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Bangabandhu Tunnel project nears completion

by tbhdesk

Construction began on December 5, 2017
Set to be opened on October 28, 2023
Cost stands at Tk10,689 crore
Stretches over 3.32km
Situated at a depth between18 to 31 meters
Links Chittagong-South Chittagong
Brings river crossing time to 3 minutes

The much-anticipated multi-lane tunnel project, the Bangabandhu Tunnel, is nearing its completion. With an impressive 98.70% of the construction already finished, this ambitious project is set to become the nation’s first multi-lane tunnel under the Karnaphuli River. It is set to be inaugurated on October 28.

The tunnel is situated at a depth ranging from 18 to 31 metres beneath the Karnaphuli River.

As of September 30, the overall progress of the project stands at an impressive 98.70%. While the project achieved 0.20% progress against the set target of 0.33% in September, certain factors, including additional land acquisition, installation of scanner machines, and infrastructural development for service roads and safety facilities remain unfinished.

According to a progress report for the month of September, out of the 372.32 acres of land designated for acquisition and requisition, 365.39 acres have already been allocated to the project’s contractor. However, the Chittagong Deputy Commissioner’s office has issued a public notice for the acquisition of 2.24 acres in Anwara and 3.20 acres in Patenga to facilitate the installation of scanner machines. Additionally, a revised field book for a 1.50-acre service road in Anwara is awaiting final approval from the Ministry of Land.

While the main tunnel tube construction is now complete, some ancillary work remains, including the development of bungalows, a motel mess, resort reception, a convention center, two bridges, internal bridges, and internal roads in the Anwara service area. As of now, the progress of the service area construction stands at 80%.

The project authorities have reassured the public that this remaining work will not impede the tunnel’s inauguration as it can be finished after the inauguration.

Project Director Harunur Rashid Chowdhury said: “The Bangabandhu Tunnel is 100% ready for traffic. Ancillary works that remain incomplete can be accomplished post-inauguration. With the project’s deadline extending to December, there’s ample time to finish the remaining work.”

He said that the main tunnel tube is already complete, with no hindrances to commercial traffic.

The cost for the construction of the project was initially estimated at Tk8,446 crores, with a project duration set until November 2020. In November 2018, the cost increased to Tk10,374 crore. On January 17 this year, the project implementation cost surged to Tk10,689 crore 71 thousand 33, reflecting a notable increase of Tk315 crore 28 lakh 93 thousand from the initial projection.

The Bangladesh government is contributing Tk4,699 crore 70 lakh 66 thousand, while China Exim Bank is funding Tk6,070 crore 67 lakh to the cost of the project.

Earlier, on November 26, 2022, the first tube of the Bangabandhu Tunnel was inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with an initial plan of full operation of the tunnel by February of this year. Once operational, the tunnel will provide a direct link between Chittagong and South Chittagong, transforming Chittagong into a ‘one city two towns’ model akin to Shanghai in China.

Authorities overseeing the project anticipate that it will substantially boost the economy of Chittagong and of Bangladesh as a whole. The tunnel stretches over 3.32 km, with a 727 m viaduct and a 5.35 km connecting road.

Source: Dhaka Tribune.

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