The proposed multi-lane road tunnel under the Karnaphuli river. -AA
The construction of much-cherished multi-lane road tunnel under the Karnaphuli river costing TK 8.5 thousand crore is expected to begin next month. "The primary groundwork to construct the tunnel and build up twin cities on both banks of the Karanaphuli river have already been completed," Engineer Kabir Ahmed, Director of the Project (PD) told BSS.
The tunnel will be constructed with the financial and technical assistance of China while the Bridges Division of the Road Transport and Bridges Ministry will supervise the work. The construction of necessary infrastructure, including building residences for Chinese engineers and related employees has almost been finished, Kabir Ahmed said.
"The feasibility study and acquisition process of 1,100 acres of land for the tunnel have also been completed" he added. Narrating the need for electricity to construct the tunnel, he said primarily two Megawatts electricity has already been managed till today in this regard. He added a substation having 15-Megawatt electricity will be set up very soon to run the construction smoothly.
The length of the 4-lane tunnel will be 3.5 km while the approach road on both sides of the river will be at around 6 km. The tunnel will connect the proposed Asian Highway to Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox's Bazar Highway. Mahbubul Alam, president of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), said the tunnel would open a new horizon in trade and commerce sector in Chittagong and play a vital role in overall economic development of the country. He said the tunnel will reduce by-road distance between Chittagong and Cox's Bazar, apart from easing the heavy port-city-bound traffic from Dhaka.
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