Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate Bangladesh on the 28th of October in the era of One City Two Town
Arafat Khader & Rakib uddin
After Padma Bridge, Chittagong and Bangladesh are going to witness another mega development project. After a few months, the new dream door “Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel” under the Karnaphuli river is opening. Which is now fully ready for vehicular movement. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will officially inaugurate it on October 28. The general public will be able to move vehicles from the next day. Chief Secretary to the Prime Minister visited the area of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel built under the Karnaphuli River while waiting for the inauguration. Mr. Tofazzal Hossain answered various questions of journalists after the visit on Wednesday (September 20) evening. He said ‘Safety is our first priority. Two police camps have already been established. Along with the police, the Coast Guard, Tourist Police will also be responsible for the security of the tunnel. CDA has taken up a scheme for traffic management. It will start working soon.
The work of Bangabandhu Tunnel project started in December 2017 at a cost of about 10 thousand 374 crores. On February 24,at 2019, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina first inaugurated the boring work of the tube in the tunnel. Then on November 26 last year, the Prime Minister officially inaugurated a tube of this tunnel. P.M will inaugurate the entire tunnel now that the work of the second tube is 100% done. Worked on the project in the Chinese company ‘China Communication Construction Limited’. The project is being implemented with the joint funding of the Government of Bangladesh and China. Out of the project cost of Tk 10,374 crore, Exim Bank of China has given a loan of Tk 5,913 crore at an interest rate of two percent. The rest was financed by the Bangladesh government
This tunnel has been constructed in two separate tubes under the river Karnaphuli based on the priority of present government. The government took the tunnel project to connect two banks of Karnaphuli to build ‘one city two town’ on the model of China’s Shanghai. The length of the main tunnel with two tubes from Patenga to Anwara on the other side of Karnaphuli is 3.43 km. The length of the tunnel tube is 2.45 kilometers and the inner diameter is 10.80 meters. It will take maximum 6 minutes to reach from one end of the river through the tunnel to the other end.
Those concerned with the project say that the perimeter of Chittagong city will increase if the tunnel is opened. Already the price of land in Anwara upazila has increased several times. Numerous small and large industries are being built on both sides of the tunnel connecting road at the edge of Anwara upazila. When the tunnel opens, it will take only 6 minutes to cross the Karnaphuli river. Economy will accelerate as time is saved. Around the tunnel, there will be a revolutionary change in the road communication between the capital Dhaka and Chittagong city and tourist city Cox’s Bazar.
Everyone has to pay toll to cross the tunnel. Only those who are on urgent work will be exempted from this toll. On July 13, the bridge department issued a notification finalizing the toll rates according to the vehicle class. According to the notification, a total of 12 types of vehicles will have to pay toll in the 3.43 km long Bangabandhu Tunnel. The minimum toll is Tk 200. Private cars have to pay this toll at the crossing. Toll is Tk 200 for each pickup crossing. Microbus toll is Tk 250. Toll for buses with less than 31 seats is Tk 300. Toll for buses with more than 32 seats is Tk 400. The toll for three-axle big buses has been fixed at Tk 500. The toll for trucks capable of carrying up to five tons of goods has been fixed at Tk 400. 500 taka toll for 8 ton truck and 600 taka for 11 ton truck. Toll will be 800 taka on three-axle container-carrying trailer. 1000 rupees should be paid for four axle trailer. Additional 200 taka should be paid for each additional axle. This toll rate will be effective from the day the tunnel is opened for vehicular traffic. However, motorcycle movement inside the tunnel is prohibited.
A foreign company has been entrusted with the management of GwU for five years. There will be a public guidance system inside the tunnel and there will be automated guidance on eight radio channels. Regardless of the frequency inside the tunnel, this guidance will be automatic as long as the vehicle is in the tunnel. Vehicles can run at a maximum speed of sixty kilometers through the tunnel.
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