WB to approve $600m for BD's river management project

Posted by BankInfo on Thu, Aug 20 2015 11:46 am

UNB, Dhaka :The World Bank is expected to approve a $ 600-million fund for Bangladesh's River Management Improvement Programme (Phase-1) aiming to benefit around 2.5 million people living along the country's river banks.The World Bank and the government of Bangladesh completed negotiations for the $600 million River Management Improvement Program-Phase 1 on August 12 last, said an official at the Economic Relations Division (ERD).The official said the World Bank Board is likely to approve the fund by December next and the project aims to increase protection against river flooding and erosion and improve flood and erosion management capacity along selected sections of the Brahmaputra River. He said successful river management for improved protection against flood and erosion requires long-term sustained efforts. The River Management Improvement Programme (RMIP) is a comprehensive scheme that has been proposed to provide long-term solutions to floods and riverbank erosion, while also calling for better integrated river management.  It will be phased into three projects and include structural and nonstructural interventions.The first phase of the programme would focus on improving flood and erosion control stretching from Sirajganj's Simla to Bogura's Hasnapara, and is exposed to high rates of erosion.  The beneficiaries of the project will be 2.5 million people living along the riverbank. This will include farmers, predominantly small and marginal, whose livelihoods are threatened by floods. Another official at the ERD said the proposed $ 600 million fund would be provided from the IDA, World Bank's concessionary arm, with a service change of 0.75 percent to be repaid in 38 years with a grace period of six years.Another official at the Planning Commission told UNB that out of the total estimated project cost of around Tk 5,200 crore, the World Bank would provide around Tk 4,800 crore while the rest would be provided from the national exchequer.The Development Project Proposal has already been sent to the Planning Commission by the Ministry of Water Resources while the Pre-Evaluation Committee (PEC) meeting on the project was also held. Bangladesh Water Development Board is entrusted to implement the project.Planning Commission officials said out of the estimated project cost, Tk 765 crore would be spent on consultant services, Tk 441 crore on land acquisition, Tk 1,541 crore on constructing embankment, Tk 1958 crore on riverbank protection and Tk 143 crore on setting up cluster villages.Under the first phase of the programme, there will be reconstruction of 50 kilometers of service road along the right side of River Jamuna alongside construction of 36.56 kilometers of protection embankment with service road for river training along the right side of the Jamuna River, setting up 15 resettlement villages or cluster villages for rehabilitating the affected people.In the second phase of the programme, there will be 17 kilometers of embankment reconstruction from Jamuna Bridge to Simla of Sirajganj and 70 kilometers of embankment reconstruction from Hasnapara of Bogra to Teesta outfall. In the third phase, there will be construction of 137 kilometers of four-lane roads along the inner part of the embankment.

News:New Nation/20-Aug-2015
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