The government has cancelled a plan to construct a 225-kilometre elevated expressway linking Dhaka with the port city of Chattogram after spending Tk 1.0 billion on a feasibility study.
The authorities began discussing the plan at a time when work on another project to upgrade the Dhaka-Chattogram Highway to a four-lane one was underway in 2011, reports bdnews24.com.
The feasibility study and a detailed design of the expressway were initiated after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave the green light to the project in 2013.
During the submission of the design in 2016, the authorities said it would take Tk 265.88 billion to elevate only the parts of the expressway near busy marketplaces, and Tk 672.52 billion for an entirely elevated expressway.
The cabinet committee on Sunday scrapped the project ongoing under a public-private partnership (PPP).
Now, the government will construct service lanes on both sides of the four-lane highway, said Additional Cabinet Secretary Shamsul Arefin.
“We’ve moved away from the PPP project. The meeting decided to go ahead with the plan to construct four lanes,” he said.
He believes the Tk 1.0 billion already spent on the feasibility study was not a “loss”, rather it “saved” public funds.
In 2016, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said the construction of the expressway would begin in 2018, and it would take only two and a half hours to travel to Chattogram from Dhaka once the expressway was ready for use.