Two new bridges on highway to reduce jams, save time -The Asian Age

Two new bridges - Meghna and Gumti-will be opened to traffic before the upcoming Eid Ul Fitr.  These two bridges are expected to reduce traffic jams and save a great deal of time for vehicles running along the Dhaka-Chittagong and Dhaka-Sylhet highways.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal gave this information while speaking to reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase on Wednesday.

Passengers and vehicles often face severe traffic jams on the Dhaka-Chittagong and Dhaka-Sylhet highways. The inauguration of the above bridges will be hopefully able to curtail traffic standstills on these roads. The meeting, chaired by the Finance Minister, approved a proposal on increasing the cost of three vital bridges- second Kanchpur, Meghna and Gumti bridges by Tk 78.02 crore.

He said the construction works on the two bridges have been accomplished and those are now ready for the movement of transports. "Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is also eagerly waiting to open these bridges before the Eid Ul Fitr," AHM Mustafa Kamal told the journalists.

On March 16, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the second Kanchpur Bridge on Shitalakkhya River, aiming to reduce heavy traffic gridlocks on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway.

At the meeting, the committee ratified a total of six procurement proposals of different ministries. A proposal of the Industries Ministry to convert the cement production process of Chhatak Cement Factory into dry process from the wet one received the committee's approval.

A Chinese company won the job of Tk 669.31 crore participating in a tender process floated by Chhatak Cement Company Ltd under the Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC), but the ministry will have to wait for two weeks as negotiations are going on with a Saudi company about investment in the cement sector.  The Finance Minister said the Industries Ministry will proceed for awarding the job on the basis of the negotiation results. 

The committee approved a proposal of the Railways Ministry to allow the name of the bidder which will supply 200 MG passenger coaches. Three proposals of the Power Division were placed at the committee meeting. Of these, the proposal to procure spare parts and expertise service for Gas Turbine  Unit-1 and 2 of Bhola 225 MW combined cycle power received the committee's nod. US-based GE won the contract involving Tk 207.07 crore.

Rural Electrification Board (REB) under the Power Division placed a proposal to procure 16,000 km conductors which also received the committee's endorsement.

The committee gave a conditional approval to a proposal of the Power Division to set up 400MW Gas/RLNG-based power plant in Meghnaghat on build-own-operate basis from which the government will purchase electricity for 22 years. A consortium of Anlima Textile Ltd and GE Capital Global Energy Investment BV will set up the plant.

Mustafa Kamal said the committee set a condition that the government will review the gas price after every five years and re-fix the gas and power tariffs of the plant.