JOYPURHAT, Mar 5 (BDNEWS): There is a reserve of 270 million tonnes of limestone at a depth of 518-549 metres from the surface in the district, from which 45 to 55 per cent can be extracted.
According to a project proposal, submitted by Messrs Froid Krup Rostaf of Germany in 1966-67, a total of 1.44 million tonnes of cement can be produced from 1.65 million tonnes of limestone every year.
Pakistan government took the initiated the project but failed to materialise it due to financial constraint.
In 1974 the project was again taken up with Bangladesh government approval but failed due to mismanagement.
The government signed a Tk 30 million (3.0 crore) deal in 1979 with the Saudi development fund and the Cementation Mining Limited of Britain got a contract in 1981 through an international tender. Nothing, however, came of it. Four fresh project proposal worth Tk 9.08 billion was approved again in 1983.
The government met its Saudi counterpart and Kuwait fund twice later in 1984 and '86. But the trilateral meeting ended without any results.
In July 1994, the project got financial assurance from the Polish firms Copex, Polymex and Cikop.
On the other hand, Petrobangla tabled the proposal at its 171st meeting to decide whether to take the loan on condition or not.
Petrobangla allegedly did a mere presentation of minimal information about the reserve, the position of limestone and the potential of the project.
A geological study showed that the limestone deposit was not available at the near surface level.
Later, Petrobangla was instructed to handover the project to private sector and the period was extended until 2004. Still the project remains in snarled-up.
Local people demand that the project be launched without further delay with local technology.