Bangladesh, French Development Agency sign $303 million credit agreements for 3 crucial dev projects
Bangladesh and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) or the French Development Agency have entered credit facility agreements (CFA) for three crucial development projects, totalling EUR 277 million (approximately USD 303 million). The CFAs were signed on June 22 by Sharifa Khan, secretary to the Economic Relations Division, representing Bangladesh, and Benoit CHASSATTE, AFD country director for Bangladesh. Under the CFAs, AFD will provide EUR 62 million for the BRT project, EUR 175 million for the Chattogram Metropolitan Sewerage Project, and EUR 40 million for the BEST Project. Also Read: BHBFC-AFD hold bilateral meeting on green-featured buildings The first project, known as the Greater Dhaka Sustainable Urban Transport Project (BRT Company Component), aims to establish a sustainable urban transport system in Gazipur City Corporation (GCC). This project will introduce a 20 km Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor — serving as a pilot project to provide a holistic solution for integrated urban mobility. The second project, the Chattogram Metropolitan Sewerage Project for North Kattoli, addresses the long-awaited needs of Port City dwellers. It involves the construction of a sewerage system and wastewater treatment infrastructure for the North Kattoli catchment area, located in the northwest part of Chattogram city. The third project, called the Bangladesh Environmental Sustainability and Transformation (BEST) project, is a joint effort between AFD and the World Bank. It aims to enhance environmental regulations and enforcement in Bangladesh. The project focuses on curbing pollution and improving environmental quality by strengthening the country's technical and administrative capacity. Also Read: France keen on meeting Bangladesh’s needs for green investments: AFD Executive Director AFD, a bilateral development agency responsible for implementing official development assistance on behalf of the French government, has been actively operating in Bangladesh since 2012. AFD’s support encompasses a wide range of development projects, including urban development and infrastructure initiatives such as water and sanitation, public transport, and urban services. They also focus on power and green energy projects, including energy efficiency and renewable power, as well as corporate and social responsibility endeavours aimed at enhancing safety standards and environmental and social performance. To date, AFD has committed EUR 2,101 million in technical assistance projects and has provided Bangladesh with a budget support loan of EUR 300 million, demonstrating its sustained commitment to the country's development. Read More: HCA signed, €609 million in loans approved by AFD for Bangladesh
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader has said that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project – from Gazipur to Dhaka – has turned into a major issue for the government. “There are some complications on this route. The project started before I took office. The current state of this project, which is in disarray, is a result of flawed planning. However, I’ve instructed the project officials to wrap it up at any cost, so that we can open it in March-April next year,” the minister said. Quader made the remarks while talking to journalists after attending a meeting with departmental heads of his ministry at the Secretariat today. Also read: Dhaka BRT girder tragedy: Probe body find 12 reasons for the accident. Asked what actions were taken against the Chinese company responsible for the BRT girder crash (on August 15, 2022) in Uttara, Quader said that although the company has been allowed to complete the construction work, they won’t get any more projects in Bangladesh. Quader, also General Secretary of the ruling Awami League (AL), added that a total of 100 bridges in different parts of the country will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister in the coming days. “The bridges will be opened whenever the PM can manage some time. Before the inauguration, three rallies will be arranged in the Chattogram region, where most of the bridges have been constructed. The first phase of MRT Line-6 and Bangabandhu Tunnel will also be completed soon,” the minister added. Read Dhaka BRT girder tragedy: Probe body find 12 reasons for the accident Replying to a question, Quader said that although the country is facing various crises, it’s still faring better than a lot of other countries in the world. “The government isn’t concerned about foreign exchange reserves as we’ll be able to make payments for 5-6 months with the current reserves. There won’t be any food crisis as we are producing ample food. We’ll also discuss the energy issue with Brunei. In a nutshell, we’re ready to face any crisis,” Quader further said. The minister also reaffirmed the government’s stance that electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used in the next general election which will be held under the incumbent government. Read Dhaka BRT girder collapse: HC issues rule on providing TK 5 cr compensation.
A construction worker of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project died after a crane fell on him in Gazipur’s Chandna Chourasta area on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway on Friday afternoon. The identity of the worker couldn’t be known yet. Some others were injured in the accident. Read: Policeman killed in Naogaon road accident; wife injured Mohsin Reza, a Supplier of Rafiq Enterprize, said that the crane fell off a trailer truck, causing the death of the construction worker. “The deceased’s body has been sent to Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Medical College Hospital morgue for autopsy,” said Maleq Khasru Khan, an Officer In-charge of Gazipur Metropolitan Police’s (GMP) Bason police station.
Construction of Bus Rapid Transit from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Mohakhali is under consideration of the government. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal informed this in his budget speech in parliament on Thursday. Giving a description on mega projects, he said the construction of 46.73 km Elevated Expressway from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kutubkhali on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway is in progress. About 78.94 per cent construction work of the first part (Airport-Banani) has already been completed. The physical progress of the entire project is 43.60 percent. Read: Budget FY23: Education allocation to rise by less than 2 pc of GDP On the other hand, 69 percent of construction of the 20 km Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane from Gazipur to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport has been completed. Mass Rapid Transit in Dhaka Metropolitan City He also informed that the government has adopted a time-bound Action Plan to build an integrated metrorail system of 129.901 km (68.729 km long elevated and 61.172 km long underground) with 105 stations (52 surface and 53 underground) under the Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL). This will comprise 6 metro rail lines to reduce traffic congestion and improve the environment of the Dhaka metropolitan city and surrounding areas by 2030. Following this action plan, the construction of the first ever metro rail system from Uttara 3rd phase to Motijheel, which will be 20.10 km long with 16 stations, is at the final stage. In the meantime, Metrorail has completed its trial run from Uttara 3rd Depo to Agargaon successfully. This part is set to be launched for commercial use by December, 2022. The remaining part from Agargaon to Motijheel part is expected to go on commercial operation by December, 2023. Later on, the finance minister said, it will be extended 1.16 km from Motijheel to Kamlapur. Besides, detailed design works of Southern Route of MRT Line-5 and Northern Route of MRT Line-1 are about to be completed. Read: Budget FY23: Women, children get higher allocation “Hopefully, the construction of MRT Line-1 will start from July 2022. Moreover, the government has also taken up a plan to introduce MRT system in Chattogram city”. He said that with a view to building transport and communication systems that support industry and trade in the country, the government is implementing a number of mega projects, one of which is the Padma Bridge. As a result of the bold steps taken by the Prime Minister, it has been possible to complete the construction work of the 6.15 km long Padma Bridge with the own funds of the government. Another project, construction of the 3.32 km Bangabandhu Shiekh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel under the Karafuli River, is about to be completed and the tunnel is expected to be opened to traffic by December 2022, he said.