The government has given the green light to a Tk4,174.68-crore project for the construction of a bridge over the Meghna-Dhonagoda River connecting Matlab North upazila of Chandpur with Gazaria upazila of Minshiganj, according to Planning Commission sources.
While the project, involving a 1.85 km main bridge and 7.5 kms of approach roads, is poised to facilitate easier travel from Chandpur to Dhaka and other industrial cities, its most profound impact will be felt by the local population in Matlab North and Gazaria upazilas.
The current reliance on engine boats for transportation between these two areas is not merely inconvenient; it is a barrier that hinders development. The proposed bridge promises to address this issue head-on, offering a lifeline to the communities that have long endured inadequate, time-consuming, and risky journeys.
An official of the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges told the Daily Sun, “The proposed bridge will significantly reduce the travel distance and improve connectivity between these areas.”
This means more than just shorter travel times; it means better access to essential services, education, and economic opportunities that have been elusive until now. Furthermore, the bridge will connect these communities to the capital and other industrial cities, opening doors to new possibilities and economic growth.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the project on 31 October this year, which is scheduled to be implemented by the road transport and bridges ministry between January 2024 and December 2028, an official of the Planning Commission told the Daily Sun.
Of the total project cost, Tk3,513.96 crore will be secured as a loan from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), with the government providing the remaining Tk660.72 crore.
The project is part of the Pipeline projects listed in the new Framework Arrangement with the government and the Korean Exim Bank, the official added.
According to the project proposal, the initiative aligns with the 8th Five-Year Plan and aims to achieve various objectives, including improving basic infrastructure and services, enhancing the quality of life, particularly for disadvantaged sections of society, and contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A feasibility study for the project was conducted by the consulting firm “TYPSA-NK-DOHWA-DDC-BCL-DevCon JV,” with funding provided by the Bangladesh Bridge Authority.
The project is included in the Unallocated New Projects List in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) for fiscal years 2020-2024.
This bridge will establish direct road connectivity between Gazaria upazila of Munshiganj district and Matlab North upazila of Chandpur district, creating an uninterrupted road communication network suitable for all weather conditions, connecting these areas with Dhaka, Chattogram, Noakhali, and other districts.
Source: The Daily SUN.