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https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/national/traffic-jam-eases-on-dhaka-mawa-bhanga-expressway-on-second-day-1656760942

Traffic jam eases on Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga expressway on second day

Published:  July 02, 2022 17:22:22 | Updated:  July 02, 2022 21:40:46

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Although Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Expressway (Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga) witnessed long tailback on Friday, traffic movement became normal on the second day of toll collection (Saturday) after increasing the number of toll booths.

In 24 hours till 12 am on Saturday, 15,650 vehicles passed the highway and Tk 24,4640 toll were collected through the toll collecting booths on both ends, said Faruk Hossain, in-charge of toll plaza.

Toll collection from the country's first expressway began at 12 am on Friday from Bogail toll plaza in Bhanga upazila of Faridpur, reports UNB.

"On the first day toll collection began in only four booths at first but as pressure of vehicles increased creating a long tailback, the authorities later increased the numbers of booths. We have asked the higher authorities to raise the number of booths to ensure smooth movement of vehicles and toll collection on the expressway during Eid-ul-Azha rush," he said.

"Of the eight booths, two are being used for vehicles coming from Dhaka and four for those heading towards it. Another four booths will be soon opened," he added.

Md Hamiduddin, officer-in-charge of Bhanga Highway police station, said the vehicular movement remained normal on the second day and highway police have been working in toll area.

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https://www.tbsnews.net/bangladesh/infrastructure/land-acquisition-delays-slow-190km-road-upgradation-452602

Khorshed Alam

04 July, 2022, 01:15 pm

Last modified: 04 July, 2022, 01:31 pm

Land acquisition delays slow 190km road upgradation

The construction work on the Elenga-Hatikumrul-Rangpur highway upgradation project was scheduled to be completed in August 2021

 

Upgrading the 190-kilometre road from Tangail's Elenga to Modern Intersection in Rangpur is facing disruption due to delays in land acquisition as some infrastructures, including mosques, have not been relocated yet even after getting compensation from the government.

According to people concerned, if the problem is not solved soon, it would not be possible to complete the project on time, increasing construction cost.

The road is being upgraded into four lanes as part of eight highways of 600km length to be added with South Asia's Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) road connection project and the proposed economic corridor between Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) to expand trade and commerce.

The Roads and Highways Department is constructing the road with the financial assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) under the SASEC project. 

According to SASEC sources, about 51% of the work on the four-lane highway has been completed. However, the work has not started in the area east of the Bangabandhu Bridge. 

Besides, the district administration in Gaibandha has not yet given any estimate of land acquisition for 30 acres of land needed for the highway in Govandaganj and Palashbari.

Oliur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Gaibandha, said, "The authorities have taken the matter of land acquisition very seriously."

The 190 km road is being divided into nine sections for which Tk11,899crore was estimated in 2016. However, the cost of the project has been revised to Tk16,662crore due to some additional works.

According to officials, only 30% of the upgradation work of the 22.5 km road from Sherpur in Bogura to Banani in Shahjahanpur has been completed as the authorities could not acquire land. This part of the road is being upgraded under project-8 by a company named CPCL Tantia JV.

As per the officials, the authorities have not been able to acquire around six acres of land owned by 75 individuals and organisations including several mosques.

Sheikh Saadi, president of Park Ground Ahle Hadith Jame Mosque, said, "Our mosque has been built on a donated property. A local man has donated the property that he got from the government. The DC office says no one can sell land acquired from the government before 25 years. But he donated the land for the mosque within 12 years. Due to this confusing situation we did not receive any compensation for the acquisition. That is why the mosque was not removed."

Jahidul Haque Arju, president of Shalukgari Jame Mosque, Shahjahanpur said, "We have not received any money for land acquisition. But we received about Tk2 crore for the installation of the mosque. However, we are relocating the mosque."

Mamun Kaiser, manager of project-8, said, "Most of the installations in the area have been removed. But there are problems with some sensitive organisations. We hope the issue will be solved soon."

Shamsuzzoha, project manager of CPCL Tantia JV, the contractor company, said, "It is not possible to say when the construction work will be completed. The cost will also go up due to these complications."

The same situation can be seen in the project-9 area (Banani to Mokamtala) as the land of 12 organisations, including five mosques, have not yet been acquired.

Shahidul Islam Nantu, president of Naodapara Garer Bari Jame Mosque, which has not been relocated, said, "There has been a dispute between the land owner and the mosque committee. A case in this regard is pending in the court. The matter will be resolved after the court verdict."

However, SASEC authorities say all the money to acquire these lands has already been given to the deputy commissioner.

Afif Rahman Chowdhury, deputy manager of the project-9 area, said, "The work is being hampered due to complications with the land of some mosques. It will not be possible to complete the construction work on time."

Waliur Rahman, project manager of SASEC road connection project, said, "Most of the mosques are waqf property. For this reason, they have been given money. However, the cooperation of the district administration has been sought to resolve this issue."

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https://www.tbsnews.net/features/panorama/game-changing-projects-are-line-bay-bengal-industrial-growth-belt-initiative

TBS Interview

04 July, 2022, 09:30 am

Last modified: 04 July, 2022, 03:51 pm

'The game-changing projects are in line with the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt initiative'

Japan and Bangladesh will be celebrating 50 years of establishing diplomatic relations in 2022 - a milestone year for the partnership. The Business Standard’s Editor Inam Ahmed and Executive Editor Sharier Khan spoke to the Japanese Ambassador in Bangladesh, Naoki Ito, for an insight into Japan’s footprints in Bangladesh and what the future holds for the two countries

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Japanese Ambassador Naoki Ito. Sketch: TBS

Japan has been a long-standing friend of Bangladesh in its development efforts to the effect that its bigger foreign assistance recipient is Bangladesh. 

At this moment, Japan is involved in several game-changing projects like the Matarbari deep-sea port and power plant, the metro rail in Dhaka city and the building of the third terminal at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

Recently, The Business Standard spoke with the Japanese Ambassador in Bangladesh, Naoki Ito, to have an understanding of Japan's footprints in Bangladesh.

Japan has been a generous and big donor to Bangladesh's development and we have at least three big ongoing projects, which are about to reach completion – the metro rail, Matarbari and the other is the airport's third terminal. What else are you thinking of? What other infrastructure projects are coming up from the Japanese side?

When the two leaders exchanged visits in 2014, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, those visits became the driving force in developing our partnership in a very comprehensive manner.

And one of the key initiatives then was the BIG-B. That is the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt initiative. Those projects you mentioned are in line with this initiative.

The idea was to construct an industrial corridor between Dhaka, Chattogram and Cox's Bazar. So, Japan has been doing these mega projects based on that initiative and we will continue to do so.

You said "the Dhaka metro, airport extension, Matarbari, and what else?" Our responsibility is already heavy, though we will look into further possible cooperation.

On Dhaka metro – now, we are working on line 6 and half of this 20 km project will be opening in December this year. Then line-1 work will start in September-October this year. It would take three to four years. That is the airport line and also the Purbachal line.

And then JICA and ADB have already committed to line 5. Recently, the managing director Mr Siddique said that 130km of the metro will be complete by 2030. So, for another eight years to come, we need to work on construction, expansion and the start of the metro rail so that it can work as a public transportation mode for the people in Dhaka.

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Photo: Mumit M/TBS

For the airport extension, there will be a soft opening probably before the end of next year. Commercial operation will begin possibly in late 2024. So, it's very important for us for JICA and those companies involved to complete this airport project, that will be of an international standard and be the face of the nation.

Having a state-of-the-art airport is not everything, having the right kind of operation is equally important. Is there any part of the project that is related to improving the operation of the airport?

Now, I think, as part of JICA's technical cooperation project, they are sharing ideas for airport planning. So, whether the Japanese companies can do the management and operation as well, is yet to be decided.

But at least, for the planning stage, whoever is going to take charge of the operation and management, I think two companies from Japan – one is Japan Airlines subsidiary company, another is the airport building company of Haneda Airport - these two companies are now involved. But the idea is to come up with a specific idea of what sort of airport function should be prepared to make it an international standard airport.

Some say that so far the Dhaka airport is currently functioning mainly for the passage of Bangladeshi workers going overseas. But that needs to be changed. You can't get a reflection of Bangladesh inside the airport at all. The restaurants and lounges are only a handful. 

These, along with basic facilities like customs clearance, should be improved. I think this new international airport will meet the requirements of the 21st century's growing economy.  

Metro Rail is a very new thing in Bangladesh. Our track record with the government running the transportation sector is quite bad. Is there management training for the metro rail?

DMTCL will run this operation but I think a large number of people will be trained in operation and management by Japan. They will go to Delhi, which has a successful metro rail service that's also developed by Japan. They have experience and a good track record. They will be trained by Indian organisations and also Indian instructors will also come here for training. So, those who work for DMTCL can learn from India's experience. Japan will provide technical education and technology transfer.

We'd like to hear a bit about Matarbari where progress is slow. When do you expect it to gain momentum? The road from Matarbari to the highway is in terrible condition.

Transportation from Matarbari is very important and its road condition is not the most advanced. The length of the Chittagong - Cox's Bazar road is 130 km but it took me five hours. The government is really keen to develop this highway knowing that once the port is completed, the number of trucks and other vehicles will jump up.

Japan has a Public Private Partnership (PPP) platform framework with Bangladesh from four years back. There are five to six projects in this framework — including the Chittagong-Cox's Bazar highway. But the government has not decided on whether to go for PPP or Government-to-Government financing for this project.

