ECNEC approves Tk 5,883.74cr digital connectivity project

Published : 23 Nov 2021, 17:14

Sahos Desk

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) today approved a Taka 5,883.74 crore big project to establish broadband internet connectivity all over the country.

The broadband internet connectivity will be set up across all the 8 divisions, 64 districts, all upazilas, all unions and even up to village-level to reach the government services easily and speedily to the people.

The approval came from the 6th ECNEC meeting held today with the ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The Premier joined the meeting virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence while Ministers, State Ministers, Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned attended it from the NEC Conference Room in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said that a total of 10 projects were approved today involving an overall estimated cost of Taka 29,344.27 crore.

"Of the total project cost, Taka 11,003.30 crore will come from the government of Bangladesh portion while Taka 18,932.04 crore as project assistance," he said.

Of the approved 10 projects, seven are new while three are revised projects.

The planning minister said the Department of Information and Communication Technology under the ICT Division would implement the project titled "Establishing Digital Connectivity" involving an overall estimated cost of Taka 5,883.74 crore by June 2025.

Of the total project cost, Taka 2,505.16 crore will come from the Bangladesh government while the rest of Taka 3,378.58 crore as project assistance from China.

The main objectives of the project are to reach the government services speedily and with ease and comfort after transforming those into e-service and thus establishing necessary ICT infrastructures to increase the use of ICT in the country.

The project also aims to stretch the fiber optic connectivity to the village-level from the union-level.

Under the project, some 1,09,244 broadband and user connectivity would be established, some 10,000 Sheikh Russell digital labs would be set up, central server infrastructures would be installed for accommodating some 555 Digital Service and Employment Training (DSET) centers while field-level cloud file services and digital storage would also be set up.

Besides, some 10 digital village stations would be set up as well as a 21-storey "DoICT Tower" will be constructed in the city's Purbachal area alongside constructing 492 non-residential buildings.

Under the project, a good number of entrepreneurs would be created in the ICT sector.

The CRVS central ISDP server will be set up under the project to implement Civil Registration and Vital Statistics operations.

Planning Commission officials said the project operations also include establishing 57 specialised labs, central cloud platform, and frontier technology center of excellence, expanding LAN, NOC facilities with IT infrastructures at district and upazila complexes.

Besides, there will be a digital literacy center having all necessary ICT infrastructure facilities like ICT lab, smart virtual classrooms and distance learning platform.

Referring to the approval of the Taka 3,490 crore project to develop elevated roads and physical infrastructures in Haor region, the planning minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the authorities concerned especially the LGED to implement the project if necessary in coordination with the Bridges Division.

Replying to another question, Mannan said although the ECNEC meetings did not take place frequently over the last few months due to the pandemic, but the government is not afraid of slowing down the development works spree as a good number of projects are in the pipeline for approval.

State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said that the Prime Minister suggested for forming a development authority in Matarbari for overall management since various development operations are being carried out there centering the coal-fired power plant.

About the additional cost involvement of Taka 15,870.42 crore in the Matarbari 2X600 MW ultra super critical coal-fired power plant, Planning Commission member Sharifa Khan said that the additional cost would mainly ensure deep sea port facilities there.

She informed that around 98 percent of the additional cost there would be utilized for ensuring deep sea port facilities.

Sharifa also said that there is no problem of coordination regarding implementation of the project while the power plant is expected to go into operation in 2024.

The other projects approved in the meeting are : Modernization of Bangladesh Marine Academy through infrastructure restructuring with Taka 114.97 crore, Upgrading Aricha (Borangail)-Gheor-Daulatpur-Nagarpur-Tangail regional highway into due standard and width with Taka 1,635.10 crore, Widening and development of national highway at Narail town portion with Taka 179.99 crore, Rural Transport Improvement Project-II, 3rd revised with no additional cost involvement, Development of important rural infrastructures at Sylhet Division, 1st revised with an additional cost of Taka 239.93 crore, Rehabilitation of Polder No-14/1 in Khulna district with Taka 1,172.31 crore, Disaster risk management extension (component-1, BWDB portion) with Taka
757.81 crore.

Source: BSS

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