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13 August, 2017 12:20:48 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 13 August, 2017 09:58:36 AM

Passengers destined to suffer for 3yrs

Dhaka-Rangpur Highway Development Work
Anisur Rahman Khan with Golam Samdani
Passengers destined to suffer for 3yrs
File Photo

Both Dhaka-bound and North Bengal-bound passengers will have to face difficulties till December 2020 because of the two-phase ongoing development work on the Dhaka-Tangail-Rangpur highway. Besides, a large number of potholes have added to the woes of daily commuters.

Thousands of passengers, especially women and children, every day suffer due to massive gridlocks on the Dhaka-Bangabandhu Bridge via Tangail highway throughout the year, especially during Eid vacations and weekly holidays. The development projects will be carried out in two phases: the 70km Joydevpur-Elenga highway will be completed by December 2018 and the 190km Elenga-Rangpur highway will be finished by 2020, road transport ministry sources said.

The work to develop the four-lane Joydevpur-Elenga highway began in April 2016. As much as 33.17 per cent of the work has been completed by June 30, 2017. According to BJMB toll plaza sources, about 30,000 vehicles have paid toll during the Eid as against 14,000 in normal time.

Being a single lane, Dherua rail-crossing under Mirzapur Upazila always causes traffic snarls. A few narrow one-lane bridges on the highway also cause congestion in the area. The highway from Chandra to Elenga via Tangail has no divider and this is also one of the reasons for traffic jam.

Besides, a huge number of vehicles, flouting of traffic rules, narrow bridges, lack of dividers, roadside markets, plying of Nasimon and Karimon, illegal parking and lack of proper initiative by the administration caused massive traffic tailbacks throughout the year. Shortage of wreckers to shift the vehicles involved in accidents also causes congestion on these highways.

People allege that massive congestion on the Dhaka-Bangabandhu Bridge highway has become almost a regular feature. The gridlock occurs often on the 70km highway from Chandra to Bangabandhu Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge highway.

“The first phase of the four-lane work will be completed by December 2018. The 190-km second phase will be completed by 2020,” MAN Siddique, secretary to the Road Transport and Highways Division, told The Independent yesterday.

Admitting people’s suffering, Siddique said: “People travelling on the Dhaka-Tangail highway are suffering due to the construction works. Some potholes created on the highway due to incessant rain have also added to their woes.”

“If we get six to seven sunny days, we’ll able to repair the potholes,” he added. Meanwhile, the work on the 70km four-lane Dhaka-Tangail-Elenga highway has been going on in full swing. This is a single-lane highway that connects at least 22 North Bengal districts with the capital through the Dhaka-Tangail highway via the Jamuna Bridge highway.

The highway also connects Jamalpur and Sherpur with Dhaka, Gazipur, Chittagong, Sylhet via Tangail and a few southern districts. The highway is an important part of the SAARC Highway Corridor-4, Asian Highway-2 and Asian Highway-41.

The project has been undertaken to develop internal communications with the northern region and to develop communications with neighbouring countries, said bridge and communication minister Obaidul Quader.

Dilip Kumar Guha, the project director of the highway, said: “The 70-km highway, five flyovers, 26 bridges and 60 culverts will be built at a cost of Tk 3,066.8 crore. Separate lanes for slow-moving vehicles will also be constructed.”

The government will spend Tk 1223.12 crore, while Tk. 1843.68 crore will be provided by foreign grants.

The projects will be implemented under four contract packages. The package of 10km part of Tangail-Elenga will be implemented by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, while other packages will be implemented by Asian Development Bank and the OPEC fund.

The DPP of the project was approved on April 23, 2013. The government awarded the work to Mir Akhter, Monayeem Construction Company and Raju Construction Company.

Obaidul Quader told journalists that the four-lane highway will be completed by December 2018. Contractors failing to implement the project on time will be blacklisted and their contracts will be cancelled, he said. Experts have observed that chronic congestion will be over as five flyovers will be constructed on railway lines and busy roads. However, passengers and drivers are sceptical of the work being completed on time. Under the project, the RHD headquarters will also be built at Tejgaon in Dhaka city.




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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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