Published:  12:00 AM, 11 January 2017

Construction of ring road on progress

The construction work of the coastal road popularly known as ring road is progressing now. Several hundred workers are engaged in working day and night to complete the construction.  According to sources, CDA is implementing Tk 14.96 billion coastal road construction and embankment strengthening project, also known as Chittagong Outer Ring Road Project. The project was approved  by the Cabinet Committee of Government Purchase (CCGP) on March 4 last year, according to CDA Chairman Abdus Salam.

Spectra EL-KNR JV has been working to implement the project under a deal signed in Dhaka on March 19 last year, after the firm submitted the lowest bid at an international tender floated in October 2014. Four international firms vied for the project. The project is expected to be completed by 2018. Four international firms had participated in the final bid in 2014. Under the project, a 15.2-Kilometre road will be constructed on the existing coastal embankment connecting Patenga to Sagorika Industrial Area in the city. The road would strengthen the coastal embankment and raise its height from existing 23-24 feet to 33-34 feet.

It may be mentioned that the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the TK 8.56 billion project on March 29, in 2011. But implementation of the project came to a halt in 2012-13 fiscal year since CDA could not go for land acquisition and re-settlement at the cost of estimated Taka 5.76 billion which was allocated by the government, due to increase in land price. As such, CDA submitted a revised budget where land acquisition and re-settlement cost was estimated at Tk 5.76 billion through dropping one of the three feeder roads from the project. Tk 640 million was allocated for constructing 12 bridges on the project.

As per the revised budget, CDA will also construct four lanes on the embankment ring road around the port city. The implementation process got pace when the government decided to provide Tk 4.5 billion at a time for land acquisition and re-settlement in May, 2013 while ECNEC also approved the revised budget of Tk 14.96 billion for the project in August in 2013. Of the budget, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide Tk 7.50 billion and the government will bear Tk 7.46 billion.

Sources said, the loan agreement between Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) for port city's much-hyped 14.7 Km 'Chittagong City Outer Ring Road' project was signed on March 24, 2010. The loan agreement had also come to effect from March 26 of the same year. Due to the prolong delay in starting the implementation works, the total cost of the project stands now at Tk. 1751 crore, which is more than double of the cost estimated in original detailed project proposal (DPP). In the original DPP, the total cost of the project was Tk. 856 crore and JICA had an agreement of funding Tk. 681 core for the project while Bangladesh Government was supposed to bear Tk. 175 crore out of the total expenditure.  Sources close to the project said the cost of the project was  increased due to delay in starting of execution works, increase of implementation period, price escalation of lands as well as all materials and equipments and inclusion of different works in the project recommended by the consultant.

In the original DPP there was allocation of Tk. 140 crore for land acquisition and resettlement cost for coastal road and feeder road of the Outer Ring Road project but now the land acquisition cost stands at Tk. 576.29 crore.  
 According to the project, the 14.7 KM Chittagong City Outer Ring Road comprising additional 5 km long two feeder roads and three approach roads will perform as a strong coastal embankment cum four-lane highway stretching from Patenga Sea Beach to Sagorika Junction.

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