Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the much-anticipated Bangabandhu Tunnel under the Karnaphuli river on Saturday.He will unveil one on the west bank of the Karnaphuli river at Patenga and another on the south bank of the Anwara river at 11 am across the Bangabandhu tunnel.
The 10 km long Bangabandhu tunnel under the Karnaphuli river between Patenga and Anwara upazilas, 40 km away from the country’s commercial capital and port city of Chittagong, will be opened for traffic from 6 am on Monday.
On this occasion, the Prime Minister will inaugurate and lay the foundation stones of several projects in Chittagong. The Prime Minister will also release a special commemorative postage stamp, inauguration day envelope and a special seal to mark the inauguration of the first underwater road Bangabandhu tunnel.
Awami League President Sheikh Hasina will address a public meeting at the Korean EPZ (KEPZ) ground in Anwara today. It is expected that a large number of people including the leaders and activists of the ruling Awami League and allied organizations will attend.
Chittagong South District Branch of Awami League is organizing this rally as there is a festive atmosphere in the district on the occasion of the inauguration of the Bangabandhu tunnel.
Underwater road Bangabandhu tunnel
South District Awami League President Motaherul Islam Chowdhury presided over the event and Minister of Road Transport and Bridges and Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader will also be on the stage. A big stage in the shape of a boat has been constructed at the venue.
Motaherul Islam Chowdhury said yesterday that all preparations have been made for the convenience of the participants in the rally. Because sanitation and adequate water supply will be ensured at the venue and separate arrangements will be made for the smooth participation of women.He expressed hope that our public meeting will become a huge crowd with the participation of more than 1 million people.
He said, Bangabandhu Tunnel is a matter of pride not only for Chittagong but for the entire nation. A ‘dream come true’ for millions, especially residents of commercial capitals and port cities. The much-anticipated multilane underwater expressway tunnel is the first of its kind in South Asia and has been built under the Karnaphuli, a major river in the region.
In a press briefing in Dhaka on Thursday, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said that 17,260 vehicles will be able to use the tunnel every day, which is equal to about 7.6 million vehicles a year.He said that the tunnel will help increase the country’s annual GDP growth by 166 percent.
Quader said, ‘The tunnel will also reduce the distance to Chittagong city, seaport and airport. Because it will play an important role in making the economy more vibrant.’
During the conversation with the bus, the director of the mega project. Harunur Rashid Chowdhury said the tunnel is expected to elevate Bangladesh to a new height in the world. Because it is the first road tunnel under the river in this region.
This will make Chittagong ‘two cities in one city’ like Shanghai in China. Because it will boost the economy and expand the city’s reach to the entire region by opening new doors of immense potential in industrialization, expansion of tourism and trade and development of road connectivity.
Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Mahbubul Alam said that Bangladesh is about to enter the era of underwater road Bangabandhu tunnels, which will certainly bring pride to the entire nation as well as great benefits to the business community.
The Bangabandhu tunnel will boost industrialization in the region. Because the two export processing zones at Anwara in Chittagong-KEPZ and the Chittagong EPZ at Halishahar and the Chinese Economic and Industrial Zone (CEIZ) at Anwara will be greatly benefited by this tunnel.
Alam said it will connect the proposed Asian Highway with the Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar highway by reducing the distance by 40 km. It will also facilitate the ongoing and planned power and energy hub in Cox’s Bazar, which is already a tourist hub of the country.
FBCCI President said that this tunnel will contribute significantly to the country’s GDP like the Padma Bridge.
He said that apart from the Bangabandhu tunnel, construction of Dhaka-Chittagong expressway and a master plan to turn the planned industrialization on the banks of the Karnaphuli river into a smart city would be very beneficial for the country’s economy. It can also increase Bangladesh’s connectivity with India’s ‘Seven Sisters’ including Mizoram and Manipur and boost trade and tourism in the region.
According to the project description, the length of the entire route is 9.39 kilometers (5.83 mi), making the tunnel 3.32 kilometers (2.06 mi) long and 10.80 meters (35.4 ft) in diameter. It was built at a cost of Tk 10,374 crore and almost half of it was financed by China’s Exim Bank.
It will improve the Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar highway network. It was built by China Communications Construction Company, a Chinese company.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Chinese President Xi Jinping inaugurated the construction of the Karnaphuli Tunnel on October 14, 2017. Sheikh Hasina also inaugurated the tunnel boring phase on February 24, 2019.
The multilane tunnel route passes through the river near the Navy College on one side and the Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) and Karnaphuli Fertilizer Company (KAFCO) on the other. This will also reduce the traffic congestion of the two bridges over the Karnaphuli river.
Chittagong Deputy Commissioner Abul Bashar Mohammad Fakruzzaman said that the Bangabandhu tunnel will accelerate economy and regional trade by turning Chittagong from two cities into one city. He said that three levels of security will be ensured at the tunnel inauguration venue.