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Dhaka Tribune

Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane highway project cost goes up by 77%

Update : 16 Feb 2016, 09:21 PM

The cost of Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane highway project, one of the first-track projects, has gone up by around 77% to Tk3,817 crore from the original cost estimated nine years ago.

The cost was revised upward by Tk626cr from the third revised cost of Tk3,190cr in 2013 and by Tk1,656cr from the initial estimated cost of Tk2,161cr in 2006.

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved the upward revised cost of the project in a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at the NEC conference room.

The project was first revised in 2009 by increasing the cost to Tk2,382cr due to the correction of the project profile and changes in the design; the second revising was done in 2012 by raising the cost to Tk2,410cr due to increase in land acquisition costs.

About the raise, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said after the Ecnec meeting that fresh acquisition of some areas and land scarcity have led to the rise in project cost and delay in deadline. He hoped that the highway will be completed by this year.

He said the proposed Dhaka-Chittagong elevated expressway will also be built over this four-lane highway.

Deadline for the project completion has also been extended for the fourth time to December 2016 from the latest extension of December 2015.

When the project first got Ecnec nod in 2005, the 192.30km four-lane highway was supposed to be completed by June 2012.

According to the Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division, around Tk2,500cr, which is around 65% of the fourth upward revised cost,  was spent up to November last year.

The Roads and Highways Department is implementing the mega project.

Ecnec gave nod to total nine development projects worth over Tk4,961cr, including the revised cost of the Dhaka-Chittagong highway.

The other approved projects include establishment of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre in Rajshahi at an estimated cost of Tk222cr; construction of 12 barracks at different units of Bangladesh Police for Tk219.17cr; construction of 456 flats for government staff at Malibagh in Dhaka at a cost of Tk194.69cr; and construction of 288 residential flats for the staff of Department of Public Works in Mirpur. 

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