Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Elevated expressway: 9 percent progress in six years

  • Obaidur Masum, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2017-10-17 12:59:26 BdST

bdnews24

Construction on the elevated expressway in Dhaka has progressed 9 percent since the contracts were signed and the foundation laid in 2011.

Italian-Thai Development Plc is in charge of the construction of the public-private partnership project.

Work on the project stalled due to complications in land acquisition and timely fundraising for the construction, say officials involved with the project.

Project Director Kazi Mohammad Ferdous said the project should now be open to traffic in 2020, because those obstacles have ‘largely been cleared up’.

“So far 9 percent of the physical construction is complete,” Ferdous told bdnews24.com on Monday. “It is true that our pace is slow. But much of the work is underground and, as a result, is not visible. We have not done much above-ground work yet. That will begin in full-swing in December.”

>>The Dhaka Elevated Expressway is to extend from the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport through Korail, Banani, Mohakhali, Tejgaon, Moghbazar, Kamalapur, Sayedabad and Jatrabari to the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway in the Kutubkhali area.

>>The main line of the expressway from the airport to Kutubkhali is 19.73 kilometres. Thirty-one ramps also run 27 kilometres. The total distance, including the ramps, is 46.73 kilometres.

>>The project has been broken into three parts. The first section extends from the airport to Banani and covers 7.45 kilometres, the second section from Banani to Moghbazar is 5.85 kilometres and the third section extends from 6.43 kilometres from Moghbazar to Kutubkhali.

>>The cost of the project has been estimated to be approximately Tk 89.4 billion. The government is to provide Tk 2.413 billion. The rest is to be provided by Ital-Thai.

>>A total of 220.16 acres of land have been acquired for the project.

>>Ital-Thai will collect tolls on the expressway for 25 years

The Bridges Division signed the deal with Ital-Thai on Jan 19, 2011. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed the foundation on Apr 30 of that year.

Land acquisition complications held up construction for two years. A new deal was signed in 2013 after changes to the design and inflation raised the project budget.

Land surveys began in 2013. Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader inaugurated two rounds of construction work on the project on Oct 30, 2014 and Aug 16, 2015.

“The main alignment of the project was initially designed to pass through a densely populated area. This delayed the work for two to three years. In addition, some investors did not confirm their funding. This is why it is taking more time.”

But the construction company says financing will be secured by December, which will expedite work.