Dhaka Bypass Road: Work for 4-lane upgrade begins

Work for upgrading the 48km Dhaka Bypass Road to dual carriageway was inaugurated yesterday, aiming to improve connectivity between the country's north and northwest parts and the Chattogram Port. Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader inaugurated the work at a ceremony near Kanchan bridge in Rupganj upazila of Narayanganj. This is the first public-private partnership project of the Roads and Highways Department (RHD), and vehicles will have to pay toll to use the four-lane highway -- Joydevpur-Debogram-Bhulta-Madanpur, commonly known as Dhaka Bypass Road.

Once completed, it would take around 40 minutes to cross the road from Bhogra intersection on Dhaka-Tangail Highway to Madanpur on Dhaka-Chattogram Highway, officials said. Talking at the programme, Quader, also general secretary of ruling Awami League, said the initial problem over funding has been resolved and work will go on in full throttle now. The work would be completed within the stipulated deadline of 2022, the minister hoped.

Last December, Roads and Highways Department and a consortium of three companies signed a deal for the Tk 4,000 crore project. The companies are Sichuan Road and Bridge (Group) Corporation Ltd of China, and Shamim Enterprise (Pvt) Ltd and UDC Corporation Ltd of Bangladesh. Of the total amount, the finance ministry would provide Tk 223.79 crore while RHD would provide around Tk 500 crore, and the rest Tk 3,276 crore would be provided by the investors.

The project includes designing, building, financing, operating, and maintaining the road by the private partner for a concession period of 25 years. The highway will have modern equipment such as central control and command centre, variable message signs, full-length CCTV coverage and intelligent cameras for traffic count and classifications installed. The road connects the Joydevpur-Tangail National Highway (N-4), Dhaka-Chattogram National Highway (N-1), Dhaka-Sylhet National Highway (N-2), Dhaka-Mymensingh National Highway (N-3) along with some regional highways and district roads.

Buses, trucks and other vehicles will be able to easily travel from northern and western parts of the country to eastern and southern parts without entering Dhaka city.

There would be service roads on both sides, which would be toll-free.

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