 crore), Bridge Construction on Shitalakkhya River at Charsindure on Gazipur-Azmatpur-Itakhola road (TK 119.98 crore), Development of Animal Husbandry in South-Western Region (TK 55.48 crore), Right Embankment Protection of Jamuna River at Kazipur Upazila in Sirajganj District (TK 420 crore), Permanent Renovation of the parts of the affected polder No 54/1A, 64/1B and 64/1C at Bashkhali upazila in Chittagong District (TK 209 crore) and Protect the Bhurungamari-Madarganj road from erosion of Dudkumar River in Bhurunghamari upazila, protect the Gunaigachh to Senior Madrasa road from the erosion of Teesta River in Ulipur upazila in Kurigram District (TK 54.84 crore).
Ministers and state ministers attended the meeting while members of planning commission and secretaries concerned were present.