Under the project, infrastructure will be built for the development of power, communication, economy and education sectors in the 111 recently defunct enclaves in 13 Upazilas of four districts.
The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) at a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday approved the project titled “Rural infrastructure development for now defunct enclaves.”
“Acquiring of vast areas through peaceful swap of enclaves with neighbouring India is one of the major achievements of the present government,” Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told journalists after the meeting.
“This project has been approved for the development of the people residing in this new Bangladesh territory,” he said.
Local Government Engineering Department will implement the government-funded project by June 2018.
A senior official, who was present at the meeting, told bdnews24.com that the prime minister told the relevant officials that these areas should not be referred to as enclaves anymore.
To provide better communication facilities to the residents of the former enclaves, six kilometres of road network at Upazila level, 15 kilometres in union level, 165 kilometres of rural road and 20 kilometres of clay-road network will be constructed under the project.
Apart from that, 727 sets of bridges, eight river platforms and 10.5 kilometres of canal will be built.
To make sure that the residents get right prices for their products, 12 markets will also be set up under the project.
They will also get 15 mosques, seven temples, four graveyards and three crematoriums, eight community centres and three Union Parishad buildings.
The enclaves were dissolved with implementation of Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) between India and Bangladesh at themidnight of July 31 last year.
Through the historic land swap deal, Bangladesh got 111 enclaves with total population of 37,000. In exchange, India got 51 enclaves with 14 ,000 people.
Soon after the exchange, the prime minister had directed that facilities for the people of the erstwhile enclaves should be enhanced.
She had particularly emphasised the need for supplying potable drinking water and development of roads, and instructed that if need be, solar power be provided there.
Hasina had also recently inaugurated several power projects at a former enclave, Dashiarchharha, in Kurhigram.
Terming them “floret”, Hasina at that time had promised to do whatever possible for the development and progress of these nascent citizens of Bangladesh.
To bring them to the mainstream of Bangladesh economy, banks and other financial institutions have also taken various initiatives.