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The Financial Express

Deal with Chinese consortium to build expressway in Dhaka

| Updated: January 10, 2022 11:23:43


Illustrative photo Illustrative photo

A Chinese consortium has been selected to build a 13.5-kilometre-long expressway from Hatirjheel to Demra under a new Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative for developing another gateway of the city.

Officials said the consortium of China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCCL) and China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) would build the expressway - 9.5 km elevated and 4.0 km at grade road - in four years with Tk 20.94 billion fund.

A concessional agreement, involving the amount for the project, was signed at a city hotel on Sunday. Chief Engineer of Roads and Highways Department (RHD) Mohammad Abdus Sabur and Chief Representative of Chinese consortium Pang Ming signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides.

There would not be any contribution from the government for the project that was found viable in a feasibility study. An estimated 30,000 vehicles ply through this route per day, they added.

Bian Xin, an official of the consortium, said the concessionaire would manage the entire fund, including 27 per cent equity, to complete the project in four years. It would get instalments of toll every six months until next 21 years.

When asked about the undue delay of other PPP projects under Chinese investment, Mr Bian, a market development manager, told the FE that both CCCCL and CRBC are big companies. They have been working in the country since 1993 with many success stories in bridge construction, including Bangabandhu Karnaphuli Tunnel and Muktarpur Bridge (known as the first China-Bangladesh Friendship Bridge).

According to the expressway project information, there is no viability gap funding (VGF) for the project. But, the government has taken a supporting project at a cost of Tk 12.09 billion for acquiring land for the infrastructure, resettlement of affected people, consultancy service, and bearing expense of the project implementation unit.

The government would pay the concessionaire Tk 1.07 billion every six months in 42 instalments as per the PPP model of annuity.

A PPP Authority (PPPA) official said the funding model is followed mostly in power sector PPP projects.

The expressway project would establish better connectivity among Dhaka, Narayanganj, Chattogram, Sylhet and other eastern and southern districts of the country.

The contractor would build toll-free service roads, two bridges, four interchanges, two culverts, one overpass, and toll plaza under the contract.

Road Transport and Highways Division (RTHD) Secretary Nazrul Islam attended the deal signing ceremony as the special guest.

Among others, Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges (MoRTB) Rowshan Ara Mannan and members Enamul Hoque and Mohammad Salimuddin Tarafder, PPPA Chief Executive Director Sultana Afroz, RHD PPP Project Coordinator and Additional Secretary A K Mohammad Fazlul Karim attended the programme.

The RTHD secretary said the government has taken measures to upgrade the existing highways to four- or six-lane ones, and at present 56 km flyovers are under construction in the country.

He also said of the 22,000 km road network under the RHD, 4,000 km are now highways, which have been gradually upgraded to four- or six-lane ones.

Experts, meanwhile, opined that the government has been facing challenges to build many expressways under PPP model, including Dhaka Elevated Expressway (DEE), in the traffic congested city. Implementation of the DEE has been going on for the 11 years.

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