Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday (Feb 24) inaugurated the boring works on 3.5-km Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel, the first in the country, under Karnaphuli River at Construction Yard of the Tunnel Project area at Patenga in Chattogram. She also opened the construction work on 16.5-km elevated expressway from Lalkhan Bazar-Shah Amanat Airport in the city from the same venue, local media reports said.
The four-lane tunnel is being built to turn Chattogram into ‘One City Two Towns’.
The total length of the proposed tunnel will be around 9.092 kilometres, including 3.5 kilometres of tunnel under the Karnaphuli River with an approach road of 4.89 kilometres alongside 740 metres of bridges linking the main port city, and western side of the Karnaphuli along with the heavy industry-prone eastern side of the river.
It will cut the road distance between Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar, apart from easing the traffic on Dhaka-Chattogram Highway entering the port city to go to other parts of Chattogram division.
The multilane tunnel will connect Chattogram Port and Anowara Upazila and is expected to make communication between Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar easier in addition to reducing traffic congestions on two bridges over the Karnaphuli River.
Chinese firm China Communication Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) has been appointed as a consultant for the construction of the tunnel.
PM Sheikh Hasina and Chinese President Xi Jinping jointly laid its foundation stone in October, 2017.
Chattogram Development Authority will implement the four-lane flyover in four years from Lalkhan Bazar to Shah Amanat Airport in the port city.