China keen to build smart city on Chittagong coast

Published : 23 Feb 2022 08:49 PM

China has proposed to build a sub-city in Chittagong like the smart city built in Shanghai, China.

Four Chinese state-owned companies have offered CDA to build a smart city by filling the 60-square-kilometer area from the Patenga coast to the Mirsarai Economic Zone in exchange for building a metrorail in Chittagong at their own expense.  However, the four Chinese companies also want to take dividends from there.  Earlier, the South Korean company Koika had already held a ministerial meeting in Dhaka-Chittagong to review the study on the construction of metro rail in Chittagong.

At the same time, the resumption of efforts by Chinese donors has sparked controversy.  This time the Parliamentary Committee on the Ministry of Housing and Public Works agreed to the proposal made by the Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) to build a smart city on the coast in exchange for the Metrorail.  The parliamentary committee supported China's proposal and recommended that it be sent to the prime minister.

The information was given at the 19th meeting of the Standing Committee on Housing and Public Works held at the Parliament House on Tuesday.  After the meeting, the chairman of the committee Engineer Mosharraf Hossain told reporters.

He said, "China wants to build a metro rail project in Chittagong city with its own funds."  China and Bangladesh will build a smart city in an area of 60 square kilometers along the coast.  The parliamentary committee recommended that China send the proposal to the prime minister.

Among the members of the committee were State Minister for Housing and Public Works Sharif Ahmed, Narayan Chandra Chand, Bazlul Haque Harun, Md Monowar Hossain Chowdhury, Anwarul Ashraf Khan and Farida Khanam.

CDA chief engineer Kazi Hassan bin Shams said, they want to make a township by reclaiming the land of the sea in that place.  In return, they offered to finance the entire Metrorail.  The Bangladesh government will not need any money.  The Chinese proposal states that by rescuing the land from the sea that they want to build a 'smart city', the responsibility will remain in their hands.  They will share the money from the plot sale with the Bangladesh government. '

Hassan Bin Shams added, "The proposal is to rescue the sea land from the Bay Terminal to Mirsarai."  However, sometimes there are companies, including the shipbreaking industry, will be left out.  There is no risk of loss if the sea land is recovered here.  Such townships have been created by reclaiming the land of the sea in different parts of the world including Dubai and Singapore.  They also told us that they have experience in such work.  He said that they have the technology to make the sea water clear in that part.

According to the CDA, the Chittagong Port Authority will implement the Bay Terminal project on the sea shore along this road.  The Chinese company is also working on the tunnel and Padma bridge on the Karnafuli river at a very fast pace.  That is why the parliamentary committee, starting from the CDA, is in favor of the Chinese proposal.  Although the CDA does not have any specific information on how much it will cost to build the township.  Even chief engineer Hassan bin Shams did not want to say which four Chinese companies have jointly proposed the Metrorail and Township projects.

Four Chinese companies have proposed to build a township by reclaiming land from the proposed area of Bay Terminal in Chittagong to Mirsarai.  Four Chinese companies have proposed to build a township by reclaiming land from the proposed area of Bay Terminal in Chittagong to Mirsarai.  Businesses and investors from different countries will be flocking to the future economic activities around Bangabandhu Industrial City in Mirsarai, Karnafhuli Tunnel, proposed economic zone on the other side of the tunnel and deep seaport and energy hub at Matarbari.

On January 4, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) directed the construction of a metro rail in Chittagong after Dhaka.  Stakeholders including Chittagong businessmen are demanding to connect Mirsarai Economic Zone, various industrial areas and growth centers on the outskirts of the city to this network by Metrorail on three to four routes in the city.

Experts say China's proposal needs further scrutiny.  Can't comment right now.  However, China put Sri Lanka in danger by building a Chinese city in Colombo, Sri Lanka.  They also offer to keep that in mind.