The much-talked-about Dhaka-Ashulia elevated expressway, planned to ease the traffic gridlock in Dhaka city, is likely to see light in five years.
A large scheme of Tk 16,901 crore to build the 24km elevated expressway from Shahjalal International Airport to Nabinagar and Chandra via Ashulia is being tabled at the ECNEC meeting today, Planning Commission sources said.
The expressway is expected to significantly ease the nagging traffic congestion in Abdullahpur-Ashulia- Bipile-Chandra corridor that connects the capital with 30 districts.
The proposed expressway that falls in the alignment of Asian highway will connect most of the national highways in the country. It will also connect with the under-construction Dhaka elevated expressway.
Once approved, the Bridges Division will implement the project from September 2017 to June 2022.
The project will be implemented with Chinese financial assistance on G2G basis, for which Economic Relations Division (ERD) has already sent a letter of interest to the government of China in early June this year, ERD sources said.
The Chinese government will provide $1,394 million or nearly Tk 10,950 crore in loans to the project, of which 15 percent will be concessional loans and 85 percent will be preferential buyer’s credit.
Bangladesh government will bear Tk 5,951 crore of the estimated project cost of Tk 16,901 crore.
In August this year, the ERD informed the Chinese authorities that the character of financing agreement will be finalised during the framework agreement and the loan negotiation.
Earlier in January 2015, a MoU was signed with a China-nominated company — China National Machinery Import & Export Corporation (CMC) — for the construction of the expressway, official sources said.
A proposal for signing a commercial contract with the company after negotiation was approved in principle at a meeting of the Cabinet committee on economic affairs on 26 April this year.
The plans for constructing a 10.84km ramp and improving 14.28km road, construction of 1.92km Nabinagar flyover, bridge overpass and drainage system have also been included in the proposed elevated expressway project.
Some 40.89 hectares of land will be acquired for the scheme.
As the first step of the project, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) conducted a pre-feasibility study in 2013 and suggested for a 35km elevated expressway. But the length came down to 24km after the completion of the feasibility study in August 2016.
The project was included in 7th five-year plan as part of transport and communication development strategy with a hope to be implemented on public-private partnership basis.