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7 January, 2019 12:21:02 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 7 January, 2019 12:32:38 PM
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Chinese firm shows interest

Dhaka-Sylhet 4-lane highway project
DEEPAK ACHARJEE, Dhaka
Chinese firm shows interest

A Chinese construction firm has expressed interest in constructing the Dhaka-Sylhet four-lane highway. The offer comes a few months after the government disqualified China Harbor Engineering Company Limited for the project due to some irregularities. Chen Zhong, president of the China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCCL), has expressed his company's interest by sending a letter to the finance minister on December 21 last year, said sources in the road transport and bridges ministry.

But the authorities concerned are yet to take any decision on the selection of the Chinese firm for the four-lane highway project, which would cost Tk. 1,300 crore, the sources add.

Md Nazrul Islam, secretary to the road transport and bridges ministry, recently told The Independent that the ministry is considering various options and is yet to take any decision on the matter.

Sources say the road will have 321 culverts, 70 bridges, five railway overpasses, four flyovers, 10 underpasses, 42 footbridges, three truck stands and two rest houses.

The project aims to expand the regional transport network, including the Asian Highway Network, BIMSTEC and SAARC corridors with a view to boosting trade among the neighbours.

According to the sources, after the government blacklisted China Harbor Engineering Company Limited for irregularities, the Economic Relations Division (ERD) sent letters to various donor agencies, including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and AFD, seeking funds for constructing the highway, including service lanes on both sides.

In the letter, CCCCL president Chen Zhong said during the visit of the Chinese president in Dhaka, both the governments agreed to consider and encourage Chinese enterprises to explore cooperation on 22 projects proposed by the Bangladesh government. These projects include power, information and communication technology, river management, infrastructure and other areas on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. “At that time, a framework agreement on the four-lane highway project along with service lanes on both sides has been signed. It has been marked as the topmost priority to be funded by the Chinese government,” the letter said.  “The CCCCL is highly interested in implementing the prestigious project,” the letter added.

 On October 23, 2018, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) had approved the Dhaka (Kanchpur)-Sylhet-Tamabil highway project. On October 9, 2016, the government had signed a primary deal with the China Harbor, which was cancelled later on due to irregularities on the side of the Chinese construction firm.

MK

 

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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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.

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