Out of the government's eight fast track projects, only two -- Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project and the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant - have made a significant headway while the six others marked little progress as of April, 2015.
According to a progress report on implementation of the eight projects, about Tk 6,840 crore has been spent till April, 2015 on the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project, raising its cumulative financial progress to 33.35 percent while the practical progress to 33 percent.
The total expenditure for the Padma Bridge project during the July-April period of the current fiscal year, however, reached Tk 3,387 crore, posting a financial progress of 43.06 percent, while the practical progress 44 percent.
Meanwhile, according to official sources, the Bridges Division has revised the cost of the much-hyped Padma Bridge project, raising the estimated cost to over Tk 28,000 crore.
Originally, the cost of the project was estimated at Tk 10,161 crore when the project was approved in 2007. After the first revision in January 2011, the estimated cost stood at Tk 20,507 crore.
In May, the Bridges Division sent the latest estimate to the Planning Commission, which will soon be placed before the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council for approval.
The report says there has been substantial progress in implementing the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (phase-1) project registering a cumulative expenditure of Tk 3,981.27 crore or 78.27 percent financial progress till April this year out of the total project cost of Tk 5,087.09 crore, while the practical progress was 63 percent.
According to the report, some Tk 264.71 crore has been spent till April this year on Matarbari 2x 600 MW ultra-super critical coal fired power plant project with cumulative financial progress of 0.74 percent out of the overall project cost of Tk 35,984.46 crore. The land acquisition for the project has already been completed.
It says the authorities concerned are yet to determine the estimated cost of the Paira Deep Sea Port construction project. The government is in negotiations with the Chinese government over the construction of this deep sea port as China is ready for financing this project.
Besides, the report says, the work for building a deep sea port at Sonadia in Cox's Bazar would start once the issue of financing is finalised. A techno economic study has already been completed by the Pacific Consultants International (PCI) of Japan for setting up this Deep sea port.
Amid protest from the environmentalists against implementation of Rampal 2 x 660 MW Moitree Super Thermal Power Project, the cumulative expenditure of the project has so far reached Tk 389.2 crore or 2.68 percent till April of this year out of the overall allocation of Tk 14,510 crore.
Besides, the cumulative expenditure of the Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project reached Tk 478 crore or 2.17 percent till April, 2015 out of the overall allocation of Tk 21,985 crore, according to the report.
Meanwhile, Reliance Power has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to develop a 3000 MW LNG combined cycle power project in Bangladesh. The project, with a potential investment of approximately US$3 billion, will be developed in phases with an LNG floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) to supply regasified LNG to the power project.
After the January-5 election last year, the government formed the Fast Track Project Monitoring Committee with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as its head to monitor six fast track mega projects -- MRT line-6 project, Padma Bridge project, Rooppur nuclear power plant project, deep seaport project, LNG terminal construction project, and Rampal coal-fired power plant project -- on priority basis.