Ecnec okays Tk 1,228cr rural power distribution project

The government has launched a  Tk 1,228 crore project to provide 25 lakh new power connections in rural areas across the country under 77 Palli Bidyut Samities.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the project at a meeting on Tuesday with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in
the chair.
With the implementation of the project, the number to power connections under Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) will rise to 1.75 crore from the existing 1.50 crore, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said at a press briefing after the meeting.
The country’s total power connections will also rise from 2.15 crore to 2.40 crore supported by 3,0,1000 kilometer electricity lines.
A Planning Commission official said it is possible to provide power connections to some 25 lakh more clients only by changing the transformers without setting up any new line within the coverage of BREB under service drop method.
To implement the project, the authorities will need to procure some 65,000 new distribution transformers, 25 lakh one-phase and three-phase meters and some 75,651 kilometer conductors
The BREB will implement the project by June 2018. Of the project cost, Tk 456.86 crore will come from the state coffer while Tk 771.40 crore as project assistance from China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The Ecnec meeting approved a total of six development projects involving Tk 2,744.89 crore. Of the total cost, Tk 1,154.80 crore will be provided by the government and the rest of the money will come as project aid, the planning minister said.
The Ecnec also gave its nod to the third revised proposal for Emergency 2007 cyclone recovery and restoration project (ECRRP), BWDB portion under the water resources ministry involving Tk 750.50 crore.
Kamal said the premier at the meeting asked the authorities to complete the project within the extended timeframe of December 2017 and the timeframe will not be further extended.
Sheikh Hasina also directed the minister concerned to prepare a full-fledged assessment report on the loss of lives and property caused by recent cyclone ‘Roanu’.
After approving the ‘Protection of right embankment of Teesta River under Gangachara and Rangpur Sadar upazila’ project worth Tk 125.39 crore, the premier also directed the authorities to use dredged soil to protect the embankment instead of cutting top soil of farm land, Kamal said.
Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project worth Tk 77.74 crore under Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Teesta Barrage, the 2nd phase of Tk 413.88 crore, and Establishment of BCS Economy Academy of Tk 149.42 crore
were  okayed.