Elevated Expressway project on schedule

Finance minister doubts communications’ projection
Communication Minister Syed Abul Hossain yesterday said the government aims to complete the first phase of Dhaka Elevated Expressway project within its tenure.

The minister said this at the daylong workshop on Dhaka Elevated Expressway (DEE) project organised by Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre to discuss the four alternatives of proposed route alignments.

The Ministry of Communication expects to sign the concession agreement on the project by this December and complete the first phase of work (Shahjalal International Airport-Sayedabad) by the end of 2013, said the minister.

The first phase of DEE, recommended by Strategic Transport Plan, will stretch over 22 kilometres of the 32.5km expressway project worth $2 billion connecting Narayanganj and Joydevpur.

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, who was present at the workshop as the chief guest, said it would actually take a long time to achieve the goals set by the communications minister.

“Signing of the concession agreement by December is a very ambitious target,” he said.

The expressway has to be integrated with the proposed bus rapid transit and mass rapid transit routes, rail and road overpasses, underpasses and interchange at Kuril intersection, said Prof Shamsul Haque, director of Accident Research Institute of Buet.

The heavy traffic convergence at Jatrabari intersection from three national highways and that of the Padma bridge should be taken into consideration carefully when planning the expressway, said Prof Jamilur Reza Choudhury, head of the review committee on consultants’ recommendations.

The DEE project based on Public Private Partnership is intended to improve the road connectivity linking important residential, commercial and business hubs within the metropolitan area of the capital, said the communications minister.

AECOM Australia Propriety Limited, the international consultant of the project, has so far completed the traffic survey and proposed three alternative route alignments for the project while BBA has proposed one.

AECOM will also advise on the project’s contract documents, drafting concession contract, financial feasibility and other tasks for project formulation.

Of the four proposed routes, one runs along the Airport road and Progoti Sarani, one along Airport road through Mohakhali to Sayedabad, one across the eastern fringe of the city (Khilkhet-Badda-Khilgaon-Demra) and one from Airport road to Rampura and then Khilgaon to Demra.

The four pre-qualified international investors for the project are Ital-Thai Development Company (Italy-Thailand), Gammon-Bougyes JV (India-France), Sikder-KCC JV (Bangladesh-South Korea) and China Railway International Limited (China).

Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, secretary-in-charge, Bridges Division, chaired the workshop while Mohammed Abdul Quadir, DEE project director, Md Abdul Karim, principal secretary to the prime minister, representatives of pre-qualified bidders, AECOM officials, a host of engineers and high officials were present.

daily star