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15 December, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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China keen to fund highway network

Chinese ambassador writes to Economic Relations Division
DEEPAK ACHARJEE, Dhaka
China keen to fund 
highway network

Despite the delay in the funding of 20 out of the 27 promised projects, the Chinese government has now evinced interest to provide money to develop the road infrastructure in the country by establishing a highway transportation network system.

The Chinese ambassador, Li Jiming, recently wrote a letter to the Economic Relations Division (ERD) secretary, expressing China’s interest to undertake the proposed project named “Planning the Highway Transportation Network of Bangladesh”, according to sources in the Road Transport and Highways Division.

The ERD has forwarded the letter to the Road Transport and Highways Division for necessary action, the sources added.

Jiming wrote, “The Chinese government agrees to undertake the proposed project that includes the planning of a highway transportation network in Bangladesh.”

It added, “The Chinese side shall be responsible for dispatching technical personnel to Bangladesh to undertake on-site investigation, measurement and research work needed for the planning work and formulating the

final planning of the highway transportation network of Bangladesh.”

“The Bangladesh side shall be responsible for providing basic information of the project free of charge, and confirm the technical result of the planning work made by the Chinese side, ensure the security of Chinese experts and provide assistance and convenience on entry, exit, transportation and residence concerning the Chinese experts in Bangladesh,” it said.

Talking to The Independent, a senior official of the Road Transport and Highways Division said that they will now scrutinise the letter. He, however, refused to comment further in this regard.

According to data from the Roads and Highways Department (RHD), there are only 22,096.30 km highways in the country. These include 4,766.91 km of regional and 13,423.36 km district highways.

Sources said after coming to power, the Sheikh Hasina government has developed a number of road infrastructure projects in the past few years and it wants to build a better highway network across the country.

That is why the government is going to take up more mega projects to develop road infrastructure, the sources added.

At present, only seven of the 27 projects funded by China are in the implementation stage.

These are Padma bridge rail link, Karnaphuli river tunnel, phase III of the Info-Sarkar project, installation of a single-point mooring with double pipeline in Maheshkhali, Modernisation of telecommunication network for digital connectivity, phase-III of the Info-Sarkar project and Karnaphuli river tunnel project.

About $5.4 billion loan agreements were signed for the seven projects, but only $981.36 million has been disbursed till July.

In July, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited China and signed five different agreements with Beijing to improve power transmission and distribution systems in Bangladesh.

The projects are Framework agreement of expansion and strengthening of power system network under DPDC; government concessional loan agreement of expansion and strengthening of power system network under DPDC area project; preferential buyer’s credit loan agreement of expansion and strengthening of power system network under DPDC area project; framework agreement of power grid network strengthening project under PGCB project; and agreement on economic and technical cooperation between Bangladesh and China.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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