The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday cleared four projects, including a Tk 202-crore one to conserve and develop local species of fish and snail in the country.
The approval came from the 8th Ecnec meeting of the current fiscal year, held virtually with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The Prime Minister, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal and Planning Minister MA Mannan joined the meeting from Ganobhaban through a videoconference, while other Ecnec members were connected from NEC Bhaban.
“The meeting approved four projects of four ministries, including three revised projects. The total estimated cost of the projects is Tk 534.34 crore (only additional cost of the revised projects was counted here),” said MA Mannan at a press briefing.
Of the total cost, Tk 440.94 crore will be borne from the government’s fund, while Tk 93.40 crore will come from foreign sources as project loan, he said.
About the ‘Conservation and Development of Local Species of Fish and Snail Project’, the Planning Minister said it will be implemented spending Tk 202.04 crore by June 2024.
The main objective of the project is to increase fish and snail outputs to 4.46 lakh metric tonnes from 3.86 lakh metric tonnes in the project areas.
The project will be implemented in Gopalganj, Madaripur, Shariatpur, Barishal, Jhalokathi, Pirojpur Barguna and Narail districts as well as two upazilas in Faridpur and Bagerhat districts each.
The main project operations include establishment of 160 fish sanctuaries, repair and maintenance of 240 fish sanctuaries, establishment of 392 farms to display local species of fish, use of appropriate technology, and establishment of 190 beel nurseries.
The Planning Minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was thrilled over the incorporation of snails in this project and she cited that the slaked lime (Chun) is made of snail shells.
The Prime Minister also expressed the hope about the cultivation of oysters as pearls are extracted from those, he said.
About the endorsement of the Urban Resilience Project (URP): RAJUK portion (1st revised) project with an additional cost of Tk 106.75 crore, the minister said a map will be prepared for Dhaka under the project identifying the risky areas which are prone to disasters like earthquakes.
Regarding the first revision of the Infrastructural Development of Rajshahi University with an additional cost of Tk 147.12 crore, he said the project will help meet the accommodation problem of the female students at the university with the construction of new dormitories.
Emphasis is also being given to the project to strengthen the infrastructures of science and agriculture faculties.
Besides, the Ecnec meeting cleared the 2nd revised of the approach road widening and development of other necessary infrastructures of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park, Gazipur with an additional cost of Tk 78.43 crore.
Noting that the entrance of the Safari Park is now narrow, MA Kannan said the entrance will be widened further through acquisition of necessary land.