ECNEC approves Tk 5,883.74cr digital connectivity project

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ECNEC approves Tk 5,883.74cr digital connectivity project

 

DHAKA, Nov 23, 2021 (BSS) –

The Executive Committee of the National

Economic Council (ECNEC) today approved a Taka 5,883.74 crore big project to
establish broadband internet connectivity all over the country.

The broadband internet connectivity will be set up across all the 8 divisions, 64
districts, all upazilas, all unions and even up to village-level to reach the
government services easily and speedily to the people.

The approval came from the 6th ECNEC meeting held today with the ECNEC
Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The Premier joined the meeting virtually from her official Ganabhaban
residence while Ministers, State Ministers, Planning Commission members and
secretaries concerned attended it from the NEC Conference Room in the city’s
Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said
that a total of 10 projects were approved today involving an overall
estimated cost of Taka 29,344.27 crore.

“Of the total project cost, Taka 11,003.30 crore will come from the government of Bangladesh portion while Taka 18,932.04 crore as project assistance,” he said.

Of the approved 10 projects, seven are new while three are revised projects.

The planning minister said the Department of Information and Communication
Technology under the ICT Division would implement the project titled
“Establishing Digital Connectivity” involving an overall estimated cost of
Taka 5,883.74 crore by June 2025.

Of the total project cost, Taka 2,505.16 crore will come from the
Bangladesh government while the rest of Taka 3,378.58 crore as project
assistance from China.

The main objectives of the project are to reach the government services
speedily and with ease and comfort after transforming those into e-service
and thus establishing necessary ICT infrastructures to increase the use of
ICT in the country.

The project also aims to stretch the fiber optic connectivity to the
village-level from the union-level.

Under the project, some 1,09,244 broadband and user connectivity would be
established, some 10,000 Sheikh Russell digital labs would be set up, central
server infrastructures would be installed for accommodating some 555 Digital
Service and Employment Training (DSET) centers while field-level cloud file
services and digital storage would also be set up.

Besides, some 10 digital village stations would be set up as well as a 21-
storey “DoICT Tower” will be constructed in the city’s Purbachal area
alongside constructing 492 non-residential buildings.

Under the project, a good number of entrepreneurs would be created in the
ICT sector.

The CRVS central ISDP server will be set up under the project to implement
Civil Registration and Vital Statistics operations.

Planning Commission officials said the project operations also include
establishing 57 specialised labs, central cloud platform, and frontier
technology center of excellence, expanding LAN, NOC facilities with IT
infrastructures at district and upazila complexes.

Besides, there will be a digital literacy center having all necessary ICT
infrastructure facilities like ICT lab, smart virtual classrooms and distance
learning platform.

Referring to the approval of the Taka 3,490 crore project to develop
elevated roads and physical infrastructures in Haor region, the planning
minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the authorities concerned
especially the LGED to implement the project if necessary in coordination
with the Bridges Division.

Replying to another question, Mannan said although the ECNEC meetings did
not take place frequently over the last few months due to the pandemic, but
the government is not afraid of slowing down the development works spree as a
good number of projects are in the pipeline for approval.

State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said that the Prime Minister
suggested for forming a development authority in Matarbari for overall
management since various development operations are being carried out there
centering the coal-fired power plant.

About the additional cost involvement of Taka 15,870.42 crore in the
Matarbari 2X600 MW ultra super critical coal-fired power plant, Planning
Commission member Sharifa Khan said that the additional cost would mainly
ensure deep sea port facilities there.

She informed that around 98 percent of the additional cost there would be
utilized for ensuring deep sea port facilities.

Sharifa also said that there is no problem of coordination regarding
implementation of the project while the power plant is expected to go into
operation in 2024.

The other projects approved in the meeting are : Modernization of
Bangladesh Marine Academy through infrastructure restructuring with Taka
114.97 crore, Upgrading Aricha (Borangail)-Gheor-Daulatpur-Nagarpur-Tangail
regional highway into due standard and width with Taka 1,635.10 crore,
Widening and development of national highway at Narail town portion with Taka
179.99 crore, Rural Transport Improvement Project-II, 3rd revised with no
additional cost involvement, Development of important rural infrastructures
at Sylhet Division, 1st revised with an additional cost of Taka 239.93 crore,
Rehabilitation of Polder No-14/1 in Khulna district with Taka 1,172.31 crore,
Disaster risk management extension (component-1, BWDB portion) with Taka
757.81 crore.

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