We are at the first stage of Matarbari development where the focus is on the construction of the coal-fired power plant. The port was necessary to help the coal plant function. That was how the Matarbari port was initially developed. Now they have a big plan to develop this Matarbari deep seaport in three phases. 

The first one is the current one. Already there is a 300-metre-long berth which is functional and some ships are using this berth since December 2020. Beyond that, they plan to have LNG and LPG terminals with container facilities. That's the second stage. And the third stage is to construct a container port in a full-fledged manner with a big capacity of container yard. 

So, by the time the third stage is complete, Matarbari is expected to be an energy hub, transportation hub and industrial hub. Behind the port, an industrial zone will be set up.

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The Chattogram Port Authority under the Ministry of Shipping is constructing Matarbari Deep Sea Port at Moheshkhali upazila’s Matarbari and Dhalghata area in Cox’s Bazar. Photo: TBS

When will the Matarbari power plant come into operation?  

We do not know the exact date yet. I think the first phase will commence in 2024. I understand that the first two units of the power plant will be completed within two years. There has been a little bit of delay and it was inevitable due to the Covid situation. In spite of it, those who are involved with the work have been doing a very good job. So, I think, everybody involved is happy with the way the construction is going on right now. 

Also, the Dhaka Metro was delayed by one year. But under the circumstances, the delay should be acceptable.     

What kind of investment do you think the Japanese industrial park is going to attract?

The special economic zone in Araihazar is to be completed before the end of the year. This year, we are celebrating 50 years of establishing diplomatic relations between our two countries - a milestone year for our partnership. 

We are so pleased and proud of the fact that the Dhaka metro rail will start operation before the end of the year and also that we will complete the Araihazar Special Economic Zone in this milestone year. It's quite an achievement for our partnership. 

Now, this Araihazar zone is named Bangladesh Special Economic Zone. This is going to be the first special economic zone with international standard infrastructure and facilities. We expect this economic zone will attract investment from not only Japanese companies but also international companies.

We expect investments to come from a hundred companies gradually totalling $1 billion in this zone. Not initially, but eventually. We still don't know what kind of companies will come. But we hope companies in the automotive sector, motorbikes, food processing, chemical logistics and some other light engineering companies will invest here.

But, the global situation right now will naturally have some impact on the investment decision. A large number of Japanese companies have shown interest already. So, my hope is that they can reach an investment decision soon although the Covid-19 and Ukraine situation may delay things. But eventually, the number of companies in the zone will reach 100 with a $1 billion investment.

All of those are really impactful development for the economy of Bangladesh. The corridor is not only to be done by Japan and JICA but others as well.

Like this economic zone, the Mirsarai special economic zone was also developed based on the same vision of BIG-B. When we talk about BIG-B, some people say it is Japan's idea. But that's not the case, it is a Bangladeshi initiative - a joint initiative.  Along this corridor, you have the largest special economic zone in the Mirsarai - Bangabandhu Shilpa Nagar Special Economic Zone. And also, Chattogram is now developing further.

The Bay terminal concept is also part of BIG-B. Chattogram is now improving its city functions. They are talking about this metro line, sewerage system, etc. The JICA has done the marine drive in Chattogram. So, you don't really need to just talk about what Japan does in this BIG-B area. 

BIG-B is a concept of industrial corridor building. In Japan, we did the same in Tokyo, Osaka to Fukuoka. That was the backbone of high growth in Japan in the 1960s and 1970s. Our hope and expectation are that Bangladesh will learn from what we achieved in a high growth period by building an industrial corridor between Dhaka-Chattogram and Cox's Bazar.

I think Matarbari is at the core of this BIG-B. It will be a game-changer. With prioritisation by the government, and also coordination among various stakeholders we could accelerate the pace of work.

japanese-economic-zone-at-a-glance.png?i

What's your take on the potential of the automotive industry flourishing in Bangladesh?

The automotive industry is mainly for the domestic market. Whether it is cars or motorbikes, initially productions have to target the domestic market. Currently, one of the Japanese automotive companies, Mitsubishi, is doing a feasibility study with the Ministry of Industries. They are looking at eventual export possibilities with an initial eye on the domestic market. That is how these manufacturing industries are coming to Bangladesh. It's not really easy to find an export-based industry in Bangladesh.

It is a challenge to build an export industry, to diversify exports. Bangladesh's RMG and textile sectors will continue to thrive. Although 80% of the export basket occupied by one sector is not a well-balanced development. Still one can safely say within a short period of time, the RMG sector's performance will not drastically dip and come down.

We really need to think about how this industry can be even more competitive, in comparison to China and Vietnam. This is why you need to do more automation of the industry.

You need to go for man-made fibre and also need to set up backward linkages for the textile industry. Through such efforts, I think the textile industry needs to grow much stronger. The important thing is, I believe, textile and RMG are going to remain the main items of export for Bangladesh. Then comes the leather industry for sure. Pharmaceutical is a possibility. Home appliance is another possibility, Walton is doing a great job.

In Japan, one problem you are having is population decline. I think there is a huge demand for caregivers. I think for Bangladesh that is an opportunity. What do you think?

We have a G2G memorandum of cooperation on technical interns in 2018. In 2019, we agreed on MOC on some specifically skilled workforce. Based on these memoranda, Japan expects that Bangladesh will be able to supply some of the young talented people to Japan, including in sectors such as caregiving and nurses. 

We decided to allow foreign people to work in some of the specific sectors, not only as caregiver nurses but also in restaurants, agriculture, construction and so forth.

Accordingly, around 100 people were going to Japan in various fields, mainly in construction, every year till the Covid-19 pandemic stopped it. But, if you look at Bangladesh, it's a promising country because it has a young population with a 2% rate of fertility. So, we have expectations but there are some challenges like the need for skills and language training. I think these are the areas you need to work on, we need to collaborate. 

Also, we have not started to implement skills test examinations locally in Bangladesh. In 10 other countries, Japan is conducting skills tests. I think that needs to start in Bangladesh. Recently, one Bangladeshi national went to Japan to work for a Japanese hospital. This person took the test in Manila.

There are two types of tests - the skills test and the Japanese proficiency test. This young man passed both tests. Now he is working in Japan as a caregiver. If we can start conducting tests here in Bangladesh then I think that will help increase the flow of high-skilled workforce from Bangladesh to Japan.

Is Japan doing anything to hold these tests?

That's something we are discussing at the government-to-government level. Your overseas employment ministry is really keen to do this.

What is the status of the Free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan?

The ministry of commerce requested an FTA in November 2020. We have been discussing the possibility of starting what they call a joint study of FTA. Hopefully, during this 50th anniversary of Japan-Bangladesh ties, we can start the meeting of the joint study on FTA.

Right now Bangladesh enjoys duty-free access to 98% of items to Japan. The initial motivation for Bangladesh to do an FTA with Japan is to extend this market access to the level of LDCs, even after graduating from the LDC status. But we cannot simply extend it. We need a new trade agreement. There is no system in Japan to just extend this LDC preferential tariff status beyond LDC graduation. We will need to come to an agreement on FTA or even deeper and larger agreements like the economic partnership agreement (EPA). I think the EPA is better for Bangladesh to be closely connected with the Japanese economy.

Bangladesh also needs to have some new rules to be integrated into the regional and global supply chains. If Bangladesh and Japan can talk about wider areas of the economic partnership agreement, I think it will be better for both economies. 

When you talk about free trade agreements, then tariff regimes need to be more liberalised and become much freer. But, if the government sticks to the current level of tariffs and taxes for imports from Japan to Bangladesh, it will not be very easy to sign an agreement. 

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http://bangla.thedailystar.net/সংবাদ/বাংলাদেশ/ঈদ-যাত্রা-খুলে-দেওয়া-হলো-নলকা-সেতুর-দ্বিতীয়-লেন-367371

ঈদযাত্রা: খুলে দেওয়া হলো নলকা সেতুর দ্বিতীয় লেন

নিজস্ব সংবাদদাতা, পাবনা

সোমবার, জুলাই ৪, ২০২২ ০৫:২১ অপরাহ্ন

nolka_bridge_photo_.jpg?itok=ExL22GlR&ti

সিরাজগঞ্জে নবনির্মিত নলকা সেতুর আরেকটি লেন যান চলাচলের জন্য উন্মুক্ত করা হয়েছে। ছবি: স্টার

আসন্ন পবিত্র ঈদুল আজহার সময় উত্তরবঙ্গের যাত্রীদের ভোগান্তি কমাতে সিরাজগঞ্জে নব-নির্মিত নলকা সেতুর দ্বিতীয় লেনটি খুলে দেওয়া হয়েছে। সেতুর সংযোগ সড়কের কাজ পুরোপুরি শেষ না হলেও ঈদে যানবাহন চলাচলে ভোগান্তি কমাতে সার্ভিস রোড দিয়েই যানবাহন চলাচল করবে সেতুটিতে।

সোমবার নলকা সেতুর দ্বিতীয় লেনটি খুলে দেওয়া হয়। এতে সকাল থেকেই বঙ্গবন্ধু সেতু হয়ে উত্তরবঙ্গের যানবাহন চলাচলে ভোগান্তি কমতে শুরু করে। এর আগে ঈদুল ফিতরের আগে নলকা সেতুর একটি লেন খুলে দেওয়া হয়।

