Chattogram, Feb 24: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday inaugurated the boring works on 3.4-km Bangabandhu Sheikh MujiburRahman Tunnel, the first in the country, under Karnaphuli River at Construction Yard of the Tunnel Project area at Patenga here.She also opened the construction work on 16.5-km elevated expressway from Lalkhan Bazar to Shah Amanat International Airport in the city from the same venue.
The tunnel is being built at a cost of Tk 9,880.40 crore to turn Chattogram into ‘One City Two Towns’. Of the project cost, Tk 3,967.21 crore will come from the Bangladesh government’s fund, while the remaining Tk 5,913.19 crore from the Chinese government.
The main tunnel under the Karnaphuli River consists of twin-tube and 3.4 km in length will connect Anowara Upazila with the main Chattogram city through 5.35 km approach road and a 727-metre flyover.
It is expected that the tunnel, the first of its kind in Bangladesh and South-East Asia as well, will be opened in December 2022.
Centering this tunnel, a modern communication system will be developed connecting Dhaka-Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar which will eventually be connected to the Asian Highway network.
This tunnel is expected to expedite the development of the proposed industrial area on the eastern part of the Karnaphuli River. Once it is completed, the connectivity with Chattogram city, port and airport located on the western part will be easier and developed.
This communication will bypass the main Chattogram city, which will reduce travel time and cost as well as decrease traffic congestion remarkably in Chattogram city.
Construction of Karnaphuli Tunnel will bolster industrial development, flourish tourism and expand trade and commerce near the project areas, and thus create jobs and increase export.
The overall socio-economic development and the lifestyle of the people of this area will be improved, which will leave a positive impact on the total economy of the country.
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.
The construction work on the proposed Elevated Expressway will cost Tk 3,250 crore.
Chattogram Development Authority will implement the four-lane flyover in four years from Lalkhan Bazar to Shah Amanat Airport in the port city.
Max Benkin JB has been appointed as a contractor for the construction of the elevated expressway.