Implementation of fast track projects speeding fast
Both financial and physical progress of most of the fast track projects are being accelerated at directives made by the new government, officials said.
Several projects are getting good nod in fund disbursement while construction speed of the projects despite time consuming primary works is getting faster.
Currently physical progress of Rooppur Nuclear Power Project (RNPP), Metro Rail and Padma Multipurpose Bridge (PMB) are running well and few like Sonadia Deep Sea Port and others are still in primary stage.
Among the projects Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal is almost complete as it has already started its functioning, a senior official in the ministry of planning said.
He said the related line ministries of the projects are aware about their duties of speeding up implementation of the projects under fast track.
He said Payra Port, Matarbari Power Plant, Padma Bridge Rail Link and Chittagong and Cox's Bazar Rail track are in good progress though initially they faced several difficulties.
Regarding rising costs of the projects as they are missing scheduled dates the planning ministry official said: "We are just to monitor and arrange funds but it the responsibilities of the concerned ministries to expedite implementation."
He said it is usual that missing date lines would enhance project costs.
According to latest statistics, costs have overrun for a several projects due to delayed implementations.
The PMB and Metro Rail both the multi-billion dollar projects was prioritized by the government and was putting on fast track programs since 2013 which are scheduled to be completed in the current year.
But certainly this is not happening and must be extended for them.
The LNG terminal after missing several deadlines experimentally received its first consignments last year but the construction of the second terminal and the gas line between Chittagong and Cumilla still continued.
The PMB has already asked for time extension though it has still this year in hand and its implementing authority Bridges Division has asked its contractor Major Bridge Engineering of China to calculate the time needed to complete the remaining 30 per cent of the main bridge.
As per Bridge division data overall progress of the multipurpose bridge project, including main bridge, river training and approach roads, was 62 per cent in December last year which construction work began in 2014.
The PMB's deadline was extended for fourth time December 2019 and in the mean time its costs has also extended to Tk392.58 billion from initial cost of Tk101.61billion.
The metro rail link is also facing difficulties in fixing its user-friendly fares and scheduled completion deadline of the project is December 2019 for its first part from Uttara to Agargaon.
Physical progress of the metro rail link is about 35 per cent which was time consuming but now its progress would be speed up.
Padma Bridge Rail Link and Chittagong-Cox's Bazar Rail Line are two important fast track projects scheduled to be completed in 2022.
The proposed coal-fired power plant at Matarbari and nuclear power plant at Rooppur are scheduled to be commissioned in 2023 and 2025 respectively.
As per official statistics the overall progress of the coal-fired power plant at Matarbari was 19.71 per cent as of October 2018 while Tk116.77 billion of the estimated Tk1130.93 billion cost for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant was spent until October 2018.
Construction of coal-fired Bangladesh-India joint venture at Rampal in Bagerhat near mangrove forest the Sunderbans is expected to finish by 2021 after its delayed start in 2017.
As per official data overall progress of the project until October 2018 was 16.67 per cent.
The construction of deep sea port in Payra is scheduled to be completed by 2020 after one third of the project was completed until October 2018. The construction of another deep sea port at Sonadia still remains on paper.