সিরাজগঞ্জ সড়ক ও জনপথ বিভাগের উপ-বিভাগীয় প্রকৌশলী জাহিদুর রহমান দ্য ডেইলি স্টারকে বলেন, নলকা সেতুর দ্বিতীয় লেনটি সোমবার সকালে খুলে দেওয়া হয়। ব্রিজের এ লেনের সংযোগ সড়কের কাজ এখনও বাকী থাকলেও সার্ভিস
রোড দিয়ে সহজেই উত্তরবঙ্গের যানবাহন চলাচল করতে পারবে।

জাহিদুর রহমান বলেন, উত্তরবঙ্গগামী সকল যানবাহন নলকা সেতু হয়েই বিভিন্ন জেলায় যায়। একটি লেন দিয়ে এত বিপুল সংখ্যক যানবাহন চলাচল করায় যে দুর্ভোগ ছিল ব্রিজের দুই লেন খুলে দেওয়ার ফলে সে দুর্ভোগ
লাঘব হবে।

হাটিকুমরুল হাইওয়ে থানার ভারপ্রাপ্ত কর্মকর্তা (ওসি) মো. লুতফর রহমান দ্য ডেইলি স্টারকে বলেন, উত্তরবঙ্গের বেশিরভাগ জেলার গাড়ি হাটিকুমরুল-বগুড়া মহাসড়ক দিয়ে চলাচল করে। এ মহাসড়কের হাটিকুমরুল থেকে চান্দাইকনা
পর্যন্ত ২২-কিলোমিটার রাস্তায় খানা খন্দ থাকায় অল্প বৃষ্টিতেই যানবাহন চলাচলে বিঘ্ন ঘটছে।

এ ব্যাপারে প্রকৌশলী জাহিদুর রহমান বলেন, খানাখন্দ ঠিক করার কাজ চলছে। মহাসড়কে চার লেনের কাজ শেষ না হওয়া পর্যন্ত পুরোপুরি সমস্যার সমাধান হবে না। তবে সাময়িক মেরামত করে দেওয়ায় ভারি বৃষ্টিপাত না হলে যানবাহন চলাচলে কোন সমস্যা হবে না।
হাইওয়ে থানার ওসি লুতফর বলেন, ঈদকে সামনে রেখে মঙ্গলবার থেকে অতিরিক্ত পুলিশ মহাসড়কে মোতায়েন করা হতে পারে।

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https://www.thedailystar.net/news/bangladesh/transport/news/china-wants-build-dhaka-ctg-expressway-3062921

China wants to build Dhaka-Ctg expressway

Proposal sent to PMO, road ministry; govt may revive the plan discarded last year

Tuhin Shubhra Adhikary

Mon Jul 4, 2022 08:30 AM Last update on: Mon Jul 4, 2022 09:20 AM

dhaka-ctg-highway.jpg

China has proposed to build the Dhaka-Chattogram Expressway under a government-to-government-Public Private Partnership (G2G-PPP) framework, bringing the project cancelled last year back into focus. 

State-owned China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd (CSCEC) recently sent a proposal to the principal secretary to the prime minister to this effect.

A copy of the letter, sent by Liu Bingquan, authorised representative of CSCEC, was also sent to the personal secretary of the Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, ministry sources said.

The development comes at a time when road transport and bridges ministry is considering reviving the expressway plan, which was cancelled formally in October last year.

On Wednesday, the ministry's road transport and highways division will hold a meeting to take opinions from officials concerned for reviving the expressway plan, ABM Amin Ullah Nuri, secretary of the division, told The Daily Star yesterday.

He said a Chinese company has sent a proposal to implement expressway project to the principal secretary and they also received a copy.

"However, we did not get any directive from the PMO. So, the particular proposal is not on our discussion list. But we will take opinions of experts [within the ministry and agencies] at the meeting to revive the expressway plan."

Indecision, short-sightedness and piecemeal measures have long been plaguing the government's plan to upgrade the Dhaka-Chattogram corridor, considered the economic lifeline of the country.

The government took the expressway project in 2013 but the prime minister ordered to drop it in 2019, deciding instead to build a rather expensive high-speed railway between Dhaka and Chattogram, which is now on the backburner.

According to experts and business leaders, as much as 80-90 percent of the country's trade is carried out using the Dhaka-Chattogram highway, and so the government should first develop the expressway for the sake of economic growth.

Talking to this newspaper earlier this year, Jashim Uddin, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the average speed of vehicles on major highways is around 30 kilometres per hour.

Bangladesh's competitiveness in export will rise by six to seven percent if the average speed on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway reaches 80kmph, which can best be achieved with an expressway, he added.

RHD officials at a recent meeting with the chief executive officer of Public Private Partnership Authority requested to reconsider the expressway plan before taking any project to add more lanes on the existing Dhaka-Chattogram highway, RHD sources said.

THE FLIPFLOP

The government in 2004 decided to build a limited-access road. Four years later, the ADB financed a feasibility study and concept designs of the four-lane Dhaka-Chattogram highway, according to documents of the multilateral lender.

In 2009, the daily average number of vehicles on the highway was between 20,000 and 25,000. Forty percent of them were trucks. It was expected that the number could reach 66,000 in 2030, according to the documents.

In March 2013, the cabinet committee on economic affairs approved the expressway project under PPP. The government signed a deal with the ADB the following month to carry out a feasibility study and make a detailed design spending Tk 97.87 crore.

Over two years later, the study was placed the before prime minister who gave consent to building the expressway consisting of elevated sections. The estimated construction cost for the 217km expressway was $2.5 billion at that time, sources said.

Consultants were even appointed for necessary assessments to implement the project under the PPP framework, RHD sources said.

But the prime minister in October 2019 ordered cancellation of the expressway project, giving directives for construction of service lanes on either side of the existing four-lane highway, sources said.

In October last year, the same cabinet committee formally scrapped the plan. Abdus Sabur, then chief engineer of the roads and highways department, told this correspondent that the prime minister was in favour of building a high-speed rail system between Dhaka-Chattogram.

BR already completed the feasibility study and detailed design for high-speed rail, spending around Tk 110 crores.

As per the study, the 224.64-km rail line, which would bring travel time between the capital and the port city down to just 55 minutes (73 minutes with stops), would cost Tk 93,350.93 crore.

But talking to this correspondent in October last year, Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan said the government would "go slow" considering the expenses.

Meanwhile, China Railway Group Ltd, another Chinese state-owned company, has proposed carrying out the project under the G2G-PPP framework and Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming in April wrote to the railways minister for signing a memorandum of understanding between the company and BR "as soon as possible".

But prominent transport experts questioned the viability of a project with such huge investment. Some said BR lacks the capacity to complete this "highly ambitious" scheme.

CHINESE PROPOSAL FOR EXPRESSWAY

In its letter sent to the principal secretary to the prime minister on May 29, the CSCEC said they "understood" that the Bangladesh government wished to implement the expressway on a G2G-PPP basis.

Under the G2G-PPP arrangement, Bangladesh may request other governments to provide financial support and select state-owned or private entities to act as investors.

The company will build, maintain and operate the structure for a certain period and get money following the terms mentioned in the agreement.

No project under the G2G-PPP arrangement has yet to be implemented in Bangladesh. Discussions with several countries, including Japan and South Korea, have been going on to implement some projects under this model.

The company said they have completed numerous projects around the globe and were involved in 10 projects in Bangladesh so far totalling around $1 billion contract value.

"Desirous to be a partner in building this expressway, we hereby present ourselves for your kind assessment and consideration," reads the proposal.

 

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https://www.madaripurdorpon.com/country/67745

বাউফলে নির্মাণ হবে নবম বাংলাদেশ-চীন মৈত্রী সেতু

 মাদারীপুর দর্পন

 প্রকাশিত: ৪ জুলাই ২০২২  

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স্বপ্নের পদ্মা সেতু উদ্বোধনের পর একের পর এক চমকের খবর আসছে বরিশালসহ গোটা দক্ষিণাঞ্চলবাসীর জন্য। এবার বাউফলের লোহালিয়া নদীর বগা পয়েন্টে নির্মিত হতে যাচ্ছে নবম বাংলাদেশ-চীন মৈত্রী সেতু। ইতোমধ্যে চীন সরকারের সঙ্গে এ বিষয়ে একটি চুক্তি সম্পাদন করা হয়েছে। বর্তমানে সেতুটি টেন্ডার প্রক্রিয়ায় রয়েছে।

বাউফল ও দশমিনার সঙ্গে পটুয়াখালী, বরিশাল ও ঢাকার সড়ক পথে যাতায়াতের জন্য লোহালিয়া নদীর বগা পয়েন্টের ওপর একটি সেতু নির্মাণের জন্য এলাকার মানুষ দীর্ঘদিন ধরে দাবি জানিয়ে আসছিলেন। এ পরিপ্রেক্ষিতে বর্তমান আওয়ামী লীগ সরকারের প্রচেষ্টায় চীনের সেতু বিভাগের একটি প্রতিনিধি দল বাউফলের বগা নদীর ওপর সেতু নির্মাণের প্রয়োজনীয়তা যাচাই-বাছাই করেছেন।

