The much-awaited construction of 24 kilometres Dhaka-Ashulia elevated expressway will begin in January next after complications over loan agreement with China was resolved recently. More than four crore people of 30 districts will be benefited from the expressway after the project is implemented, sources said adding that the project is scheduled to complete by December 2024.
Officials concerned said that with the expressway in operation commuters of 25 northwestern districts and five southwestern districts will be able to enter and leave the capital city without facing any difficulties. The traffic congestion at Aricha Road, especially from Nabinagar to Gabtoli, will also be reduced to a great extent along with various roads in the region.
“The land acquisition process has already started and appointment of contractor and sub-contractor has been completed. The Bangladesh Bridge Authority will issue a contract to the contractor company only after the loan agreement with the lender company Exim Bank of China,” said project concerned officials.
According to the feasibility study of the project, the implementation of this mega project will significantly reduce traffic congestion and improve transportation and communication in Savar, Ashulia, Nabinagar and Savar EPZ areas. Contacted, Dhaka-Ashulia elevated expressway project director Engineer Md Shahbuddin Khan on Tuesday told Bangladesh Post, “Development Project Proposal (DPP) of the project has been approved. The selection of the contractor company and the subcontractor has been completed. Now, the main activities of the project will be started only after completing the loan agreement with Exim Bank of China. We are hopeful that we will be able to start physical works by January 2020.”
About the construction company, Md Shahbuddin said, “China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation will get the main construction work as the condition of the loan. Apart from this, we have initially selected three sub-contractors. From them we will select one sub-contractor.”
According to the sources, the Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway will be connected with the Dhaka Elevated Expressway, which is under construction. It was learnt that the construction of the 24-kilometer elevated expressway will start from opposite Dhaka Airport (Kawla) and project will end at Savar EPZ via Abdullahpur-Bipail-Ashulia over the rail line from Kowal.
The project officials said that Taka 16,901 crore will be spent in constructing the elevated expressway. Of the total amount, Taka 10,949.90 crore will come from the loan from Exim Bank of China and Taka 5,951.41 crore from the government treasury. Under the project, a three-kilometer four-lane bridge will be built instead of existing road embankment in Ashulia for the sake of environment and 14-kilometer road under the expressway will be upgraded to four-lane, the project officials said.
Two flyovers will be constructed in Nabinagar under Savar upazila while length of each flyover will be one kilometer, they said, adding that 18 kilometers drainage will be constructed along both sides of the expressway. The Bangladesh government and Chinese government are implementing the projects on government to government (G2G) basis to ease the city communication with Ashulia industrial area and EPZ.
The feasibility study of this project was done on March 25, 2017. The DPP was approved on September 25, 2017 for a five-year period. Already two years have passed but the main work of the project has not started yet due to loan agreement complications. However, for the acquisition of land, Tk 230 crore has already been paid to the Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka and Tk 70 crore to the Deputy Commissioner of Gazipur.
Bangladesh will pay a total of 25 (3 years construction work and the next 4 years) a year by collecting tolls from these roads. Initially, it was determined to give loan at 2 percent interest but later China Exim Bank claimed 3 percent interest to give loan. Now, after discussing in government level of two countries, China Exim Bank has agreed to give loan at 2 percent interest.
Earlier on July 11 this year, the government hired a Spanish company a consultant for reviewing the design and monitor the construction work of the Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway.