After a decade and a half in the making, the leather industrial estate project in Savar, Bangladesh, has been delayed again, with completion now scheduled for June 2019.

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) extended the tenure project by two years. Further funds were not provided.

The project began in 2003, with completion set for 2005 and a predicted cost of Tk176 crore. Both the timescale and cost have been extended a number of times.

The projects expected completion was June 2016, with a fixed cost of Tk1, 078 crore in 2013. Nonetheless, the planning ministry increased the tenure to June 2017.

According to a planning ministry official, around 60% of the work has been completed. The project's main component, the Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP), is not operating and was meant to be completed in August.

The main purpose of the project was to relocate tanneries at Hazaribagh to Savar to prevent environmental pollution. Of the 155 factories only 92 have relocated.

Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said a team from Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division will be sent to Savar to verify if the units were contaminating the Dhaleswari River.

In a meeting yesterday, eight projects were approved with a cost of Tk4,979 crore, one being the smaller water resources development (2nd phase) project for Tk1,286 crore.

The projects aims to improve the non-farm income of rural people, including flood management, water sanitation and water retention, with implementation in 220 upazilas under 29 districts in Dhaka, Mymensingh, Sylhet and Rangpur divisions.

A Tk582,30 crore project was approved by Ecnec for developing the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences at eight medical college hospitals.

By June 2020, the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission under the Ministry of Science and Technology will implement the project.

A planning ministry official said: “once the institutes were established it would be possible to easily diagnose and provide treatment to various diseases like thyroid, kidney, liver and bone cancer through nuclear technology”, and “it will offer treatment to poor and common people affordably".

Ecnec approved a Tk1,249.05crore project for power distribution system extension and renovation of West Zone areas.