সূত্রমতে, এ সেতুটি নির্মিত হলে দক্ষিণাঞ্চলের সঙ্গে মহাসড়ক নেটওয়ার্ক শক্তিশালী হবে। পাশাপাশি নির্মাণ কাজ শেষে উদ্বোধনের অপেক্ষায় রয়েছে বরিশাল-খুলনা আঞ্চলিক মহাসড়কের পিরোজপুরের বেকুটিয়া পয়েন্টের কচা নদীর ওপর নির্মিত অস্টম বাংলাদেশ-চীন মৈত্রী সেতু। স্থানীয়ভাবে বেকুটিয়া সেতু নামে পরিচিত এ সেতুটি উদ্বোধনের পর যশোর থেকে শুরু করে ভোলা পর্যন্ত কোটি মানুষের মুখে হাসি ফোটাবে। দীর্ঘদিনের সীমাহীন দুর্ভোগ লাঘব হবে এ অঞ্চলের ব্যবসায়ীসহ সকল শ্রেণী-পেশার মানুষের। এই সেতুর উদ্বোধন হলে বরিশাল আর খুলনার সড়কপথে আর কোন ফেরি থাকবে না। একইসঙ্গে দেশের একমাত্র গভীর সমুদ্র বন্দর পায়রা এবং সমুদ্র সৈকত সাগরকন্যা কুয়াকাটার সঙ্গে সর্ববৃহৎ স্থলবন্দর বেনাপোল এবং সমুদ্র বন্দর মোংলার সরাসরি সড়ক যোগাযোগ স্থাপন করবে বেকুটিয়া সেতু।

সংশ্লিষ্ট একাধিক সূত্রে জানা গেছে, এরপূর্বে ঢাকা-বরিশাল মহাসড়ক দিয়ে সাগরকন্যা কুয়াকাটার সঙ্গে ফেরিবিহীন সড়কপথে সরাসরি যোগাযোগের জন্য নির্মিত হয়েছে ব্যয় বহুল সাতটি সেতু। সেগুলো হলো-বরিশালের উজিরপুরে এমএ জলিল সেতু, বাবুগঞ্জের বীরশ্রেষ্ঠ ক্যাপ্টেন মহিউদ্দিন জাহাঙ্গীর সেতু, বরিশাল নগরী সংলগ্ন শহীদ আব্দুর রব সেরনিয়াবাত সেতু, পায়রা সেতু, শহীদ শেখ জামাল, শেখ কামাল ও শেখ রাসেল সেতু। এছাড়াও অভ্যন্তরীণ সড়কগুলোতে নির্মিত হয়েছে অসংখ্য সেতু।

সূত্রমতে, এসব জনগুরুত্বপূর্ণ সেতুগুলো নির্মিত হয়েছে আওয়ামী লীগ সরকারের আমলেই। একসময়ের অবহেলিত সম্ভাবনাময় দক্ষিণাঞ্চলাবাসীর ভাগ্যোন্নয়নে প্রধানমন্ত্রী শেখ হাসিনা সর্বপ্রথম যোগাযোগ ব্যবস্থার উন্নতি করেছেন। সর্বশেষ দক্ষিণাঞ্চলাবাসীর জন্য নতুন সু-খবর হচ্ছে-দেশের সর্বদক্ষিণের জেলা পটুয়াখালীর বাউফল উপজেলার বগা পয়েন্টের লোহালিয়া নদীতে নির্মিত হতে যাচ্ছে নবম চীন-বাংলাদেশ মৈত্রী সেতু। এ সেতুটি নির্মিত হলে গলাচিপা, দশমিনা ও বাউফলের প্রায় ১৫ লাখ মানুষের স্বপ্ন পূরণের পাশাপাশি এ অঞ্চলের মানুষ দিনের কাজ দিনে শেষ করে পদ্মা সেতু দিয়ে ঢাকা থেকে বাড়িতে ফিরতে পারবেন।

 

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https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/industry/padma-bridge-opens-investment-spree-south-452974

Abbas Uddin Noyon

04 July, 2022, 10:45 pm

Last modified: 04 July, 2022, 10:53 pm

Padma Bridge opens up investment spree in south

big-groups-now-eye-the-south-info-02.png

Large companies have now stepped up to cash in on so far unexploited business potentials in the country's southwestern region, thanks to the opening of Padma Bridge that has directly connected this part of the country with capital Dhaka.

Sheltech, Pran-RFL, Nitol-Niloy, TK Group, Envoy Group, and Opsonin Pharma are among the big names that are now looking for land in the region to set up new factories.

What actually are driving them to choose the region for investments are cheap labour, availability of raw materials for agro-based industries in particular, tax holiday for industries outside Dhaka and the newly-established direct highway routes across the Padma Bridge, say industry insiders.

In 2019, Sheltech Group established the country's largest ceramics industry in Bhola with an investment of Tk700 crore, enticed by Bhola's natural gas reserves, cheaper land and easy communication following the Padma Bridge opening.

The business entity is now planning to set up a non-denim factory on the island, Kutubuddin Ahmed, chairman of Sheltech Group, told The Business Standard.

"Also, we are looking for land for an apparel factory in Barishal," he noted, without disclosing the investment amount.

The southern region had long been attractive for cheaper and easier water transport but long ferry delays to cross the Padma had kept entrepreneurs away from going for investments there until the Padma Bridge construction.

"We think making investments in the south will now be most profitable because of the Padma Bridge," Kutubuddin Ahmed pointed out.
Pran-RFL, a top company in the manufacturing sector, has 50 factories in the country and it has also established five factories abroad. But the business conglomerate does not have any production hub in south-western districts.

"We have a plan to construct a food processing factory and a light engineering industry," said Kamruzzaman Kamal, director at Pran-RFL Group.

Agro-business most lucrative

TBS has come to know that around 50 more big companies, including Meghna Group, Ha-meem Group, East Coast Group, Mir Group, and Indo-Bangla Pharmaceuticals, are also planning to set up factories in southeastern districts.  

Dhaka-based Nitol-Niloy, a big name in the automotive industry, imports completely knocked down (CKD) units of vehicles from India for assemblies in its factories in Gazipur and Kishoreganj. 

"We are now planning to establish factories in Jashore and Barishal," Abdul Matlub Ahmad, chairman at Nitol-Niloy Group, told TBS.

"We are mulling over expanding our existing plant for assembling bus, truck and minibus in Jashore."

Besides, he also spoke of his plans to set up an export-oriented food processing plant, utilising the availability of agricultural products in the region.

They are now looking for land in Barishal and Shariatpur for the purpose, he noted, adding, "We will venture into it once we get gas connection."

The former FBCCI vice-president said after the construction of the Padma Bridge, almost all big industrial groups are interested in setting up factories in the southern region. 

The Barishal-Faridpur-Gopalganj region will be the next manufacturing hub if gas is made available there, he also said.

Mir Nasir Hossain, another business leader, said his company Mir Group has already started a factory in Faridpur to take advantage of its direct road link with Dhaka.  

Opsonin Pharma, a top drug maker in the country, began work on setting up the country's largest plant on 500 acres of land in Barishal in 2020 much before the opening of the Padma Bridge.

Abdur Rouf Khan, managing director at Opsonin Pharma Ltd, hopes that the factory will employ more than 1,000 people with an investment of over Tk500 crore.

"I am investing heavily here as the communication between Barishal and Dhaka connected by the Padma Bridge is now very easy. It is a very suitable place to build factories," he said.

TK Group is also planning to set up an agro-based industry in the south. Earlier, it established factories in the region to manufacture LPG cylinders and soybean oil since work on the Padma Bridge began.

Mohammed Amirul Haque, managing director of Seacom, a part of the TK group, told TBS the southern region is already a suitable place for business because of Benapole, Payra and Mongla ports.

"We are planning to set up an agro-based factory," he said.

Dhaka-based East Coast Group wants to gain a foothold in the export market by processing agricultural and fish products in the southern part of the Padma Bridge.

Azam J Chowdhury, chairperson of East Coast Group, said many products, including onions, potatoes, pulses, nuts, mustard and vegetables produced by farmers in the southwestern cannot be processed in the absence of adequate facilities. 

Farmers do not get fair prices of their produce. Many vegetables rot as well for not having enough storage facilities, he also said, adding that exports of such products have potential to rake in a lot of foreign currencies.

"We will first construct silos in areas near Dhaka and store agricultural products cultivated in the southwestern region. And we will set up a processing plant once we get the gas connection, Azam out.

To get the benefits of the Padma Bridge, local entrepreneurs are coming forward for investments in the region. Mubarak Ali Sikder, chairman of Janjira upazila parishad in Shariatpur, is one of them. He is setting up a cold storage on 10 bighas of land in the upazila's Kazirhat area.

"Tomatoes grow abundantly in the area. I will store it for exports," Mubarak said.

Beza to set up 17 economic zones 

The private sector apart, Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza) has already prepared a proposal for developing 17 economic zones in the southwestern region.

Beza executive chairman Shaikh Yusuf Harun said work on two economic zones in Mongla will begin soon. Besides, Gopalganj, Khulna, Madaripur, Satkhira and Kushtia economic zones will be implemented in phases.

The Kushtia Economic Zone will be built on 382 acres of land in Bheramara upazila of the district. Feasibility study is underway.

Besides, the development project proposal has been prepared to set up an economic zone on about 800 acres of land near Mawa in Dhaka's Nawabganj, he noted. 

If these initiatives are implemented, the planned industrialisation of the country, especially in the southwestern region, will be more dynamic, he also said, adding, more than one crore people will be employed in this region. 

In the meantime, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority has started work on drawing in large investments in power, tourism, agriculture and ICT in the region.

