Published On: January 10, 2023 09:00 AM NPT By: Tilottama Rani Charulata
Bangladesh saw the completion of quite a few mega transport and communication projects in 2022, marking a revolution in the development of these sectors.
The transport and communication sectors saw a major revolution in Bangladesh in terms of development in 2022. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina surprised the world by announcing the construction of Padma Bridge with her own funding. The Padma Bridge of that dream was opened on June 25 this year. Apart from this, technology-based Bangladesh's first metro rail was launched on December 28 this year. Apart from this, 100 bridges and 100 roads of 2000 kilometers were launched together in 2022 to establish uninterrupted communication between roads and highways across the country. Besides, the current government's other mega projects including Karnaphuli Tunnel, Dhaka Elevated Expressway, Dhaka-Cox's Bazar Railway, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Padma Rail Link projects are almost in the final stage.
Apart from this, the bus route nationalization committee was formed. Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Authority is working to bring order to Dhaka's public transport system. This committee launched the Dhaka city transport bus service on two more routes last year. Dhaka city transport buses are running on three routes. Therefore, experts believe that if the mega project in the transport and communication sector is completed and the public transport system can be brought in order, the traffic congestion in Dhaka will be reduced to a large extent.
The Padma multipurpose bridge project has been built with the Prime Minister’s own funding. The 6.15 km long Padma Bridge was constructed on the route of Mawa in Munshiganj and Jajira in Shariatpur at a cost of 30,193 crores. The project was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Hasina on June 25 this year. As a result of the opening of this bridge, communication with Dhaka has become much easier for the people of 19 districts of the southern part of the country. Earlier it used to take 5-8 hours to reach Dhaka from Barisal. Passengers of Barisal said that due to the launch of Padma Setu, they can now reach Dhaka in just three hours.
The 11.73 km section of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line-6 from Uttara to Agargaon was inaugurated on 28 December. Prime Minister Hasina officially inaugurated the metro rail service on that day. The length of MRT Line-6 from Diabari to Kamalapur in Uttara is 21.16 km. As of November 30, last year, 84.22 percent of MRT Line-6 work had been completed. Six lines of metrorail are being constructed in combination with overpasses and subways to relieve traffic congestion in Dhaka city and surrounding areas. The entire railway will be 128.741 km. Of this, 67.569 km will be overground and 61.172 km will be underground. The construction of these six lines of Metrorail is expected to be completed by 2030. The projects are being implemented by Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) under the Ministry of Roads and Bridges.
A three-and-a-half-kilometer tunnel is being built under the Karnaphuli River to connect Anwara with Chittagong city in the 'One City-Two Towns' model. China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) is working on the ongoing Chinese-funded Bangabandhu Tunnel project. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel connects Patenga on the west end of Chittagong's Karnaphuli River and Anwara area on the east end. There are two tubes in the tunnel. Traffic from Anwara to Patenga will move through the south side tube. The infrastructure construction of this tube is 100 percent complete. Traffic from Patenga to Anwara will be through the northern side tube. The overall construction progress of this tube is 98 percent. And the people concerned said that the work of the entire project has progressed to 94 percent.
Dhaka Elevated Expressway
The 19.73 km long Dhaka Elevated Expressway (Ural Road) is being constructed from the Uttara Airport to Jatrabari's Qutub Khali. So far 50 percent of the Udal road project has been completed. The work of this project is going on at a cost of 8,940 crores in three parts. The bridge authority is implementing the project through Public-Private Partnership (PPP). Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport-Kuril-Banani-Mohakhali-Tejgaon-Moghbazar-Kamalapur-Syedabad-Jatrabari-Dhaka-Chittagong highway (Qutub Khali) is being constructed. However, 76 percent of the total length of 7.45 km from the airport to Banani railway station has been completed, officials said.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
A 20.5 km long high-speed separated bus lane or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT-3) project is being constructed from Shivbari in Gazipur to Uttara Airport. The project is being implemented by the Road and Bridge Ministry's Dhaka Bus Rapid Transit Company Limited (DBRTCL). So far, the overall progress of project work is 82.25 percent. In nine years, the cost of the project has been increased three times and time duration four times. According to project sources, it was last scheduled to be completed by June 2022, but it has been extended by another six months.
Padmarail Link Project
The 173 km broad gauge railway is being laid from Dhaka to Jessore via Padma Bridge at a cost of Tk 39,258 crore 13 lakh. When asked about the progress of the project, 67 percent progress was made till last July. About 86 percent of the rail link up to Mawa-Bhanga has been completed. As much as 68 percent of the work from Dhaka to Mawa has been completed. And 58 percent work has been completed till Bhanga-Jesore. The work of the project from Dhaka-Bhanga will be completed by June next year. The entire work of the project will be completed by June 2024, said the concerned authorities.
Dohazari-Ramu-Cox's Bazar Railway
As part of the Trans Asian International Railway Route, the construction project of 128 km long Dohazari-Ramu-Cox's Bazar-Ghum Ghum Railway is taken up. Prime Minister Hasina laid the foundation stone of the project on April 3, 2011. On 27 April 2016, the project was included as a fast track project. At present Dohazari-Ramu-Cox's Bazar 100 km railway is being constructed. A 28.76 km railway line was to be constructed up to Ghum Ghum near the Myanmar border. But due to Myanmar's lack of interest, work on the second part has not yet started, project sources said. So far 77 percent construction of the project has been completed. The officials concerned said that the railway will be launched in June 2023.
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