Construction of four 6-lane bridges complete
Ayub Ali, Ctg: Highway in name but in reality narrow, crooked. As a result, accidents and traffic jams were suffered. The scene of that narrow road is changing radically. Four six-lane bridges are changing the face of the highway. It is costing Tk 751 crore. Along with road expansion. This will speed up the highway.
Such a change is happening in the Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar highway. Passengers traveling to Cox’s Bazar, the main tourist city of the country, will get relief when the development work is completed.
Those concerned say that the expansion and development of the highway is being done with the aim of improving inter-country transport and logistics network and facilitating trade with neighboring countries by connecting the Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar highway to the main international road network of Bangladesh. Under the Cross Border Road Network Improvement Project (CBRNIP), four bridges on the highway are nearing completion. If they are fully utilized, they will have a positive impact on the tourism development and inter-country communication of Bandarban, Cox’s Bazar. Besides, the users of Bangabandhu Tunnel built under Karnaphuli river will also get benefits.
According to Roads and Public Roads (SOAZ) sources, the Cross Border Road Network Improvement Project (CBRNIP) was undertaken in 2016 at a cost of Tk 3685 crore. Out of this, government money allocation was Tk 1,518 crores. The Japanese aid agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is giving the remaining Tk 2167 crores as a loan. This project is being implemented to make inter-country road traffic safe by developing the regional and sub-regional road communication system of the Asian Highway. The project is being implemented in Sharsha and Jhikargacha of Jessore district, Sadar and Lohagra of Narail district, Sadar and Kashiani of Gopalganj, Parbatya district of Khagrachari, Mirsarai, Fatikchari, Patia and Chandanish of Chittagong and Chakaria of Cox’s Bazar as part of road network for Asian Highway.
Among these, four bridges are being constructed on the Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar highway at a cost of Tk 751 crore under Package C of CBRNIP. On the Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar highway, the construction of Indrapul on the Chankhali canal of Patiya at 25 km from Chittagong, Mazarpoint on the Barguni canal at Gachbaria at Chandanish at 39 km, Sangu at 47 km on the DohazariSankh river and Chiringa Bridge on the Matamuhuri river at 100 km from Chakaria is almost at the final stage.
Chiringa Bridge is 321 meters, Sangu Bridge is 238 meters and Mazarpoint and Indrapul bridges are both 60 meters in length. All bridges are 31.2 meters wide. Besides, there are 575 meters at Chiringa Bridge, 738 meters at Sangu Bridge, 870 meters at Majarpoint Bridge and 813 meters at Indrapul Bridge.
It has been seen on the ground that traffic has partially started through all the four bridges. Connection road work is going on.
In the Indrapul section, it was seen that a huge work of construction of the bridge is going on. The place is unrecognizable over time. Due to the work of the bridge, the scenery of the entire area has changed. The narrow 24 feet road is widened and becomes 6 lanes. Several multi-storied commercial buildings also had to be demolished for the construction of the link road. Currently, due to the newly constructed elevated road, the ground floor of several nearby buildings has fallen below the road.
Locals said that a nearby government primary school is at risk due to the bridge. More than four hundred local children study in that school called AllaiOkhara Government Primary School. They fear that the movement of children in the school will be a big risk if the bridge and the connecting road are completed.
In this regard, PatiaUpazila Primary Education Officer Abu Ahmad told that AllaiOkhara Primary School is at risk due to the expansion of Indrapul bridge and road. Once the road is completed, the speed of moving vehicles will increase. Then students crossing the road will create a major accident risk. So, an overbridge is necessary at that place. If an overbridge is constructed alongside the road, children can cross the road safely.
Speaking about this matter, Suman Singh, Executive Engineer of Dohazari Road Department, told that the work of Bangabandhu Tunnel is at the final stage. The tunnel can be opened within one or two months. For the tunnel, we have constructed a 6-lane road from Kalabibi Dighi tunnel mouth to Shikalbaha crossing. Our project work is also at the final stage. If the tunnel is opened, the pressure on the Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar road will increase. The tunnel users will enjoy the benefits of the four bridges and six lane roads that are now being constructed on the Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar highway.
He said that currently 30 km narrow road is being extended to 34 feet from Shikalbaha Crossing to Kerani Hut under 5 separate packages at a cost of Tk 170 crore. 12 km work from Shikalbaha to Patia has been completed in two packages. Since Potiya, contractors have been appointed for 12 km in two more packages. Tender for remaining one package is under process.
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