Korea Expressway Corporation (KEC), a South Korean firm, has received the government’s nod to install and operate the toll collection system for three bridges on the Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga expressway.
“We’ve given our “in principle” approval to the proposal of the Road Transportation and Highway Division to appoint the KEC for installation and operation of the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) on the Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga expressway”, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told reporters after the cabinet body meeting.
Kamal presided over the high-powered committee meeting on Thursday.
Briefing on the outcomes of the meeting Additional secretary of the Cabinet Division Md Shamsul Arefin informed that the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has been funding the project to install the ITS on the Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga expressway to facilitate toll collection from the three bridges including the multipurpose Padma Bridge on the highway in their crossing.
He noted that the KEC will work as a service provider for the operation and maintenance of the ITS where revenue collection will be fully automatic.
The vehicles GPRS system will be utilised in the automatic toll collection system, he added.
Shamsul, however, did not give any detail of the financial involvement in the contract.
He said the proposal will come again to the Cabinet Division for the final approval of the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase where details of the contract will be placed.
Officials said the ITS is a part of the project titled: “Improving the reliability and safety on national highway corridors of Bangladesh”.
The project aims to make the road transport infrastructure of Bangladesh safer, reliable, and sustainable; use ICT for better, efficient and effective traffic management; and enhance the institutional capacity of RHD for road and traffic management.
The officials said the KOICA has been supporting the government with a budget of $8.9 million from 2020-2023 for establishment of ITS master plan, architecture and standard, implementation of pilot project, capacity building of RHD, RTHD and other relevant organizations of the government of Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase in a separate meeting approved a total of 8 procurement proposals.
A proposal of the Roads and Highway Division received approval of the committee for awarding a Tk 251.60 crore contract to National Development Engineers Ltd., to set up a road research and training centre and maintenance work under the Elenga-Hatikamrul-Rangpur highway 4-lane Improvement project.
The Public Works Department’s proposal to award a Tk 65.98 crore contract to the Joint Venture of (1) TBEAL; (2) STI and (3) TEC for construction of a 15-story residential building at Cumilla Police line for Bangladesh police received the committee’s approval.
A proposal of the Education Ministry received the nod of the committee to award contracts to 11 bidders for printing, binding and supply of 1.07 crore books for students of different classes of 2022 at Tk 25.05 crore.
The committee approved a proposal of the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to award a Tk 125.42 crore contract to China Energy Engineering Group Anhui No.1 Electric Power Construction Co. Ltd., for implementing a power distribution project in Kumilla on turnkey basis.
The committee gave nod to a proposal of the Ministry of Parbatta Chattagram Hill-Tracts Affairs to award a Tk 202.33 crore contract to Bangladesh Machine Tools Factory Limited for installation of 40,000 solar home systems, each having 100 watt-peak capacity, and 2500 solar community system, each having 320 watt-peak capacity, at three hill districts.
Three separate proposals of the Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) received the nods of the Cabinet body.
Of these, the BCIC will import 30,000 metric tons of bulk prilled urea fertilizer from Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) at a cost of Tk 119.82 crore with value of each metric ton US$470.
It will purchase 30,000 MT of bagged granular urea fertilizer from Karnaphuli Fertiliser Company at Tk 111.11 crore which each metric ton value at US$431.
The BCIC will import 30,000 mt of phosphoric acid from three firms at Tk 193.17 crore.