REB to expand line to cover 2.5m rural consumers

FE Report
The government approved another electricity line expansion project of the Rural Electrification Board (REB), officials said Tuesday.
Presided over by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) at its meeting in Dhaka endorsed the Tk 12.28 billion project to cover 2.5 million new consumers in the electricity distribution line.
Of the total amount, Tk 4.57 billion will come from the country's external resources and Tk 7.71 billion from the newly formed multilateral lender –Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)- as the project aid.
The REB's project execution performance has been poor over the years.
Insiders said the REB has already nine ongoing distribution line expansion projects most of which are struggling for execution delays over the years.
Emerging from the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the REB's Tk 12.28 billion project is among a total of six projects approved involving an estimated cost of Tk 27.45 billion.
Of the total cost, Tk 11.55 billion will come from domestic resources while the rest from external resources as project assistance, he said.
Of the six approved projects, four were revised ones while two were fresh projects.
Officials said the REB's proposed project would be duplication as nine other such projects involving total Tk 345.04 billion are going on at this moment.
All the nine projects aim at expanding the distribution lines in rural areas of the country.
The newly approved REB project operations include procurement of some 65,000 new distribution transformers, procurement of some 2.5 million one-phase and three-phase metres, procurement of some 75,651 kilometre conductors.
According to the Power Division's report, the REB till March 2016 had implemented only 60.66 per cent of the Tk 64.26 billion expansion project covering 1.8 million consumers since its inception in January 2012.
The project's completion schedule is December next year.
The rest eight projects have also been struggling for implementation delays although most of those were undertaken three years ago, another Power Division official said.
The ECNEC revised the emergency 2007 cyclone recovery and restoration project (ECRRP), the BWDB portion (3rd revised) at Tk 7.50 billion, the emergency 2007 cyclone recovery and restoration project (ECRRP), D1, DDM (3rd revised) at Tk 774.4 million, the Teesta Barrage Project (3rd revised) at Tk 4.14 billion and the Establishment of BCS Economic Academy (1st revised) at Tk 1.49 billion.
The ECNEC also approved a project for protection of right embankment of Teesta River under Gangachara and Rangpur Sadar upazila at Tk 1.25 billion.
Ministers and state ministers, Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned were also present at the meeting. [Read More]

Source: The Financial Express


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