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Tolls proposed for Bangabandhu tunnel

Published : 08 Jan 2023 10:05 PM | Updated : 09 Jan 2023 02:28 PM

The Bangladesh Bridge Authority has prepared a list of how much toll a vehicle will have to pay for crossing the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel constructed under the Karnaphuli River in Chittagong. According to this list, based on vehicles toll will be Tk 200 to Tk 1000.

The rate of toll, proposed by the bridge authority, was approved by Road Transport and Bridge Minister Obaidul Quader on December 20. Now it is awaiting the approval of the Ministry of Finance.

According to the toll set by the bridge authority, private cars, jeeps and pickups will have to pay Tk 200 to pass through the tunnel. At Shah Amanat Bridge, however, private cars have to pay Tk 75 and jeeps Tk 100 to cross the bridge.

However, microbus will have to pay Tk 250 while using the tunnel while the toll rate is Tk 100 at Shah Amanat Bridge.

A bus having seat capacity of up to 31 seats will have to pay Tk 300 at the tunnel. Other buses having 32 seats or more will have to pay Tk 400 while crossing the tunnel. Similar buses have to pay Tk 50 and Tk 155 respectively at Shah Amanat Bridge.  

Trucks having up to 5 tons capacity would have to pay a toll of Tk 400, Tk 500 for trucks having capacity of between five and eight tons, and Tk 600 for a truck having capacity of between eight and 11 tons. However, the toll charged at Shah Amanat Bridge is Tk 130, Tk 200 and Tk 300 respectively. Trailers (four axles) toll is fixed at Tk 1000. This rate is Tk 750 at Shah Amanat Bridge. For vehicles more than four axles, Tk 200 will be added for each axle.

Bridge Authority Deputy Secretary Md. Abul Hasan said that the toll rate of the tunnel has been determined by comparing it with Shah Amanat Bridge and other bridges in the country. But it is still recommended. It will require the approval of the Finance Ministry. Law Ministry will vet. It will then be finalized after the approval of the Prime Minister’s office. Toll rates may change in between.

According to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel Feasibility Study data, on an average 28,305 vehicles will ply daily through the tunnel following its inauguration. Apart from this, the estimated traffic movement to reach by 2030 is 37,946 and by 2067 the target of traffic is 1.62 lakh per day.

“However, if the toll rate of the tunnel is not kept at a affordable level, the drivers will not be encouraged in using it,” said Delwar Majumder, former chairman of the Chittagong Center of the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB). 

He said that Shah Amanat Bridge is an alternative to go to South Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar from all over the country including Dhaka. Therefore, the toll rate of this bridge should be taken into consideration in determining the toll of the tunnel. If the toll rate becomes high, the tunnel will not carry the expected traffic on this huge investment.

The construction of the south tunnel (tube) between the two tubes or tunnels of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel under the Karnaphuli river in Chittagong has been completed. This tunnel starts from Anwara end of Chittagong to Patenga end of the city. 

It is now ready for traffic. Work on North Tunnel (Patenga to Anwaramukhi) is also nearing completion. After its completion, the tunnel will be opened for traffic. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced the completion of the South Tunnel on the morning of November 26. 

So far the progress of the project is 94 percent. The rest of the work will be completed next January, said the engineers involved in the project.

10 thousand 374 crores are being spent on the construction of this tunnel. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the excavation of the first or north tunnel from Patenga to Anwaramukhi on February 24, 2019. The excavation of this 2 thousand 446 meter long tunnel was completed on August 2, 2020. Excavation of the second or southern tunnel (from Anwara to Patengamukhi) started on 12 December 2020. The excavation was completed on October 7 last year.