Khulna again centre of attraction after several decades

In the 1960s, Khulna was one of the major industrial cities in Bangladesh. With time, the city experienced the flight of almost all factories. 

But now, the opening of the Padma Bridge has rekindled the hope of establishments of new factories here. Many entrepreneurs have already bought land in the area for the purpose.

Former BGMEA president Abdus Salam Murshedy said, "I am taking advantage of this opportunity without a doubt. I intend to open a new clothing factory in Khulna. I also urge my peers to invest in that region."

How Bangabandhu Bridge spurred industrial growth in the north

Pran-RFL Group started its tube-well business in 1981 by setting up a factory called RFL Foundry in Rangpur BSCIC. The group did not set up any more factories in the northern region for the next two decades owing to communication problems.

After the inauguration of the Bangabandhu Bridge, the industrial group set up a factory called Pran Agro Limited in Natore in 2001.

After that, it established eight more agro-processing factories in Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Rangpur, Sirajganj and Pabna. 

They have also recently started a bicycle manufacturing plant in Rangpur's Gangachara.

Square Group, Envoy Group, and Nilsagar Group, also set up factories in North Bengal.

Square Group has an industrial park in Pabna. Envoy Group has set up a meat processing plant named Bengal Meat in the same district.

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https://bonikbarta.net/home/news_description/305519/বাংলাদেশে-কার্যক্রম-শুরু-করছে-সিঙ্গাপুর-ভিত্তিক-ডিবিএস-ব্যাংক

বাংলাদেশে কার্যক্রম শুরু করছে সিঙ্গাপুর ভিত্তিক ডিবিএস ব্যাংক

নিজস্ব প্রতিবেদক

জুলাই ০৪, ২০২২

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বাংলাদেশে কার্যক্রম শুরু করছে সিঙ্গাপুর ভিত্তিক দক্ষিণ-পূর্ব এশিয়ার সর্ববৃহৎ ব্যাংক ডেভলপমেন্ট ব্যাংক অব সিঙ্গাপুর (ডিবিএস ব্যাংক)। প্রাথমিকভাবে ১০০ মিলিয়ন ডলারের বিনিয়োগ নিয়ে বাংলাদেশে যাত্রা শুরু করবে ডিবিএস। বিনিয়োগের বিষয়ে এরমধ্যেই বাংলাদেশ ব্যাংকের সঙ্গে প্রাথমিক কার্যক্রম সম্পন্ন করেছে প্রতিষ্ঠানটি।

সিঙ্গাপুরস্থ বাংলাদেশ হাইকমিশন সূত্রে জানা গেছে, বাংলাদেশে বিনিয়োগের বিষয়ে গত ১ বছর ধরে সিঙ্গাপুরে নিযুক্ত বাংলাদেশ হাইকমিশনের সঙ্গে আলোচনা চালিয়ে আছে ডিবিএস কর্তৃপক্ষ। এরই ধারাবাহিকতায় গত ১ জুলাই সিঙ্গাপুরে বাংলাদেশের হাইকমিশনার মো তৌহিদুল ইসলাম, এনডিসি-এর সঙ্গে অনুষ্ঠিত এক বৈঠকে ডিবিএস লিমিটেডের প্রধান নির্বাহী কর্মকর্তা পিযুষ গুপ্তা বাংলাদেশে বিনিয়োগ কার্যক্রম শুরুর ঘোষণা দেন।

বাংলাদেশে বিনিয়োগ প্রসঙ্গে পিযুষ গুপ্তা জানান, ডিবিএস ব্যাংকের বাংলাদেশ শাখা প্রাথমিকভাবে ১০০ মিলিয়ন ডলারের বিনিয়োগ নিয়ে যাত্রা শুরু করবে। এই বিনিয়োগের বিষয়ে এরইমধ্যেই তারা বাংলাদেশ ব্যাংকের সঙ্গে প্রাথমিক কার্যক্রম সম্পন্ন করেছে। আগামী দু’মাসের মধ্যে বাংলাদেশে সিঙ্গাপুরভিত্তিক ব্যাংকটির প্রথম শাখা যাত্রা শুরু করতে পারবে বলে ডিবিএস-এর এই শীর্ষ কর্মকর্তা আশা প্রকাশ করেন।

প্রসঙ্গত, ডিবিএস লিমিটেড পর পর ছয় বছর ‘এশিয়ার সবচেয়ে নিরাপদ ব্যাংক’ হিসেবে স্বীকৃতি পেয়েছে। এছাড়া ইউরোমানী ডিবিএস-কে ২০১৬ সালে বিশ্বের সেরা ডিজিটাল ব্যাংকের সম্মাননা দেয়। বিগত বছরগুলোতে ডিবিএস বিশ্বের একাধিক স্বনামধন্য প্রতিষ্ঠান থেকে সেরা ব্যাংকের স্বীকৃতি লাভ করে। সিঙ্গাপুর ছাড়াও অস্ট্রেলিয়া, চীন, হংকং, ভারত, ইন্দোনেশিয়া, জাপান, দক্ষিণ কোরিয়া, মালয়েশিয়া, মায়ানমার, ফিলিপিন্স, থাইল্যান্ড, সংযুক্ত আরব আমিরাত, যুক্তরাজ্য, যুক্তরাষ্ট্র, ভিয়েতনামসহ আরও কয়েকটি দেশে ব্যাংকটির ৩০০-এর অধিক শাখা এবং বিশ্বের প্রায় ৫০টি প্রধান শহরে তাদের ব্যাংকিং কার্যক্রম রয়েছে।

সিঙ্গাপুরস্থ বাংলাদেশের হাইকমিশনার মো. তৌহিদুল ইসলাম এ প্রসঙ্গে বলেন, দক্ষিণ-পূর্ব এশিয়ার ‘আঞ্চলিক অর্থনৈতিক কেন্দ্র’ হিসেবে বিবেচিত সিঙ্গাপুর থেকে এতোদিন কোন বৃহৎ ব্যাংক বা অর্থনৈতিক প্রতিষ্ঠান বাংলাদেশে বিনিয়োগে উদ্যোগী হয়নি। এবারই প্রথম সিঙ্গাপুরভিত্তিক একটি বৃহৎ ব্যাংকিং প্রতিষ্ঠান বাংলাদেশের আর্থিক খাতে বিনিয়োগে এগিয়ে এল। অর্থনৈতিক প্রতিষ্ঠানটি সর্বমোট সম্পদের পরিমাণ ৫০০ বিলিয়ন মার্কিন ডলারের অধিক।

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https://www.dhakatribune.com/business/2022/07/05/bangladesh-investment-roadshow-held-in-istanbul-to-attract-more-turkish-fdi

Bangladesh investment roadshow held in Istanbul to attract more Turkish FDI

A good number of Turkish investors alongside officials from BIDA participated in the event

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rsz-singer---road-show---turkiye.jpeg

Tribune Desk

July 5, 2022 2:58 PM

A Bangladesh investment roadshow was held in Istanbul, Turkey recently to attract more Turkish investment to the country. Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), Bangladesh Embassy in Türkiye and Bangladesh Consulate in Istanbul jointly organized the Investment Roadshow.  

The country’s leading home appliances and consumer electronics company Singer Bangladesh Limited with its parent company Arcelik AS Turkiye - the largest consumer durable company in Turkiye, sponsored the event with the support of FBCCI, reads a press release. 

It is to be noted here that Arcelik is a part of Koc Holding, Turkey, a Global Fortune 500 company. It possesses 12 brands, 28 production facilities, 74 subsidiaries in 49 countries, and 30 R&D and design centres around the globe.

A good number of Turkish investors alongside officials from BIDA, embassy of Bangladesh in Turkiye, the Bangladesh Consulate, FICCI, Arcelik Turkiye and Singer Bangladesh participated in the event held on June 20, 2022.  

Among others, Mosud Mannan, ndc, ambassador of Bangladesh in Turkey, Mustafa Osman Turan, ambassador of Turkey in Bangladesh (attended virtually) Md Sirazul Islam, executive chairman, BIDA, Md Jashim Uddin, president, FBCCI, Mohammed Nore-Alam, consul general, Bangladesh Consulate, Cemal Can Dincer, chief commercial officer, Arçelik and Singer Bangladesh CEO MHM Fairoz and Hidayet Onur Özden, chairman of Turkiye-Bangladesh Business Council attended the event.

At the event, MHM Firoz stated that Arcelik and Singer are happy to be associated with this august event with an objective to become a part of the ongoing development process in Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh Investment Roadshow showcased the overall investment ecosystem of Bangladesh for the potential investors and business delegations of Turkey to attract more Turkish FDI to Bangladesh as well as to enhance business opportunities between Bangladesh and Turkey. 

Before a panel discussion, BIDA Executive Chairman Md Sirazul Islam presented the keynote paper where he gave an overview of the investment climate and investment potential. 

He highlighted the various initiatives and reforms of the government in ensuring an investment-friendly environment.

Participants from Bangladesh also visited a state-of-the-art Arcelik manufacturing complex and R&D centre in Istanbul and appreciated seeing the sustainable and green initiatives by Arcelik. 

 

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https://bangladesh.postsen.com/news/23678/The-6-lane-Kalna-Bridge-is-being-launched-in-September.html

The 6-lane Kalna Bridge is being launched in September

BREAKING NEWSVelazquez Breaking-News about 8 hours ago

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The 6-lane Kalna Bridge is being launched in September

// Sultan Mahmud //
Narail, July 5, 2022 (BSS) –

The much-anticipated 6-lane Kalna Bridge is set to be launched in September. The construction of a bridge over the Madhumati river at a cost of crores of rupees is progressing rapidly. Lohagarh Upazila of Narail on the west bank and Kashiani Upazila of Gopalganj on the east bank of the bridge.
According to road and highway (RHD) sources, the Madhumati river flows between Kalnaghat in Narail and Shankarpasha in Gopalganj. The country’s first six-lane Kalna Bridge is being built on this river. The concerned people are hoping that the Kalna Bridge will be open for traffic in September this year. Ashrafuzzaman, project manager of Kalna Bridge and executive engineer of R&D Narail, said more than 91 per cent work on the bridge has been completed so far. The bridge is being constructed under the Cross Border Road Network Improvement Project of the Department of Roads and Highways with funding from the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).
Speaking to project stakeholders, the six-lane bridge will have high-speed vehicles in four main lanes and low-speed vehicles in two lanes. The length of the bridge will be 690 meters and the width will be 26.10 meters. The connecting road on both sides will be 4.283 km with a width of 30.50 m. The total cost of construction of the bridge will be Tk 959.75 crore. A digital toll plaza has been set up next to the Kashiani bridge. A 150 meter long steel span has been installed in the middle of the bridge. On January 24, 2015, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of ‘Kalna Bridge’. The work order was issued on September 5 of that year, bridge project officials said.
With the launch of Kalna Bridge, direct road connectivity will be established with the land port Benapole, Jessore, Khulna, Narail, Gopalganj, Faridpur, Madaripur, Dhaka and surrounding districts. The Kalna Bridge will play a key role in bridging the distance between India and Dhaka and Chittagong by direct road links under the Asian Highway through the Padma Bridge, road officials said.
According to the Roads and Highways (RHD), the distance from Kalnaghat to Dhaka is only 106 km. The distance from Narail to Dhaka via Kalna Bridge and Padma Bridge is 128 km. The distance from Jessore to Dhaka via Padma Bridge via Narail will be 156 km and from Benapole to Dhaka via Jessore-Narail via Padma Bridge will be 192 km. As a result, the distance of Dhaka from Narail, Benapole, Jessore, Khulna and surrounding roads will be reduced to 100 km and 150 km. Besides, communication between Nawapara and Mongla port and Satkhira land port of industrial city Jessore will be easy. ‘Expressway’ has been constructed from Dhaka to Bhanga of Faridpur. Syed Aslam Ali, Additional Chief Engineer, Roads and Highways Department, Khulna Region, said that the construction of ‘Expressway’ road from Bhanga to Benapole via Narail-Jessore is under project.
Chadek Ahmed Khan, joint general secretary of the Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation and general secretary of the Narail Bus-Minibus Workers Union, said the Kalna Bridge has an inseparable link with the Padma Bridge. These two bridges (Padma and Kalna) will play a major role in the road connection of the south-west with the capital Dhaka. With the launch of the Kalna Bridge, the people of the region, including Narail and Jessore, will no longer have to endure the pain of waiting for the ferry to reach Dhaka. It will be easier for the passengers as well as for the sale of agricultural products. Besides, industries will be set up in Kalnaghat area. Massive employment will be created. The Padma Bridge is a great achievement of the development continuity of the present government. With the continuation of that development, the construction of Kalna Bridge is also an eye-catching achievement. Due to the ease of communication, the movement of people in the south including Narail-Jessore with the capital Dhaka and Chittagong will increase.
The drivers of other vehicles including the bus told this representative of the bus that the ferry terminal means suffering. After the opening of the Padma bridge, our troubles with the passengers have decreased a lot. If the Kalna bridge is opened, there will be no more trouble. Tutul, driver of Narail-Dhaka Khanjahan Ali Paribahan, said the launch of the bridge would alleviate the long-term suffering of people in at least 10 districts on both sides.
According to sources, Kalna is the first six-lane bridge in the country. It is a Nelson Los Arch type (curved like a bow) bridge. The length of the bridge is 650 meters and the width is 26.10 meters. The length of the connecting road on both sides of the bridge is about 5 kilometers.

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https://samakal.com/whole-country/article/2207120754/৬৩৪১-কোটি-টাকায়-পদ্মা-সেতুর-আদলে-নির্মিত-হবে-কালুরঘাট-সেতু

৬৩৪১ কোটি টাকায় পদ্মা সেতুর আদলে নির্মিত হবে কালুরঘাট সেতু

চট্টগ্রাম ব্যুরো

 প্রকাশ: ০৬ জুলাই ২২ । ১৯:১৮ | আপডেট: ০৬ জুলাই ২২ । ১৯:১৮

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কালুরঘাট সেতু

পদ্মা সেতুর আদলে নির্মাণ করা হবে চট্টগ্রামের কালুরঘাট সেতু। এই সেতু নির্মাণে ব্যয় হবে ৬ হাজার ৩৪১ কোটি টাকা। সেতুটি হবে ৭৮০ মিটার দীর্ঘ। ভায়াডাক্ট হবে ৫ দশমিক ৬২ মিটার এবং স্প্যান হবে ১০০ মিটার। আর সেতুর উচ্চতা হবে ১২ দশমিক ২ মিটার। 

বুধবার বেলা ১১টায় রেলওয়ে পূর্বাঞ্চলের সদর দপ্তর সিআরবিতে কালুরঘাট রেল কাম সড়ক সেতুর অগ্রগতি নিয়ে আয়োজিত এক বৈঠকে এসব তথ্য উঠে আসে। 

বৈঠকে নতুন সেতুর প্রস্তাবিত নকশা ও আনুষঙ্গিক বিষয়ে আলোচনা হয়। সভা শেষে চট্টগ্রাম-৮ আসনের সংসদ সদস্য মোছলেম উদ্দিন আহমেদ বিষয়টি নিশ্চিত করেন। 

চলতি বছরেই সেতুর ভিত্তিফলক স্থাপন করা হবে বলে জানিয়েছেন রেলওয়ে পূর্বাঞ্চলের জেনারেল ম্যানেজার জাহাঙ্গীর হোসেন।

কালুরঘাটে এখন যে সেতুটি রয়েছে সেটি থেকে হালদার উজানের দিকে ৭০ মিটার দূরে নতুন সেতুটি নির্মাণ করা হবে। পাশাপাশি একটি সংযোগ সড়ক নির্মিত হবে, সেটি করবে রোডস অ্যান্ড হাইওয়ে। 

কোরিয়ার রাষ্ট্রায়ত্ত এপিম ব্যাংকের নিয়োগকৃত প্রতিষ্ঠান ইওশিন ইঞ্জিনিয়ারিং করপোরেশন প্রাথমিক সমীক্ষা শেষে সেতু নির্মাণের স্থান, নকশা, ব্যয় ও নির্মাণকাল নিয়ে প্রাথমিক প্রস্তাবনা রেলওয়ে পূর্বাঞ্চল কর্তৃপক্ষের কাছে উপস্থাপন করেছে। 

বৈঠকে মোছলেম উদ্দিন আহমেদ, পূর্বাঞ্চলের জেনারেল ম্যানেজার জাহাঙ্গীর হোসেন ছাড়াও সমীক্ষা পরিচালনাকারী প্রতিষ্ঠান ইওশিন ইঞ্জিনিয়ারিং করপোরেশনের কর্মকর্তারা উপস্থিত ছিলেন।

মোছলেম উদ্দিন আহমেদ বলেন, ২০১০ সালে কর্ণফুলী তৃতীয় সেতু উদ্বোধন করতে এসেছিলেন প্রধানমন্ত্রী শেখ হাসিনা। সেদিন আমরা সিডিএর মাঠে একটি জনসভা করেছিলাম। সেখানে তিনি ঘোষণা করেছিলেন যে, কালুরঘাটেও আরও একটি সেতু নির্মাণ করে দেবেন। যে সেতুতে একপাশে গাড়ি এবং নিচে ট্রেন চলতে পারবে। এখন স্বপ্নের সেই সেতুটি নির্মিত হতে যাচ্ছে। কালুরঘাটে নতুন সেতু নির্মাণে আমার আগে যিনি এলাকার এমপি ছিলেন তিনিও চেষ্টা করেছিলেন। কিন্তু হয়নি। দুর্ভাগ্য হচ্ছে, বিভিন্ন জটিলতার কারণে এটি একনেকে গিয়েও ফেরত এসেছে। তখন কিন্তু খরচও অনেক কম ছিল। শেষ পর্যন্ত আমি সংসদ সদস্য নির্বাচিত হওয়ার পর এটি নিয়ে আবার কাজ শুরু করি। 

সভা শেষে রেলওয়ে পূর্বাঞ্চলের জেনারেল ম্যানেজার জাহাঙ্গীর হোসেন জানিয়েছেন, সেতুর নির্মাণ কাজ যাতে দ্রুত শুরু করা যায় সেজন্য চেষ্টা চলছে। টেন্ডার কার্যক্রম শেষ করতে ৭-৮ মাস লাগবে। আগামী আগস্ট মাসে পূর্ণাঙ্গ প্রতিবেদন জমা দেওয়া হবে। এ বছরেই সমস্ত টেন্ডার জটিলতা শেষ হবে। চলতি বছরেই কালুরঘাট সেতুর ভিত্তিপ্রস্তর স্থাপনের চেষ্টা চলছে। পদ্মা সেতুর আদলে এ সেতু নির্মিত হবে। ওপরে গাড়ি চলবে, নিচে ট্রেন। এ সেতুর সমস্ত ব্যয় বহন করবে কোরিয়ান সরকার।

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https://www.thedailystar.net/views/editorial/news/pandemic-ill-conceived-projects-3065356

Editorial

A pandemic of ill-conceived projects

Establish accountability to tackle habitual time-cost overruns in government projects

Wed Jul 6, 2022 05:24 PM Last update on: Wed Jul 6, 2022 07:36 PM

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Bangladesh clearly has an execution problem when it comes to projects. Few public projects finish on time, and fewer still without their costs escalating to ridiculous heights. This is perhaps the biggest barrier to tax-paying citizens getting their money's worth from the avalanche of projects launched round the year. According to the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), lack of good governance in implementation is undermining the efficiency of public infrastructure projects (PIPs) despite the huge investments being made.

Having commented on this issue just the other day, we're pained to know of another instance in which a PIP on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway – which was supposed to finish by June 2015 at a cost of Tk 239.7 crore – was completed five years after the original deadline, and at a cost of Tk 353.36 crore. That's 250 percent extra time and 47.36 percent additional funding, according to an official estimate. It happened because the project was undertaken without any feasibility study, a fundamental requirement, thus necessitating a series of revisions in later stages. This is, unfortunately, the story of many other projects as well, and it's stupefying that those at the planning ministry would still greenlight them.

The absence of a feasibility study is just as bad as the presence of a weak feasibility study, both of which are fairly common. It's the first and perhaps most consequential factor in poorly planned undertakings. Other problems identified by the CPD include coordination failure, delays in land acquisition, frequent changes of project directors, etc. Mismanagement is the running theme behind all such obstacles. Delays can also trigger a chain of costly disruptions including – as it happened in a project by the Anti-Corruption Commission – expiry of licensed material. The material in question, as reported by a national daily, is software needed for a planned digital forensic lab. And it is set to expire even before the project can take off!

This is a sad commentary on how even projects meant to tackle corruption are instead drowning in it. The same thing happened to another project that was meant to reduce corruption in government aid programmes. The upcoming National Household Database, we're told, will be "unusable", even after being eight years in the making and having spent Tk 727 crore to make it. Is there no institutional mechanism to check such systemic problems and consequent disappointments?

We urge the government to establish accountability to ensure that all of its projects are planned and executed properly. Ill-conceived projects not just drain us financially, but also potentially cancel out their benefits. This has been going on for so long, and it is the public who have had to pay for it. We must stop this culture.

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http://tds212.thedailystar.net/news/bangladesh/transport/news/bhulta-flyover-poor-planning-jacked-cost-47-percent-3064751

Bhulta Flyover: Poor planning jacked up cost by 47%

Tuhin Shubhra Adhikary

Wed Jul 6, 2022 09:00 AM Last update on: Wed Jul 6, 2022 09:23 AM

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About nine years back, the government approved a project to build a 613-meter-long four-lane flyover at Bhulta on Dhaka-Sylhet Highway to reduce traffic congestion and road crashes.

The project at Bhulta where Dhaka-Sylhet Highway crosses Dhaka Bypass Road was supposed to be completed by June 2015 at a cost of Tk 239.7 crore.

When the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) moved to implement the project, it found that the flyover's length was too short to be effective enough to help reduce tailback. And the project was revised accordingly in November 2016.

But soon after the construction of the flyover started, the project was again revised in July 2018 as the RHD decided to construct another flyover on Dhaka Bypass Road for better traffic management.

When the project was completed in July 2020, the cost stood at Tk 353.36 crore.

"The project required 250 percent extra time and 47.36 percent additional funding to implement because the project was prepared on the basis of preliminary information, without feasibility study," reads a IMED report.

Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) of Planning Ministry released the Impact Evaluation Study report recently.

Time and cost overrun of development projects have become a major concern in recent times, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on several occasions giving directives to stop the malpractice.

The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) recently said the government is making significant investments in public infrastructure projects (PIPs), but a lack of good governance in project implementation undermines their efficiency.

The think tank identified weak feasibility studies, coordination failure, delays in land acquisition, and frequent changes of project directors as some of the key reasons behind the poor governance in PIPs implementation.

The Daily Star called RHD Chief AKM Manir Hossain Pathan over his mobile phone yesterday evening, but he didn't pick up. Later, he sent a text message, saying he was sick.

BHULTA FLYOVER

Dhaka Bypass Road crosses the Dhaka-Sylhet Highway at Bhulta Bazar. Due to frequent movement of a large number of vehicles on both roads, the Bhulta Bazar area regularly saw long traffic congestions and the risk of accidents was also high, reads the IMED report.

Considering this, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in October 2013 approved the project to build a four-lane flyover though no feasibility study on the project was carried out, it mentioned.

The Development Project Proposal (DPP) was prepared on the basis of "preliminary information" but it was later found that the design of 613-meter-long flyover would not fulfil the project's purpose. And the design was eventually changed.

But immediately after the flyover's construction began, its design had to be altered for a second time as the government decided to turn the Dhaka Bypass Road an access-controlled expressway.

According to the new plan, two flyovers were constructed -- a 1,239-meter-long flyover on Dhaka-Sylhet Highway and a 611-meter-long flyover on Dhaka Bypass Road.

The total cost of the project rose to Tk 353.36 crore and the deadline was extended to July 2020.

"It would have been possible to avoid increasing the time and cost of the project implementation if the correct design and DPP had been prepared following a feasibility study," says the report.

"Preparation of DPP of the project on the basis of preliminary information without feasibility study has resulted in two changes in design for construction of the functional flyovers," it added.

The report further says the completion of the project led to a reduction in traffic congestion, travel time and cost, the number of accidents and also contributed to the overall social and economic development of people.

However, during project inspection, it was found that the flyovers were not properly maintained. Weeds had grown in several parts of the flyovers and pipes for draining water were broken. Besides, lighting was inadequate, it added.

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https://www.tbsnews.net/bangladesh/construction-two-tier-road-rail-bridge-over-karnaphuli-starts-next-year-454438

Abu Azad

06 July, 2022, 10:25 pm

Last modified: 06 July, 2022, 11:44 pm

Construction of two-tier road-rail bridge over Karnaphuli starts next year 

The tender will be floated once a final feasibility study report is submitted in August  

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Bangladesh Railway is going to build a two-tier road-cum-rail bridge across the River Karnaphuli at Kalughat point, starting next year, to replace a rundown old bridge at the place.  

Korean company Yooshin Engineering Corporation, conducting a fresh feasibility study, has prepared a preliminary design for a two-tier double-track rail-cum-two-lane road bridge across the Karnaphuli, like Padma Bridge.

According to the design, the multipurpose bridge will have a lower level for rail, and an upper level for road transportation.

The total cost of the bridge will now increase to Tk6,341 crore due to adding 12.2 metres to the height of the bridge, as proposed by the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA).

As per the revised development project proposal (DPP), the bridge will be completed within four years from the time construction work begins.

Chattogram-8 MP, Moslem Uddin Ahmed, said the Korean construction firm held a final meeting with officials of the railway east zone at the Central Railway Building (CRB) in Chattogram on Wednesday. 

He, who also attended the meeting, said "The firm will submit a final report of a fresh feasibility study next month in August." 

According to railway east zone authorities, once the project is approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec), the highest economic policymaking body, the proposed bridge should hopefully be completed by 2027.

Railway east zone General Manager Jahangir Hossain said the length of the bridge is to be 780 metres, the viaduct 5.62 metres, with a span of 100 metres. The height of the bridge will be 12.2 metres, the number of pillars will be eight.

"The tender will be floated after submission of the final feasibility study report. It will take about six to eight months to complete the process," said Jahangir Hossain.

Project Director Golam Mostafa told The Business Standard (TBS), "The new bridge will be 70 metres upstream from the existing age-old bridge and the alignment of the new bridge will be from Jane Ali Hat to Gomdandi Rail Station."

The roads and highways division will construct the roads, connecting to the bridge.

Project Director Gulam Mustafa said, "The Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of South Korea has agreed to fully fund the project as a soft loan to the Bangladesh government."

"The total costing of the bridge will now increase to Tk6,341 crore due to a major change in design and the addition of height as per proposal of the BIWTA" he said, regarding the increase in project cost.

The engineering department of Bangladesh Railway had earlier prepared a design for the bridge with a 9 metre height and an estimated cost of Tk1,200 crore.

Railway east zone Chief Engineer Md Sabuktagin said there was a misunderstanding whether there would be a separate railway bridge or rail and road together. Later, as per the PM's directive, the design was made for a two-tier bridge after conducting a fresh feasibility study.  

On the road bridge, there will be pavements on both sides for crossing the bridge on foot, he added.  

Moslem Uddin Ahmed MP said, "As per the proposal placed earlier with the Ecnec, there would be two separate bridges – one for rail and the other for vehicles. When placed to the Prime Minister, she said there will be only one bridge consisting of both railways and vehicular road transport." 

The new Kalurghat Bridge will ensure smooth communications with Cox's Bazar from the capital Dhaka and the port city of Chattogram, he added.

