The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved a Coastal Towns Climate Resilience Project (CTCRP) worth Tk 2,580 crore to strengthen climate and disaster resilience in 22 coastal towns or municipalities in Bangladesh.
The approval came from a meeting of the ECNEC held with its Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said a total of eight projects were approved, involving an overall estimated cost of Tk 4,826.21 crore.
“Of the total project cost, Tk 2,341.02 crore will come from the government of Bangladesh, Tk 278.19 crore from the concerned organisation’s fund while the rest of Tk 2,207 crore as project assistance.”
State Minister for Planning Shamsul Alam, Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned were present at the briefing.
The Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) under the Local Government Division will implement the CTCRP by June 2029.
This project will improve climate and disaster resilience in 22 coastal towns by enhancing municipal infrastructure and services that are critical for resilience building, strengthening adaptive capacities and raising awareness.
The project will also develop infrastructure for building climate resilience in coastal towns including infrastructure to improve urban flood risk management such as storm water drainage, nature-based solutions, water body restoration and integrated waste management.
Besides, cyclone shelters with early warning systems will be established, taking into account the needs of the elderly, women, children, and persons with disabilities. Bridges, culverts and roads with storm water drainage will be constructed and rehabilitated.
Officials said a comprehensive set of interventions in six project towns will be implemented to help vulnerable households, especially poor women, cope with climate shocks and develop livelihood resilience. These include climate risk assessment for diversifying livelihoods, household skills and resources mapping, enterprise and employment matching and provision of livelihood training.
The project will strengthen the knowledge and capacity of the Local Government Engineering Department and the project towns in managing climate and disaster resilience.
They will be trained on nature-based and green solutions, gender equality and social inclusion-responsive climate and disaster risk-sensitive master planning, and information technology-based remote monitoring to inform risk-based urban development plans and develop mitigation measures.
The project will also enhance public awareness to prepare for future emergencies and crises.
The day’s meeting approved a project for building a bridge over the Rabnabad River on the 70km Lebukhali-Bauphal-Golachipa-Amragachia Highway with Tk 521.26 crore, the planning minister said.
The prime minister asked the authorities concerned to name the bridge after the river instead of the proposed Golachipa Bridge.
Planning Commission member Satyajit Karmaker said under the Transport Master Plan and Preliminary Feasibility Study for Urban Metro Rail Transit Construction of Chattogram Metropolitan Area (CMA) project with Tk 70.63 crore, a pre-feasibility study would be conducted for introducing metro rail in the port city.
After the pre-feasibility study, a feasibility study would be conducted while an integrated and comprehensive plan would be framed for the transport sector of Chattogram, he said.
In reply to a question, Planning Division Secretary Mamun-Al-Rashid said that efforts are on involving all the ministries and divisions to form a specific guideline for conducting feasibility studies so that they could decide which firms would be able to conduct feasibility studies.
He said a good number of projects in the agriculture sector are under process at the Planning Commission while those have been included in the Annual Development Programme (ADP).
Replying to another question, Mamun said efforts are on how to minimise the trend of revising projects time and again. A move is already underway to review the performances of those project directors under whom development schemes witness the most revisions, he added.
The other projects approved in the meeting are upgrading four district highways into due standard and width under Cumilla Road Division with Tk 1,023.52 crore, installation of third submarine cable for expanding the international telecommunication system in Bangladesh, first revised with an additional cost of Tk 362.07 crore, time extension of modernisation of jail security in Dhaka, Mymensingh and Chattogram divisions, first revised with an additional cost of Tk 17.98 crore, national information and communication technology development (Info Sarker, third phase) project, third revised with an additional cost of Tk 101.