The revised overhead budget for Khan Jahan Ali Airport in the district has been reduced from Tk 545 crore to Tk 217 crore, thanks to shifting the project to a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
Its construction deadline has also been extended till June 2020, official sources here said.
The airport will be 25 minutes away from Bagerhat district town and is expected to boost eco-tourism and speed up the activities of Mongla Port, Mongla EPZ and different industries, including that of shrimp.
According to the sources, the budget for 163 hectares’ worth of land acquisition was initially set at Tk 43 crore, but in the new proposal, an additional 54 hectares will increase the budget to Tk 169 crore.
On May 5, 2015, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the airport construction involving Tk 544 crore. As of June, an amount of Tk 43 crore was spent from the budget.
While visiting the construction area in Sadar and Rampal upazilas of Bagerhat, namely the villages of Faila, Hogoldanga, Gobindapur and Godardanga, the UNB correspondent found security guards guarding the plots which have been acquired by the government for building the airport.
The foundation stone for building the airport in the area was laid on January 27, 1996.
After 1997, there had been no further development apart from earth filling.
On July 10, State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan said the Khan Jahan Ali Airport project has been transferred to a PPP arrangement with a revised budget of Tk 217 crore.
Out of total amount, Tk 195 crore will be given by the government, while the remaining amount will be provided by the Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh.