The government today signed two loan agreements with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) for US$60 million aiming to implement two projects, titled 'Construction of Paira Bridge (Lebukhali Bridge) on Barisal-Patuakhali Road' and the 'South Asia Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Project'.
Economic Relations Division (ERD) secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and OFID director general Suleiman J Al Herbish signed the agreements on behalf of their respective sides at a city hotel, reports BSS.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith was present at the signing ceremony.
The money coming from the OFID will be apportioned into $30 million of the loan as additional funding for the construction of Lebukhali Bridge over the Paira River and $30 million to be used to meet an extra cost of SASEC Road Connectivity Project.
Roads and Highway Department (RHD) under the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridge is implementing the 'Construction of Paira Bridge (Lebukhali Bridge) on Barisal-Patuakhali Road' project.
The purpose of the project is to establish an uninterrupted direct road link between Dhaka and the country's southern region and to ensure a smooth movement for tourists to one of the most important tourist centre - Kuakata of Patuakhali - through construction of the Paira Bridge (Lebukhali Bridge) over the River Paira on the Barisal-Patuakhali Highway.
The bridge would be of a length of 1470 metres consisting of four lanes. The total estimated cost of the project is Taka 1,278.82 crore ($159.85 million) while $128 million is the foreign aid and the rest of the cost will be borne by the government.
Meanwhile, the government is expanding the 70-kilometre-long two-lane road connecting Jaydebpur-Chandra-Tangail-Hatikamrul-Elenga to four lanes under the SASEC Road Connectivity Project. Ten flyover bridges and 13 underpasses will also be constructed under the project.
Separate lane to both side of 10 kilometre road through Tangail- Elenga for the slow-moving vehicles will also be constructed to check road accidents. OFID will provide $30 million as the second loan (supplementary loan) for the project.