The government has undertaken an initiative to set up some 21 excel load control centers on the major highways across the country in a bid to ensure safe plying of goods-laden vehicles and make those highways durable through controlling over-loaded vehicles.
“A project to this end is likely to be placed before the ECNEC meeting on Tuesday,” said a senior Planning Commission official.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to chair the 5th ECNEC meeting of the current fiscal year to be held at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.
The official told BSS that the Roads and Highways Department will set up these 21 excel load control centers on the selected highways by June 2022 with an estimated cost of Taka 1,630.28 crore to be entirely borne from the state exchequer.
After receiving a Development Project Proposal (DPP) from the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges, the Planning Commission official said an inter-ministerial committee was formed last year to conduct feasibility on the proposed project to set up 21 excel load control centers.
After that, the committee members made in-field visits to the project sites and gave go ahead notion for the project.
The official also told BSS that the goods-laden trucks and covered vans weighing even more than 22 tonnes often ply on the roads and highways posing serious threats to the longevity of the highways as well as causing accidents.
Besides, the Road Transport and Highways Division has to incur a hefty amount of expenditure every year for maintenance of those roads and highways due to plying of overloaded vehicles.
Under the circumstances, the project has been framed by the Roads and Highways Department to set up these 21 excel load control centers on the selected highways which is expected to be placed before the ECNEC meeting on Tuesday.
The sites for setting up excel load control centers are Gazipur Sadar, Keraniganj, Haluaghat in Mymensingh, Nalitabari in Sherpur, Burichang in Cumilla, Feni Sadar, Satkania in Chattogram, Chattogram Sadar, Sitakundu, Madhabpur in Narsingdi, Bianibazar in Sylhet.
The other project sites are Rampal, Satkhira Sadar, Damurhuda in Chuadanga, Hakimpur in Dinajpur, Shibganj, Roumari in Kurigram, Tentulia in Panchagarh, Sayedpur, Shibchar and Kalihati upazilas.
Talking to the national news agency, another official at the Road Transport and Highways Division said the main project operations include installation of 90 set weighing machine scales, 31 set static weighbridge scale and commissioning, necessary facilities for loading and unloading of goods in every excel load control center and some 64.21 hectares of land acquisition.
The Pre Evaluation Committee (PEC) meeting on the project was held on March 3 where the Planning Commission recommended for implementing the project with fulfillment of some conditions.
The meeting also suggested for framing the necessary regulations for operating the excel load control centers as well as installing monitoring stations with closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) by the executing agency to ensure round the clock monitoring of the operations of these excel load control centers.