The cost of Dhaka- Ashulia Elevated Expressway project goes up by Tk 651 crore due to an increase in the value of the dollar.
This project has a Tk 9,692 crore loan from China and the entire amount has to be repaid in dollars. As a result, the cost of the project is rising.
When the project was passed in 2017, the dollar price was Tk 80.70. Now it has increased to Tk 89. Besides, the duration of the project is also increasing for two more years.
The cost of the main project was Tk 16,901.32 crore that is expected to be completed in September 2017 to June 2022.
Meanwhile, a new expenditure of Tk 17,553.40 crore has been proposed for revision in the planning commission, an official said. The project also has been proposed to be extended by two years up to June 2024, he said , adding that, the project is going to place for revision at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) today (Wednesday).
Md Mamun-Al-Rashid, Physical Infrastructure Division Member of the Planning Commission, said, “The project will be presented at the ECNEC meeting for revision. The cost of the project is increasing mainly due to the increase in the value of the dollar. There was also a slight miscalculation in the amount of money that was planned to be borrowed from China. Besides, the work was slow due to various reasons including the Corona crisis.”
An official of the project said, “When the project was passed in 2017, the value of the dollar was much lower. But now the dollar has risen a lot. We have to repay the loan from China in dollars. Due to these reasons, the cost of the project is increasing. Besides, Due to Covid-19 crisis, the duration of the project is increasing.”
According to the Bangladesh Bridge Authority, in 2017, ECNEC approved the construction of Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway project at a cost of Tk 16,901.32 crore to reduce traffic congestion in the capital and surrounding areas. The project was scheduled to be completed in June 2022.
However, work on the project was delayed due to delays in getting loans from China.
The main project expenditure included government funding of Tk 5,951.41 crore and Chinese debt of Tk 10,949.90 crore.
According to the revised proposal, the total cost of the project stands at Tk 17,553 crore. Of this, government funding has increased by Tk 1,909.54 crore to Tk 8,060 crore. On the other hand, the Chinese debt is decreasing from Tk 1,257.82 crore to Tk 9,692 crore.
The main purpose of the project is to reduce traffic congestion by constructing 24 km elevated expressway from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Nabinagar Junction via Abdullahpur-Ashulia Bypass and Chandra Junction via EPZ.
Stakeholders hope that if the project is successfully implemented, easy connectivity of 30 districts will be established with Dhaka. The communication system of Dhaka with North Bengal will also be congestion free.