Dwasa’s water network dev mega project gets Ecnec nod

DHAKA : The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved the ‘Dhaka Water Supply Network Development’ project involving an estimated cost of Tk 3,182.30 crore aiming to enhance the capacity of Dwasa and thus ensure dependable round-the-clock safe water supply to the city dwellers, reports UNB.
The approval came from the 31st Ecnec meeting of the current fiscal year held at the NEC conference room with its Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said a total of six projects were approved today involving Tk 6,950.23 crore.
“Of the total project cost, Tk 4,146.94 crore will come from the state coffer, Tk 141.59 crore from the organization’s own fund while Tk 2,661.70 crore from project assistance,” he said Of the approved six projects, four are new while two are revised ones, the minister said.
He said Dhaka Wasa, under the Local Government Division, will implement the water supply network development project by December 2021.
Out of the estimated total project cost of Tk 3,182.30 crore, he said, the government will provide Tk 1037.30 crore while the rest of Tk 2,145 crore will come as project assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Under the Dhaka Water Supply Sector Development Project, which is expected to be completed by this fiscal year, some 47 district metering areas have been established and thus round-the-clock water supply for the people of the project areas has been ensured.
As a result, officials said, the misuse of water has come down to a significant level alongside ensuring safe drinking water, making all the subscribers’ connections meter-based. The illegal connections have been legalised resulting in economical use of power at national level and reducing the epidemic of various water-borne diseases.
The official said under the Dhaka Water Supply Network Development Project more 82 district metering areas would be established in the rest of the areas under the capital and thus help attaining the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The project also aims to bring all the citizens, including low-income people and slum dwellers, under legal water supply connections and thus ensuring the basic rights of the people living in the metropolis area.
The Planning Minister said pre-paid metering system would be introduced gradually to control misuse of water.
The day’s Ecnec meeting also approved a project titled ‘Installation, Upgradation and Conversion of Existing 33 KV Overhead Lines into Underground Cables in Desco area’ involving a cost of Tk 568.80 crore in a bid to modernise the power distribution system in the capital through setting up underground cable lines in some selected areas.
The move also aims to increase the longevity and reliability of the power distribution system under the Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (Desco) areas.
Desco under the Power Division will implement the proposed project by June 2019 at an estimated cost of Tk 568.80 crore.
Of the total project cost, Tk 110.32 crore will come from the state exchequer while Tk 99.92 crore is expected to come from the Desco’s own fund and the rest of Tk 358.55 crore from China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The project would be implemented in Mirpur, Uttara, Tongi, Dakkhinkhan and Digun areas of Dhaka and Gazipur districts.
Mustafa Kamal said the project also aims to reduce the System Average Interruption Duration Index and System Average Interruption Frequency Index in the power distribution areas under DESCO.
The main project activities include setting up 33 KV 85 kilometre underground cables and constructing cable trench.
Meeting sources said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the meeting asked the authorities concerned to formulate maps and preserve those on which areas have the underground power cables.
She also suggested incorporating training facilities for the foreigners apart from increasing the physical facilities and research activities at the BRRI.
The other projects approved in the meeting are Construction of 64 chief judicial magistrate court buildings at all the district headquarters, 1st phase, 2nd revised with Tk 2,388.27 crore, capacity enhancement and rehabilitation of 132/33/11 KV grid sub stations of Desco in Uttara and Bashundhara with Tk 251.36 crore, National Academy for autism and Neuro Developmental Disabilities, 1st revised, with Tk 350.06 crore, physical infrastructure and research activities strengthening of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) with Tk 209.44 crore.
Ministers and State Ministers attended the meeting while Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned were present.