Bangladesh nears completion of eight mega projects, spends 2.24 trillion Taka

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Matarbari Coal Power Plant, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, Padma Bridge, Bangladesh, Rampal Power Project, Payra Deep Sea Port,

Despite challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic downturn, the Bangladesh government has remained steadfast in its commitment to the eight priority mega projects. These projects, categorized as fast-track initiatives, have continued uninterrupted regardless of external circumstances. They have received significant budgetary allocations in the 2023-24 financial year, underscoring their importance to the nation’s development agenda. As a result of this sustained focus and investment, approximately 90 percent of these mega projects have been completed. This progress is documented in the Implementation, Monitoring, and Evaluation Department (IMED) report from the Ministry of Planning, reflecting the government’s determination to advance infrastructure development amid various crises.

Bangladesh government’s fast-track projects comprise eight major initiatives: Padma Bridge, Metro Rail, Rooppur Nuclear Power Project, Rampal Power Project, Matarbari Power Project, Payra Deep Sea Port, Rail Link at Padma Bridge, and the Single Line Dual Gauge Track Construction from Dohazari in Chittagong to Ghumdhum in Cox’s Bazar via Ramu. These projects represent key infrastructure and energy developments aimed at boosting the country’s growth and connectivity.

The progress report on the fast-track mega projects indicates that while not all projects are fully completed, many have already been inaugurated. Consequently, the people of Bangladesh are beginning to reap the benefits of these developments. Remarkably, one project has reached 100 percent completion, while several others are nearing their final stages. The remaining projects have also crossed significant milestones and are well on their way to completion.

According to the IMED report, as of March this year, the average physical progress of the mega projects stands at 88.91 percent. While the physical progress is notably high, financial progress lags slightly behind at 76.50 percent. The Padma Bridge project has already achieved 100% completion, setting a significant benchmark. Following closely in progress is the Rampal Power Plant, with over 97 percent of the project completed. The Cox’s Bazar to Ghumdhum railway project has reached 95 percent completion, and the Payra Deep Sea Port is at over 92% completion, reflecting substantial advancements across these key infrastructure initiatives.

According to reliable sources, the total estimated cost for implementing the eight mega projects stands at 3,08,681.05 billion taka. From the inception of these projects until March of this year, a total expenditure of 2,23,980 billion taka has been incurred. Notably, the Rooppur Nuclear Power Project has emerged as the most expensive endeavor thus far, with costs totaling 71,089.40 billion taka up to March. These figures underscore the substantial investments made in these critical infrastructure ventures.

According to sources from the Ministry of Planning, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed that the implementation of these mega projects should not cause any public inconvenience, prioritizing public welfare. The government is committed to accelerating the completion of these key projects. Despite facing ongoing crises, the government has allocated substantial funds to these eight priority projects, which hold the highest significance for the government’s agenda. Even amidst budget cuts affecting other projects, increased allocations have been made for these mega projects in the current financial year.

Regarding the progress of the mega projects, Abul Kashem, the Secretary of the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Department (IMED), stated, “If we aim for large-scale projects, it may cause inconvenience to the public.” He further mentioned that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has emphasized the swift completion of these major projects to minimize public disruption. The projects are under rigorous review, with regular official inspections ensuring that implementation proceeds smoothly and efficiently.

Padma Bridge: Padma Bridge achieved 100 percent completion and was inaugurated on June 25, 2022. As of last March, the project incurred an expenditure of 30,080.28 billion taka, with financial progress reaching 92.26 percent. The total estimated cost for the project’s implementation stands at 32,605.52 billion taka. Initiated in January 2009, the Padma Bridge has now become a pivotal infrastructure milestone for Bangladesh.

Rampal Power Project: Rampal Power Project is nearly complete, with approximately 98 percent of the work finished. The project has a total budget of 16,000 crore rupees, of which 14,971 crores were expended as of last March. Financial progress is at 93.92%, while physical progress has reached 97.61 percent, highlighting its advanced stage of completion.

Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar-Ghumdhum railway project:┬áNinety-five percent of the Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar-Ghumdhum railway project has been completed. The project involves the construction of a single line dual gauge track from Dohazari to Ramu, connecting Cox’s Bazar and extending to Ghumdhum, Myanmar. With a total estimated expenditure of 18,034.48 billion taka, 8,405.65 billion taka has been spent thus far. Financial progress stands at 48.34%, while physical progress has reached 95%, indicating significant advancement in the project’s implementation.

Pyara Deep Sea Port project: Ninety-three percent of the Pyara Deep Sea Port project has been completed, representing significant progress. The project, with a total implementation cost of 4,374 crore taka, has seen an expenditure of 3,781.83 crore taka as of March. Financial progress stands at 86.45%, while physical progress has reached an impressive 92.60%, underscoring substantial advancements in both aspects of the project.

Rail connection work for the Padma Bridge: Approximately 90 percent of the rail connection work for the Padma Bridge has been completed. As of last March, the project has incurred an expenditure of 31,087.39 crore taka. The physical progress stands at around 90 percent, while financial progress is at 81.28%. Scheduled for implementation between January 2016 and June 2024, the Padma Bridge rail link project is making significant strides towards its completion, reflecting its importance in Bangladesh’s infrastructure development.

Metrorail project: 87 percent of the Metrorail project has been completed. The project’s Uttara-Agargaon section commenced in 2012 and was officially inaugurated on December 28, 2022, followed by the opening of the Motijheel section in the previous December. As of March, the project has incurred an expenditure of 23,720 crores. The total implementation cost, including revised estimates, amounts to 33,471.99 crores. This significant progress underscores the substantial advancement of the Metrorail project in enhancing urban transportation infrastructure.

Matarbari Coal Power Plant: Matarbari Coal Power Plant project has advanced to 84% completion. This project is part of the Maheshkhali-Matarbari integrated infrastructure development program, which includes 12 projects. The total estimated cost for the program is 51,854.88 crore taka, with expenditures reaching 39,759.74 crore taka as of March. With 84.5% of the work completed, the project has made significant strides toward its completion. Financial progress stands at 76.68%, highlighting substantial investment in this critical energy initiative.

Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant: Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) project has reached 65 percent completion in terms of physical progress since its initiation. The project has incurred an expenditure of 71,089.40 crore taka to date, with a total implementation cost estimated at 1,13,092.91 crore taka. Despite its significant cost and importance, the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant lags behind other mega projects in terms of progress. Efforts are ongoing to expedite its completion and bring it up to par with the other infrastructure initiatives.

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