POST TIME: 21 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
East-West Elevated Expressway
Govt now opts for Malaysian funding

Govt now opts for 
Malaysian funding

Bangladesh is likely to implement the Dhaka East–West elevated expressway involving an outlay of USD 2 billion, to ease traffic movement in and around the capital with financial assistance from the Malaysian government instead of a Chinese company. According to officials of the Bridge Division, the government has accepted the expression of interest (EOI) from the Malaysian government to fund the project.

Two Chinese companies—China Harbor Engineering Limited and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC)—too had placed EOI to fund the project.

But the government preferred the Malaysian proposal that offered better terms. It snubbed the Chinese proposal as one of the Chinese companies had tried to bribe an official of the Roads and Highway Division to secure the Dhaka-Sylhet four-lane highway project contract.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Bridges Authority has prepared a draft Preliminary Development Project Proposal (PDPP) to this end, showing an estimated cost of Tk. 16,388.50 crore or around USD 2.05 billion. According to PDPP, the project work is expected to kick off in 2018 and end by December 2024.

“The main objective of the 39.24-km-long East–West Elevated Expressway Project is to reduce traffic congestions in and around Dhaka city,” said an official of the Bridges Division.

He also said negotiations were on with the Malaysian government. The ERD has already sent a letter to the Malaysian high commission in Dhaka to take the initiative in arranging funds needed for the project, he added.

The official said the East–West Elevated Expressway Project would allow traffic to flow around the western perimeter of Dhaka, between the Dhaka highway and the Dhaka–Chittagong highway, connected to the Dhaka–Mawa highway, which is directly linked to the Padma Bridge. The project would also ease traffic movement in and around the capital. Moreover, traffic movement from Chittagong, Sylhet and other eastern parts, as well as from the south-western region, through the proposed Padma Bridge at Mawa-Janzira to the 20 northwestern districts would become easier after the implementation of the proposed mega-project. It would then be unnecessary for these vehicles to enter Dhaka city. The project is consistent with the Strategic Transport Plan (2016–2035) and the Asian Highway Network. It will be vital to establish an improved transport link to the Trans-Asian Highway.

The route alignment of the proposed expressway is Hemayetpur-Nimtoli-Keraniganj-Ekuria-Janzira-Fatullah-Hajiganj Bandar-Modonpur (on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway).

“An integral part of the project is its connection to the upgraded Dhaka-Mawa Highway and hence the Padma Bridge,” said the official, adding that the connection would allow traffic to travel across the Padma Bridge and south to Chittagong and northward to Joydevpur and Tangail on the outskirts of Dhaka and eventually to the northern districts like Mymensingh.

The proposed expressway will be associated with the construction of a 2.5-km-long flyover through Savar on the Dhaka Highway.

According to the PDPP, the major design elements of this expressway include a total width of 20.56 metres, a maximum grade of 4 per cent, and a ramp width of 7.1 metres.

The interchanges of the expressway are proposed at Hemayetpur, the Dhaka-Mawa Highway, Narayanganj and the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway. The expressway is envisaged to be a tolled passage, which would be suitable for buses, trucks and cars.

For the safety and security of the expressway and considering its capacity, CNG auto-rickshaws and non-motorised vehicles would not be permitted to ply on it.