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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend the completion of the South Tube of Bangabandhu Tunnel today, virtually

  • National
  • 26 November, 2022 15:27:29

Photo: Collected

News Desk: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel, the first tunnel under the river in South Asia, will be opened for traffic in January. More than 94 percent of the tunnel work has already been completed.

The government is going to celebrate the completion of the tunnel's south tube on Saturday (November 26) ahead of the grand opening.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to attend the celebrations virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban.

On this occasion, Chief Secretary to the Prime Minister. Ahmad Kaykaus visited the place of celebration in Chittagong.

While talking to the journalists, Ahmad Kaykaus said that more than 94 percent of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel has already been completed. The tunnel is expected to be completed by January. The tunnel will be opened to the public by January.

In response to a question, Kaykaus said the tunnel is expected to contribute 0.166 percent to the growth of the national economy.

He also said that the tunnel will greatly improve the traffic congestion situation in Chittagong and will help in the economic development of the country. The people of Bangladesh are eagerly waiting for the inauguration of Bangabandhu Tunnel, another mega project after the Padma Bridge.

Bridge Department Secretary Md. Manjur Hossain said that the first tunnel in South Asia will reflect Bangladesh's pride, dignity and ability to complete a mega structure.

He said that the government has taken a project to build Chittagong as a port city like Shanghai in China on the basis of 'one city, two cities' design. Due to the tunnel, there will be a revolutionary change in the road network of southern part of Bangladesh.

He also said that modern communication system will be established with Matarbari deep sea port through Anwara Crossing through Cox's Bazar, Banshkhali and Matarbari power plants and Karnaphuli tunnel. This will give momentum to the economy of the South and increase the standard of living and employment. This tunnel will play an important role in the development of the economy in the long run.

Project Director Harunur Rashid Chowdhury said that most of the work inside the tunnel has been completed and only electrical lines and some technical work are left. The domestic and foreign engineers and workers involved in the project are facing daily challenges and advancing the work quickly. The tunnel will have a positive impact on GDP. The economy will get a new dimension due to massive employment, tourism and industrialization.

Harunur Rashid said that through the tunnel, an improved and easy communication system will be developed with Chittagong city, Chittagong port and the airport located in the western end. It will take less time and cost to transport the products and raw materials from the industrial factories in the eastern region to the Chittagong port and airport.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Chinese President Xi Jinping jointly laid the foundation stone of the Karnaphuli Tunnel on 14 October 2016. On February 24, 2019, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the boring work of the first tunnel tube and on December 12, 2020, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader inaugurated the boring work of the second tube.

The tunnel is connecting under the river between Chittagong Urea Fertilizer Limited and Karnaphuli Fertilizer Limited factories in Anwara starting from Naval Academy end of Patenga in Chittagong.

The length of the main tunnel is 3.32 km and consists of two tubes. Each has two lanes. These two tubes will be connected through three junctions (cross passages). These cross passages will be used to access other tubes in case of emergency. The length of the tunnel tube is 2.45 km and the inner diameter is 10.80 m. There is a 5.35 km link road on the west and east sides of the main tunnel.

The tunnel project is being implemented with the joint funding of Bangladesh and China governments. The total cost of the project is about Tk 10,537 crore. China's Exim Bank is providing a loan of Tk 5,913 crore and the rest is being provided by the Bangladesh government.


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