ECNEC approves Tk 1,503.32cr project to set up frontier technology institute

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The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved a Taka 1,503.32 crore project to set up an institute of frontier technology.

Through the ‘Construction of Primary Infrastructure for Sheikh Hasina Institute of Frontier Technology’ project, the government will set up the country’s first frontier technology-based specialized institute.

The approval came from the ECNEC meeting held today with the ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The Premier joined the meeting virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence while Ministers, State Ministers, Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned attended it from the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said that a total of 11 projects were approved today involving an overall estimated cost of Taka 37,507.22 crore.

“Of the total project cost, Taka 36,023.91 crore will come from the government of Bangladesh portion while Taka 1,449.98 crore as project assistance,” he said.

Of the approved 11 projects, seven are new while four are revised projects.

The planning minister said the Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority under the ICT Division would implement the ‘Construction of Primary Infrastructure for Sheikh Hasina Institute of Frontier Technology’ project at Shibchar upazila of Madaripur district by December 2026.

He said the objective of the project is to establish the country’s first zero-waste, green, clean and sustainable campus blended with the modern mode of education and innovation culture.

With the scheme, Bangladesh is expected to become a self-sufficient nation in terms of ICT through collaboration between local and global stakeholders alongside establishing individual inclusive research facilities, and academic and industrial research, he added.

For preparing the frontier technology-based talents, he mentioned that the project will focus on biotechnology, nanotechnology, neuro-technology, cyber security, artificial intelligence, internet of things, robotics, blockchain, data science, hyper-automation, technological ethics, behaviour and experience engineering, innovation and entrepreneurship.

MA Mannan informed that the meeting also revised the fourth phase of the massive sector-wise programme for health, population and nutrition sectors.

After revision, he said, the total project cost is Taka 1,45,934.99 crore and the ‘4th Health, Population and Nutrition Sector Program (4th HPNSP)’ project will be implemented by June 2023.

The other projects approved in the meeting are : Infrastructure Development of Mongla Commander Flotilla West (Comflot West) with Taka 699.94 crore, Modernization of Chattogram, Cumilla and Mymensingh (Trishal) Military Farms with Taka 263.83 crore, Upgradation of Ashuganj River Port-Sarail-Dharkhar-Akhaura Land Port Highway to four lanes National Highway (1st revised) with Taka 5,791.60 crore, Integrated Sanitation and Hygiene in 10 (Ten) Priority Cities of Bangladesh (Integrated Solid and Human Waste Management) with Taka 559.68 crore, Upgrading of Dhaka Water Supply Network (1st revised) with Taka 3,780 crore, Reduce traffic congestion in Dhaka South City Corporation’s affiliated areas through waste removal and management, procurement of modern vehicles and equipment used for road repairs and installation of mechanized parking with Taka 333.32 crore, Construction of Hostel or Dormitory for Doctors, Officers, Senior Staff Nurses and Trainees working at Azimpur Maternal and Child Health Training Institute, Dhaka with Taka 64.34 crore, Important Rural Infrastructure Development of Gopalganj District (2nd revised) with Taka 1827.80 crore and Smart Agriculture Card and Digital Agriculture (Pilot) with Taka 107.92 crore.