100pc work of Bangabandhu tunnel completed

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Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel beneath the Karnaphuli River is getting ready for vehicular movement, as its 100 percent construction work has been completed so far.

“Now the finishing touch is going on and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to open the tunnel in October next,” said Project Director (PD) Md Harunur Rashid Chowdhury.

“If everything goes well, the tunnel will be opened next October,” he said.

On August 14, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader confirmed that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel, constructed in Chattogram, on October 28.

According to project details, the tunnel will directly connect the Chattogram Port with Anwara upazila, which will directly link Cox’s Bazar with Chattogram.

Two tubes having 35-feet width and 16-feet height have been constructed within an 11-metre gap so that heavy vehicles can pass through the tunnel easily.

The length of the tunnel is 3.40 kilometres with an approach road of 5.35 kilometres alongside a 740-metre bridge linking the main city, port and western side of the river with its eastern side.

Bangabandhu’s daughter, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the boring work of the first tunnel tube on February 24, 2019.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Chinese President Xi Jinping jointly laid the foundation stone of the tunnel on October 14, 2016. China Communications Construction Company Ltd is working as the contractor of the project.

The tunnel will connect the proposed Asian Highway with Dhaka-Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Highway along with reducing the distance by 40 km. Vehicles in this tunnel will run at a speed of 80 km per hour, according to the details of the project.

Bangabandhu Tunnel is being built at a cost of Taka 10,374 crore. The tunnel project is being implemented with joint funding from the governments of Bangladesh and China. The Exim Bank of China is giving a loan of Taka 5,913 crore with a two per cent interest rate while the Bangladesh government is funding the remaining portion.