Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said on Wednesday, the Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane highway is almost finished and it will be opened officially in May by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The minister further said that the Prime Minister is expected to open a total of 18 bridges across the country including Sheikh Jamal and Sheikh Kamal bridges in Kuakata under Patuakhali district on February 25 on a video conference from her office in the capital. Though the government has extended implementation period of the highway project until December 31 this year, the construction work is expected to finish six months earlier by May next as major works of the project has already been completed.
The present cost of the project stands at Tk 3816.94 crore after it was approved at the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) meeting on Tuesday. The 192.3km-long highway consists of 23 bridges, 242 culverts and 14 bypass lanes, which are 32-km long.
It is mostly being financed by the government with only a paltry portion from foreign donors. Claiming the hike in project cost as 'logical', Obaidul said, "The hike is very much logical. It is lower compared to other such projects running in the country."
Besides, the minister assured of constructing Dhaka-Chittagong elevated expressway, at a cost of around Tk 70,000 crore.