The minister said this while talking to the media after inspecting the progress of the tunnel project at Patenga in the city on Sunday
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader assured that Coronavirus outbreak would not hamper the construction work of Bangabandhu Tunnel under the Karnaphuli River.
The minister said this while talking to the media after inspecting the progress of the tunnel project at Patenga in the city on Sunday.
“Bangabandhu Tunnel is a priority project of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The project is going on at its own pace. Till now, the Coronavirus outbreak has not delayed the project,” said Quader, also the General Secretary of ruling party Awami League.
“A total of 293 Chinese nationals are involved with the project. Of them, 72 Chinese nationals have taken leave and 45 have already returned to Bangladesh while 27 have returned to their workplace,” the Minister said, adding that 51% construction work of the project has already been completed.
Quader also hoped that the tunnel will be opened to the traffic in 2022 if the project advances at the current pace.
Bangladesh Bridge Authority is constructing the 3.5 kilometres long, the country’s first-ever four-lane tunnel, under Karnaphuli River with an approach road of 4.89 kilometres alongside 740 metres of bridge linking the port city with southern regions of Chittagong.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the President of China Xi Jinping laid the foundation stone of the tunnel on October 14, 2017. Later, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the boring work of the tunnel in February last year.
The estimated cost of the tunnel is Tk. 98.80 billion, where the Chinese Exim Bank will provide Tk 59.13 billion.
Chinese firm ‘China Communication Construction Company Ltd (CCCC), is working as a consultant for the construction of the Bangabandhu tunnel.
The multilane tunnel route will pass through the river close to Navy College on one side and the Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) and Karnaphuli Fertiliser Company (KAFCO) on the other side.
The tunnel will connect Chittagong Port and Anowara Upazila, and is expected to make communication between Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar easier by reducing traffic congestion on the two bridges over the Karnaphuli River.