Home Bangladesh Tk 288 cr more proposed than Mawa Expressway
Bangladesh - March 20, 2024

Tk 288 cr more proposed than Mawa Expressway

Per km construction cost

11.45 km Ctg Port Bay-Terminal road

Zarif Mahmud : The Directorate of Roads and High Ways has taken the initiative to construct an 11.45 km long road from Chittagong Port’s Bay-Terminal to Fakirhat in the city. The agency has already sent a Development Project Proposal (DPP) to the Planning Commission for the construction of the road. In the proposal, the construction cost of the road has been estimated at Tk 3,300.87 crore.
According to this, the construction of the proposed road will cost more than Tk 288 crore per kilometer. However, the planning commission sent the project proposal named ‘Chittagong Port Access Road Development’ back to the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges without including it in the approval process.
The most expensive road in Bangladesh so far is Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Highway (Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga Expressway), whose construction cost is Tk 200.80 million per kilometer.
Communication infrastructure experts say that the construction cost of roads and highways in Bangladesh is much higher than in other countries of the world.
The same thing is going to happen in the case of Chittagong port connection road. For this, they are blaming various factors including inefficiency of officials involved in project formulation, non-competitive tendering, reliance on GTUG method for project implementation. On the other hand, Roads engineers refused to comment on the construction cost of the Chittagong port link road.
According to Roads sources, in addition to the proposed 11.45 km road, a bridge, a railway overpass, four sluice gates, nine overpasses, 26 culverts and cross drains will be constructed.
The road will be constructed in two parts. One part will be four-lane, another six-lane. 52 acres of land will be required for construction of necessary infrastructure including main roads. A provision of Tk 1,488 crore has been kept in the DPP of the project for acquisition and compensation of these lands, which is about 45 percent of the total project cost.
According to Planning Commission sources, Roads has proposed to build the road between 2023 and 2028. Earlier, the Planning Commission held an appraisal meeting on the project in October last year. In the meeting, Souz said that in 2028, there will be more than 28,000 vehicles per day on the Bay-Terminal and proposed road sections. Keeping this in mind, the road is being planned to be constructed in two parts with six and four lanes. The proceedings of that meeting were published this month.
Analyzing the working papers, it can be seen that the Planning Commission has raised questions about various estimates including project cost, duration. Later, the commission sent the project back without bringing forward the processing. At this time, the commission has also expressed enthusiasm for asking five years for the construction of only 11 kilometers of roads, despite the long experience in road construction and the use of modern equipment.
Officials of the Planning Commission say that whether there has been any extra estimate in the project, it should be verified from the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges. Ministry and Roads also have that capability in terms of engineering and technology. Roads officials can say why Chittagong port link road is being spent so much.
Syed Moinul Hasan, chief engineer of Roads, was contacted to find out the reason why the construction cost of the Chittagong port link road is so high. He declined to comment on the matter. Roads chief engineer told, “Our proposal is still in the evaluation stage. As the proposal is still under evaluation, it is still a confidential document. The cost is under evaluation. No decision has been made yet. The matter is in the preliminary stage. It would not be right for me to comment on this confidential matter.
While the chief engineer of Roads avoided the construction cost of Tk 3,300 crore for the 11 km road as confidential, communication infrastructure experts say that this cost is excessive.
In this context, Bangladesh University of Engineering (BUET) Professor Dr. Samsul Haque told, “Different surveys of creditor countries have shown that the cost of road construction is higher here compared to other countries. This is due to a few reasons.
There is a significant lack of capacity among those who do project estimates and those who evaluate projects. The lowest bidder is not available unless it is a competitive tender. This is especially true for G-to-G projects. As a result, the tender price is deposited as the estimated price. They don’t go lower than that. And a lot of incidental expenses including consultants are spent on our road projects. High cost of land is one reason for the increase in cost.
On the other hand, the former state minister for planningShamsul Alam is mainly responsible for the high cost of road construction in Bangladesh. He said, “If there is a competitive tender, the project should not be done at an unreasonable rate.” But in some cases, there is interference here. So, the question of competition remains. However, it is not right to compare our project with other countries. Because the price of land here is high due to population pressure.
But maybe all the land in China is government. Again, to build our road, we have to make the foundation of the road from 20-25 feet below the ground. But in India there may be stones a little below the ground in many places. Therefore, the cost of land development is also reduced. Nepal is not flood prone. Also, the land of Bhutan is not prone to silt like ours.
He also said, “The market price of each country is unique. Prices of stone, bricks, cement and wages are all different. Therefore, the comparison of the road construction costs of the two countries does not really work.

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