Monday, 24 January, 2022

BRT project progressing fast to meet deadline

BRT project progressing fast to meet deadline
Work on BRT project is progressing fast. The photo was taken from Abdullahpur in the capital on Sunday. – Md nasir uddin

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The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project for constructing a 20 kilometre dedicated bus route from Gazipur to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to ease nagging traffic congestion in the capital is now back on track after a long delay.

The project has caused huge problems for the city dwellers, but project officials say the project has been expedited now after special initiatives have been taken to speed up the project.

“The project work is progressing fast and is expected to complete within its current deadline of June 2022,” said project director ASM Elias Shah.

Officials at the Road Transport and Highways Division said special initiatives have been taken to ramp up the project execution so that the city dwellers can benefit from the project as soon as possible.

The project is being monitored with special priority and an additional secretary has been assigned to look after the project on regular basis, they added.

Apart from constructing the bus route, 50 articulated buses will be procured under the project through international tendering to provide full benefits of the project to the people, the project director informed.

Once the project is fully complete, buses will run on this route every 1.5 minutes and it will be possible to reach Shahjalal International Airport from Gazipur in only 40 minutes, he added.

Road transport and highways division, local government engineering department (LGED) and Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) are jointly implementing the important project that started in December 2012.

The project is being implemented at an estimated cost of Tk 42.68 billion. The Asian Development Bank (ADB), French agency Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the government are jointly funding this project.

Out of the 20.20km bus route, 4.5km will be an elevated route while the rest will remain on the ground. The work so far advanced nearly 51 per cent, according to project officials.

Besides, a 10-lane bridge on the River Turag in Tongi and six flyovers at different places with 2812.50 metres total length are being built. Some 25 stations, a bus depot in Gazipur, 113 access roads with 56km total length and a 24km high capacity drain will be also be constructed under the scheme. 

The work of the bridge so far advanced 60.70 per cent, while the overall progress of construction of six flyovers is 73.30 per cent. The bus depot has been completed and 97.10 per cent work on the drainage system has been done.

Some 1.5 million people live in Tongi area which is also a dense industrial area. Some 300 RMG factories are located in adjacent areas of BRT corridor, which employ nearly one million RMG workers.

As a result, the number of vehicles is on the rise on the route, also raising the number of road accidents at the same time.

More than 2,500 buses and minibuses are operated by private operators on the route, most of which are rickety and unfit for plying on the roads, according to official data.

After analyzing the accidents on the route, the government finds that 50 per cent road accident victims are pedestrians.  

The government picked up the project in December 2012 after a growing demand for a safe, comfortable, environment-friendly, cost-effective and modern city transport system. 

Project officials think that the project will be able to give an overall solution to the lack of a modern and faster transport system in the capital as well as a coordinated transport system.