BBA finalises 39 km route involving $1.8b

Dhaka,  Tue,  26 September 2017
Published : 16 Aug 2017, 00:30:23
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BBA finalises 39 km route involving $1.8b

East West Elevated Expressway
Munima Sultana


Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) has finalised the route of another elevated expressway on the eastern-western side of the city.

Officials said consultants of East West Elevated Expressway (EWEE) project submitted their final report, proposing a 39 kilometres (kms) route connecting Dhaka-Chittagong, Dhaka-Mawa and Dhaka-Manikganj highways.

They said the total cost of EWEE has been estimated US$ 1.8 billion. BBA held a meeting of the stakeholders on Thursday to take last opinions about the final route.

However, two other elevated expressway projects are still hanging in the balance due to various reasons. BBA is the executive agency of all kinds of bridges over 1.5-km length, including the elevated expressways.

The agency has been trying to implement Dhaka Elevated Expressway (DEE) and Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway (DAEE) since 2010, and is yet to make any significant headway in this regard.

BBA signed contract with a Thai company for constructing DEE in 2011. But its progress has been halted, firstly due to complications in handing over land and later due to lack of arranging necessary fund by the contractor under public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement.

DAEE has been at the stage of signing commercial contract with a Chinese company, but its loan arrangement under government-to-government initiative has not yet started.

From the beginning of the project, BBA was in a fix for taking the decision of arranging funding for the project. BBA initially planned to construct it under PPP, but later due to lack of sufficient response from interested parties, the agency moved from its decision.

Finally a Chinese company showed interest in constructing the 38-km expressway, and is now at the final stage of negotiation against its $ 1.38-billion proposal.

However, BBA officials said the latest expressway has been planned to construct using land of free areas or the government areas, so that no land is needed to acquire.

Besides, EWEE is likely to be constructed under build, own, operate, transfer (BOOT) basis.

BBA Chief Engineer Kabir Ahmed said though the arrangement of funding for the project is not decided yet, it might be constructed under BOOT, so that the government has to spend less.

He also said the new elevated expressway is proposed to be constructed by avoiding the hazard of land acquisition and making free the existing roads as well.

EWEE has been proposed entirely over the land of free areas starting from Boilarpur of Dhaka-Manikganj Highway to Langalband of Dhaka-Chittagong Highway.

It is planned to cross Dhaka Basila Road, Ruhitpur of Dhaka-Nawabganj Road, Bagair of Dhaka-Mawa Road, Dhapa of Dhaka-Postogola Road, Jalkuri of Dhaka-Narayanganj Ringroad, and Godnail of Dhaka-Narayanganj Road.

The officials concerned said the proposed elevated expressway will be a part of the middle circular road, recommended in the revised strategic transport plan. They also said EWEE and DAEE will be finally half of the middle circular road to facilitate traffic to bypass and enter the city through five ramps.

SMEC and Associated Consulting Engineers, a SMEC subsidiary, conducted its feasibility study from March 2016.

    smunima@yahoo.com
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