PM launches boring work of Karnaphuli Tunnel

Publish: 2:45 PM, February 24, 2019 | Update: 2:45:PM, February 24, 2019

CHATTOGRAM -Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today inaugurated the boring work of the much-awaited Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel under the Karnaphuli river opening up a new horizon in the
country’s communication system.

The prime minister launched the boring work of the tunnel by unveiling its plaque at a function at Patenga here this morning.

The 3.5 kilometres long four-lane tunnel, the first of its kind in Bangladesh and South-East Asia, will be built at a cost of Taka 9,880 crore to make Chattogram ‘One City Two Towns’, modelled on east and west Shanghai of China, officials said.

The total length of the proposed tunnel will be around 9.092 kilometres, including 3.40 kilometres of tunnel under the Karnaphuli River with an approach road of 4.89 kilometres alongside 740 metres of bridges linking the
main port city and western side of the Karnaphuli along with the heavy industry-prone eastern side of the river.

The tunnel route will pass through the river close to Navy College on one side and Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) and Karnaphuli Fertiliser Company (Kafco) on the other.

It will cut short the road distance between Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar, apart from easing the traffic on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway entering the port city to go to other parts of Chattogram division.

The multilane tunnel will connect Chattogram Port and Anowara Upazila and is expected to make communication between Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar easier with reducing traffic congestion on two bridges over the Karnaphuli river.

Chinese firm China Communication Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) has been appointed as a consultant for construction of the tunnel, the sources added.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Chinese President Xi Jinping jointly laid its foundation stone on October 14 in 2017. The prime minister also opened the construction work of the 17-kilometre- long elevated expressway in the port city.

Ministers, parliament members, local Awami League leaders and high civil and military officials were present at the function. The proposed Elevated Expressway starting from Lalkhan Bazar to Shah Amanat Airport will be built at a cost of Taka 3,250 crore. Max Benkin JB has been appointed as contractor for construction of the elevated expressway.