General

Bangladesh’s road to digitalisation: 59 hill unions to get broadband internet

Fifty-nine unions under the country’s three hill districts—Bandarban, Rangamati and Khagrachhari—will get permanent broadband internet connectivity soon as the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a proposal in principle in this regard on Wednesday.

As per the proposal, Bangladesh Computer Council will implement the project through Bangladesh Army awarding it a contract through direct procurement method (DPM).

“The BCC will award the contract to the Bangladesh Army to implement the project,” said Shamsul Arefin, additional secretary to the Cabinet Division, while briefing reporters on the decisions of the Cabinet body.

The project was awarded to the Bangladesh Army considering the security risk and other relevant impediments in installing the optical fiber in remote areas of the hill tracks, he added.

The scheme will be implemented under the project titled, ‘Broadband Connectivity Setup at the telecommunication-deprived areas’ of the BCC under the Information and Communication Technology Division.

However, the figure of the contract was not disclosed at this stage of approval. But it might be revealed when the project will gain be placed for the final approval of the Cabinet Committee of Public Purchase.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase approved 11 proposals of different departments under different ministries involving Tk 2,579.30 crore of which Tk 890.62 crore will be spent from the national exchequer while the remaining funds will come as loans by different financing agencies.

The committee approved a proposal of the Public Security Division of Home Ministry to procure a “Vehicle Mounted Mobile Interceptor and related services” at a cost of Tk 56.56 crore from Toru Group Limited, Switzerland, whose local agent is Smart SCM Solution, Dhaka.

The supplier was selected through a limited tender method (LTM) from two bidders vying for the works, according to the proposal.

Two tender proposals of the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) under Local Government Division also got approval of the Cabinet body.

Dhaka Wasa selected China Geo-Engineering Corporation, China for its project “Environmentally Sustainable Water Supply (DESWS)” under package -1 to install 25 km refined water transmission lines from Rampura to Kachukhet via Vatara, Airport Road, Uttara, Gulshan and Banani involving Tk 589.31 crore.

Dhaka Wasa’s proposal to extend the time and cost of the consultant for the same project also received the approval of the committee.

As per the approval, the Joint Venture of (1) Kunhwa-DDC-FCEA and (2) Vernacular Consultant Ltd. Bangladesh’s work tenure was extended up to 75 months from the existing 36 months with an increased cost of 2.71 crore against the original cost of Tk 19.85 crore.

A project of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) to construct a coordinated water control structure on the Punorbhara River in Dinajpur got approval raising its cost by Tk 12 crore against the original cost of Tk 43.74 crore.

A total of six proposals of the Roads and Highways Department under Road Transport and Highways Division also got nod of the Cabinet body.

Of these, China Railway Construction Bridge Engineering Bureau Group Co Ltd won a Tk 743.28-crore contract for interchange construction and maintenance under the improvement of Alega-Hatikamrul- Rongpur into a 4-lanes project.

Abdul Momen Limited won a Tk 601.10 crore contract for civil and maintenance works of the same project.

A proposal seeking a cost rise of Tk 47.88 crore for package PW-1 of the project to upgrade Cumilla (Tomson Bridge) to Noakhali (Begumganj) local road into a 4-lane highway received approval of the committee. Its original cost was Tk 193.84 crore.

The package PW-3 of the same project received a Tk 39.21 crore cost extension approval while its original cost was Tk 194.98 crore.

The package DW-05 of the Improvement of Important Local Highways (Sylhet Zone) received approval for extending the cost by Tk 16.81 crore against its original cost of Tk 186.98 crore.

The Roads and Highways Department’s awarding of a Tk 301.35 crore contract to National Development Engineers Ltd., to implement package – PW-01 of the Project for installing excel-load contract central at the transportation source points at important locations of the highways received the Cabinet body approval.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment’s proposal to appoint 112 non-government organizations (NGOs) for providing 6-month long sub-formal education and 4-month skill development training to 100,000 children at a cost of Tk 160 crore received the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase.

Source: United News of Bangladesh