52 pc work of Bangabandhu Tunnel completed
CHATTOGRAM, Apr 2: At least 52 percent construction works of Bangabandhu Tunnel under Karnaphuli River has so far been completed.
Talking to the Daily Observer, Harunur Rashid Chowdhury, Project Director of Bangabandhu Tunnel, said the construction works of the tunnel was progressing with limited number of workers amidst countrywide lockdown due to pandemic Corona virus disease.
The total project work is expected to be completed by 2022.
Bangladesh Bridge Authority is constructing the 3.5-km -long country's first ever four-lane Bangabandhu Tunnel under Karnaphuli river with an approach road of 4.89km.
The 740-meter-long bridge will link the main port city with southern regions of Chattogram.
Meanwhile, the construction works of the ten-kilometre-long approach road began on January in 2019 in Anowara end of the tunnel.
The tunnel is being built at a cost of Tk9, 880 crore to turn Chattogram into a 'One City Two Towns'.
The total length of the proposed tunnel will be around 9.092 kilometres, including 3.50 kilometres of tunnel under the Karnaphuli River with an approach road of 4.89 kilometres.
It will cut the road distance between Chattogram and Cox's Bazar, apart from easing the traffic on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway entering the port city to go to other parts of Chattogram Division.
The multilane tunnel will connect Chattogram Port and Anowara Upazila and is expected to make communication between Chattogram and Cox's Bazar easier in addition to reducing traffic congestions on two bridges over the Karnaphuli River. Chinese firm China Communication Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) was appointed as a consultant for the construction of the tunnel.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Chinese President Xi Jinping jointly laid its foundation stone on October 14 in 2017.
A memorandum of understanding was signed on June 10 in 2014 in Beijing in the presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to construct the tunnel under the Karnaphuli River.
The 3.4 kilometre-long tunnel will be made of two tubes and have four lanes. There will be 740-metre approach road at its west end and 7,952-metre approach at the east end. The CCCC is constructing the tunnel and has completed 32 percent of the project as of now.
The boring machine will start digging the soil from the Patenga end and move towards to the other end at a depth about 18-31 metres under the river.
The concrete segments will be joined by machines and construct the tunnel structure. About 2,000 segments have been imported from China to the project area already. The total cost for the tunnel has been estimated at $1.06 billion or about Tk84.46 billion.
The Exim Bank in China will provide Tk 47.99 billion and the government will fund the remaining Tk 36.47 billion.
Meanwhile, the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the project to upgrade the Karnaphuli Tunnel Connecting Road to four lanes in Anowara Upazila in the Chattogram district on February 18 last.
The Road Division and Bridges Ministry has taken the project at a cost of Tk407 crore in this connection.