The government is working on the proposed toll for the Padma Bridge and Dhaka-Mawa Expressway
Construction work on the 6.15km Padma Multipurpose Bridge is progressing and residents of southern districts are eagerly awaiting a hassle-free journey to Dhaka when it opens. On the other hand, Bangladesh's first ever 55km expressway, from Dhaka to Faridpur's Bhanga upazila, is already open for use.
The two routes make movement between Dhaka and southern districts significantly easier, and one may wonder how much toll commuters on the routes will have to pay.
A journey from Dhaka’s Dhanmondi to Barisal or Khulna by sedan requires a total toll of a whopping Tk1,000.
The first toll would be on the Mayor Mohammad Hanif Flyover near the Dhaka Medical College Hospital area, in around three kilometres. A traveller would have to pay Tk60 to reach Postagola using the flyover.
Just one kilometre further on, a Tk40 toll would have to be paid at the China-Bangladesh Friendship Bridge. Subsequently, the Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga Expressway can be used for a charge of Tk136.
After driving around 30km, the traveller would reach Mawa toll plaza of Padma Bridge. Tk750 is needed to cross the bridge.
At the end of the expressway at Bhanga upazila of Faridpur, there is an intersection. One road moves towards Khulna via Gopalganj and the other to Barisal.
On the road to Barisal, there are a couple of toll bridges that will charge Tk40 and the traveller will reach Barisal with a net spend on tolls of Tk1,026 in a private sedan, Tk1,648 in an SUV and Tk1,758 in a microbus. The total journey is about 109km.
The road to Khulna includes two toll bridges. Mollarthat Bridge in Gopalganj charges a toll of Tk 20 for sedans and the Khan Jahan Ali Bridge over the Rupsa River in Khulna charges Tk75. Total toll expenditure on the route amounts to Tk1,081 for private sedans, and Tk1,708 for SUVs on the 180km journey.
When will toll collection begin?
According to government plans, the collection of tolls from vehicles travelling on the Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga Expressway is likely to begin from July this year.
Tolls will be collected from travellers on the Padma Multipurpose Bridge from the day of opening. The authorities concerned have already finalized the draft of the toll proposal and have begun hiring toll booth operators.
According to the proposal by the Roads and Highways Department (RHD), the toll for a medium truck (two axles) would be Tk9.9 per km for the Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga Expressway. This means that a truck would have to pay at least Tk544 for using the entire 55km expressway, while the toll for a bus would be Tk490 and for a sedan Tk136.
“The proposal needs to be approved by the Road Transport and Bridges Ministry,” said Fahmida Haque Khan, deputy secretary (toll and axel) of the Road Transport and Highways Division.
“The rate was fixed for an interim period. It will be set again after the opening of the Padma Bridge,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) has already finalized a toll proposal for Padma Bridge. The proposal has already been sent to the Finance Division for approval and will be placed before a boarding meeting of BBA in early April.
According to the proposal, motorcycles would have to pay Tk100 to pass the bridge, while the ferry charge is Tk70. Sedans would pay Tk500 on the ferry and Tk750 on the Padma Bridge.
SUVs and pickups would pay Tk1,200, while the toll for a microbus would be Tk1,300, minibus/coaster Tk1,400, medium bus Tk2,000, and bus Tk2,400. A mini-truck driver would pay Tk1,600 (below 5 ton), medium truck (5-8 ton) Tk2,100, truck (above 8 ton) Tk2,800, three axle covered van would pay Tk5,500, four axle trailer Tk6,400 and an additional Tk1,500 will be added for each axle for trailers with more than four axles.
“The proposal will be sent to the Prime Minister’s Office for approval once it gets the nod from the BBA board,” said Mohammad belayed Hossain, secretary of the Bridge Division.