CHATTOGRAM: Completion of civil work on the south-tube of the much-awaited ‘Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel’ beneath the Karnaphuli River will be celebrated today.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will virtually join the celebration programme as the chief guest.
Project Director (PD) Harunur Rashid Chowdhury told the Daily Sun that 94 per cent work of the entire project has already been completed.
“We’re working to complete the rest six percent work for opening the tunnel to traffic in January,” he said.
“We are now doing electromechanical work and other incomplete ones,” said the PD.
Besides this, some commissioning, and tunnel’s security and safety issues will be ensured through trials to make it fit for the traffic movement, he said.
The sources concerned said excavation of the second tube of the tunnel was completed on October 7 last year.
The boring work on the first tube was completed on August 2 and work of the second tube started on December 12 in 2020.
The Bridge Authority of Road Transport and Bridges Ministry took the initiative for constructing the tunnel with an aim to connect the southern part of the port city with Anwara upazila on other bank of the river following the model of ‘One City and Two Town.’
The project objectives also include improvement of road communication in the country’s southeastern region, getting connected with the Asian highway network, planned urbanisation on both the riverbanks and enhancing facilities for Chattogram Port.
China Communications Construction Company Limited is implementing the project to construct the dream 9.39km tunnel for traffic.
Of the total length, the main tunnel will be 3.32 kms, approach roads on the east and west ends 5.35 kms and an over bridge (viaduct) 727 metres.
The tunnel will connect the Naval avenue point of the port city and CUFL point under Anwara upazila in the district.
The 17km-long and 90ft-wide four-lane outer ring road on the existing coastal embankment stretching from Patenga to Faujdarhat under Sitakunda upazila will connect the tunnel at Patenga.
The Tk 10,374-crore project is being implemented with the fund from the governments of Bangladesh and China.
Officials concerned said over 1,000 people, including Chinese engineers and workers, are working relentlessly on both sides of the river to implement the project.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Chinese President Xi Jinping laid the foundation stone of the tunnel at a programme in the capital on October 14, 2017.
The prime minister also inaugurated the boring work on February 24, 2019.