The construction work of the four-lane expressway involving roads from Bhogra, Joydevpur, and Madanpur under a public private partnership (PPP) scheme is expected to be completed by 2022
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader inaugurated the construction work of Dhaka Bypass project at Kanchan in Rupganj upazila in Narayanganj on Thursday.
The construction work of the four-lane expressway involving roads from Bhogra, Joydevpur, and Madanpur under a public private partnership (PPP) scheme is expected to be completed by 2022.
The commercial road will also have a service lane on both sides for vehicles operating without paying tolls.
These lanes will make the road communication easier between Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj cities, through Purbachal Residential Area.
Speaking to reporters at the inaugural event, Obaidul Quader expressed the hope that the expressway construction work would be completed in within the scheduled time frame.
The minister said the Chinese consortium Sichuan Road and Bridge Group, Shamim Enterprise Ltd and UDC Construction Limited had on December 6 this year signed a concession contract with the Bangladesh government to upgrade the road under a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement.
The consortium will design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the tolled expressway over a 25-year concession period, and will be able to charge tolls based on the types of vehicles using the road.
Quader said the total cost of the project was Tk4,000 crore, with the government offering a viability gap funding of Tk310 crore and a minimum revenue guarantee to the consortium to optimize the cost of financing. The contract also provides the government with a share of revenues generated by the consortium over a certain threshold.
Emphasizing the importance of adequate roads and highways infrastructure in preventing accidents, Quader said that a lack of awareness regarding safety among people was to blame for the increasing number of road crashes and fatalities. He added that grown-ups, youth and political leaders and activists, in particular, remained indifferent to traffic rules.
"Unauthorized motorized vehicles, including Nasimon-Karimon-Bhotvoti and three-wheelers, have been plying the roads and highways with political patronage," Quader said.
He said these modes of transport had become the main cause behind the high number of accidents and injuries on the highways. He called upon political leaders and supporters to help solve this unrelenting problem.
Textile and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi, Roads and Highways Division Chief Engineer Zawad Alam, Expressway Project Director Sabuj Uddin Khan, Chinese Ambassador H.E. Li Jiming and senior government officials, among others, were present during the inauguration.
The Dhaka Bypass — a part of Asian Highways which is also known as the Great Asian Highway — is a cooperative project among countries in Asia and Europe and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, aimed at improving highway systems in Asia.
As an alternative route for commuters, the Dhaka Bypass will not only save travel time, but also help reduce vehicle operating costs on the National Highway (N105).
“The project will be completed in the next four years,” said Sabuj Uddin Khan, director of Support to Joydevpur-Debogram-Bhulta-Madanpur Road (Dhaka Bypass) PPP Project.
The expressway will stretch between Joydevpur-Debogram-Bhulta-Madanpur.
Once built, it will be the second-largest expressway after the Dhaka-Mawa expressway. No slow-moving vehicles will be allowed on it.
The 48-kilometre expressway will allow vehicles to drive at a speed of 120kmph speed, which means they will not take more than 40 minutes to travel from Madanpur in Narayanganj to Kodda in Gazipur.
The commercial road will have service lanes on both sides for vehicles operating without paying tolls. These lanes will make road communication easier between Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj cities, through Purbachal Residential Area.
The existing road between Kodda and Madanpur faces huge traffic congestions as trucks and covered vans are not allowed to ply through Dhaka city during the daytime.
According to the detailed project plan, five flyovers will be built under the project at Bhogra, Mirerebazar, Bastul, Dhirashram, and Kanchan points of the bypass road to avoid railway crossings and intersections.
Three four-lane bridges will also be constructed over the Shitalakshya River at Kanchan, Ulokhola and Nagda, according to the plan.