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https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2022/07/07/padma-bridge-24c-collected-in-tolls-in-first-11-days

Padma Bridge: 24C collected in tolls in first 11 days

The bridge authorities on July 1 collected Tk3.16 crore in tolls, which is still the highest daily figure

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Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Shamima Rita, Munshiganj

July 7, 2022 6:08 PM

The Padma Bridge authorities have collected more than Tk24 crore in tolls from vehicles crossing the bridge in the 11 days since the bridge was opened to traffic.

A total of 220,623 vehicles used the bridge during the period, paying Tk24,23,67,800 in tolls.

The toll plaza at the Mawa point collected Tk12,48,01,750 from 110,812 vehicles, while the one at the Zajira point collected Tk12,18,86,50 from 109,811 vehicles.

With palpable excitement surrounding the opening of the bridge, users paid a staggering Tk2,09,31,550 on the very first day, on June 26.

Following a fatal motorcycle accident on the bridge on the same day, the authorities banned motorcycles from using it, resulting in the daily toll collection taking a slight tumble.

But despite that, the bridge saw more than Tk3.16 crore in toll collection on July 1 – still the highest daily collection.

The daily toll collection dipped to Tk1.91 crore on July 3, but saw a big jump again to Tk2.42 crore on July 6.

Bridges Division Supervising Engineer Abul Hossain told Dhaka Tribune that the number of vehicles using the bridge varied every day, resulting in the fluctuation in toll collection.

Traffic movement was smooth on either side of the bridge right now, he added.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the 6.15-km bridge with great fanfare on June 25. 

It marked an important milestone in Bangladesh’s history, as it is a symbol not just of Bangladesh’s tenacity but of its growing economic prowess and development.

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https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/28-firms-set-invest-13b-three-economic-zones-455126

Jahir Rayhan

07 July, 2022, 10:00 pm

Last modified: 07 July, 2022, 10:07 pm

28 firms set to invest $1.3b in three economic zones

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Twenty-eight companies, including Walton, have got the nod from the authorities concerned to invest a total of $1.3 billion in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City, Jamalpur Economic Zone, and Sabrang Tourism Park.

The Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority on Thursday also allotted 363.53 acres of land to these firms.

The Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority (Beza) said the approved investment by the 28 companies would create 36,000 jobs.

Beza Executive Chairman Sheikh Yusuf Harun said land lease agreements would be signed with these companies soon.

The proposed investments would help diversify the country's export basket, he expected, adding that this would also help the country achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) alongside increasing the living standards of the people.

According to sources, among the approved companies, Walton Hitech Industries Limited, RHPL Health of India, Abdul Monem Economic Zone Limited, Bangladesh Garments Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGAPMEA), KIAM Metal Industries Ltd, Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Fakir Knitwear Ltd, and Israq Spinning Mills Ltd will invest in Bangbandhu Industrial City.

Of them, the electronic giant Walton alone will invest $640 million as it has been allotted 100 acres of land.

The company will manufacture electronics products, including refrigerators, televisions, and air conditioners, at the plant, officials said.

An official of Walton told The Business Standard that the company has taken up an initiative to set up a factory in Mirsarai Economic Zone to facilitate the delivery of goods to Chattogram port for export.

Seven companies are going to invest in Sabran Tourism Park and among them Dird Group and Ifad Group will invest in the hotel and tourism sector.

Akij Textile Mills Ltd and Fervent Multiboard Industries Ltd, a subsidiary of Walton Group, are among the six investment proposals in the Jamalpur Economic Zone.

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https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/trade/move-on-to-revive-dhaka-ctg-expressway-1657163488

Move on to revive Dhaka-Ctg expressway

 MUNIMA SULTANA | Published:  July 07, 2022 09:11:28 | Updated:  July 07, 2022 14:59:09

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Government authorities move to revive a dormant project for developing over 200-km expressway in Bangladesh's prime Dhaka-Chattogram corridor, sources say, now that even the upgraded highway is getting clogged.

Roads and Highways Department (RHD) suspended the Tk 933.5 billion Dhaka-Chattogram expressway project at the design stage after completing the feasibility study following a directive from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in 2019.

But, the sources say, Road Transport and Highways Division (RTHD) wants to restart the project and request the PMO for resuming it considering growing importance of the project in managing increased traffic in the country's prime economic and trade corridor.

Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Authority has also been receiving various proposals from the interested investors to work in the PPP project.

An official says during the last three years, more than 10 Chinese companies have shown interest in the project and the number is also increasing in recent days.

"Being economic lifeline of the country, the Dhaka-Chattogram highway traffic is increasing day by day, same as maintenance of the existing four-lane highway is also becoming difficult due to damage caused by heavy load of traffic," another official says.

Preferring not to be named, he notes that the RHD project taken to maintain the highway is not enough to tackle the traffic and that if the steps are not taken immediately, the corridor may get saturated again and cause suffering to hundreds of thousands of users.

The RHD, which completed the Dhaka-Chattogram four-lane project in 2016, has now been implementing another project to carry out maintenance work on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway at a cost of Tk 7.40 billion.

Though initially, the completion of the four-lane-highway project had given relief to the users, they already started facing several traffic congestions at different points of the corridor. The jams make them take more than seven hours in travelling the road which had been reduced to five hours when the four-lane project completed.

The RHD took the Dhaka-Chattogram Expressway project with the funding of the Asian Development Bank shortly after the completion of the four-lane project. After the feasibility study, it selected the route en-route Narayanganj, Cumilla and Feni to develop the 224.64km access-control paid highway in both elevated and grade way.

But the project was jettisoned after spending over Tk 1.0 billion as the government considered another billion-dollar bullet-train project more important than the expressway.

However, the RTHD held a meeting with its secretary in the chair on Wednesday to review the entire gamut of issues and decided to have a meeting with the PMO to convince them about giving the go to the PPP project.

An official attending the meeting told the FE that "fresh feasibility study has also become necessary as various changes like new connectivity of regional roads with the highway have also been found at different points".

[email protected]

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https://www.tbsnews.net/bangladesh/uttara-agargaon-metro-rail-work-nears-completion-455158

Jahidul Islam

07 July, 2022, 10:35 pm

Last modified: 07 July, 2022, 10:40 pm

Uttara-Agargaon Metro Rail work nears completion

The construction of the country’s first underground metro rail, known as Mass Rapid Transit Line-1 (MRT-1), will begin next month

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The construction of the Dhaka metro rail project's Uttara-to-Agargaon portion is nearing completion and is expected to be open to the public in December.

Almost 94% progress has been made in the construction of the Uttara-Agargaon metro rail route while the overall progress up to Motijheel is 81.19%, said MAN Siddique, managing director (MD) of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL).

All work on the Uttara-Agargaon route will be completed in August. Trains are ready and various tests are being conducted for launching operations in this section, he said, adding that the first passenger-less integrated test will be conducted at the beginning of October.

The official launch of metro rail in December, the month of victory, depends on the success of these tests, said the MD of DMTCL – the company responsible for the implementation and operation of metro rail in the capital.

The construction of a total of 52 infrastructures in the Uttara depot area was completed last month. Tk70.58 crore was saved in land development for the depot, he said, adding that more than a hundred crore Taka will also be saved in infrastructure development.

"All the work of 9 stations from Uttara to Agargaon has been done but the construction of entry-exit has been completed in four stations while the work for the rest five is underway," Siddique said.

There were various challenges in the construction of entry and exit of the stations, including complications with the city corporation over land. All these complications are over now, he said.

On the other hand, the physical work on the country's first underground metro rail, known as Mass Rapid Transit Line-1 (MRT-1), is likely to begin next month, Siddique said.

The MRT Line-1 has two parts – around 19.87km from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur with 16.4km underground lines and around 11.37km elevated lines from Natun Bazar to Purbachal.

After completing tender issuance and selection of the depot development firm, the project is now awaiting the approval of the lending agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), he added.

How much preparation has been taken yet?

MAN Siddique said 10 sets of trains would be needed to operate the metro service from Uttara to Agargaon, adding that 14 sets of trains had already arrived at the depot.

Various functional and performance tests are being conducted separately. An integrated test will be conducted on all types of management before passenger movement, he said.

Siddique also said training the people needed for the operation is underway. Several batches of workers are being trained at home and abroad

"The work of forming MRT police for the overall safety of the metro rail is also in the final stages. It has also been ensured that the metro rail is kept out of load-shedding as an emergency service," he added.

Monument to honour Holey Artisan victims

A monument has been built in honour of the Japanese engineers killed in the 2016 Holey Artisan terrorist attack.

"The monument, built in Japan, has already arrived in the country and is housed at the metro rail's Uttara exhibition centre. It will be placed at the Natun Bazar metro station after completion of construction of MRT Line-1," M A N Siddique said.

He said that after Eid-ul-Azha, the head of JICA and a Japanese minister will come to Bangladesh and inaugurate the monument at the exhibition centre.

BRTC special service for metro passengers

Some 40 buses of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) will be operated from Uttara and Agargaon stations to help metro passengers reach their destinations, Siddique said, adding that the number of buses will be increased further if needed.

The buses will run on regular BRTC routes from Uttara via Jasimuddin and the airport. BRTC buses will also be operated from Agargaon to Farmgate, he added.

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https://bangla.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2022/07/07/1657211595212

দেশে প্রথমবারের মত চালু হচ্ছে 'অ্যাডভান্সড ট্রাফিক ম্যানেজমেন্ট সিস্টেম'

ঢাকা-মাওয়া-ভাঙা এক্সপ্রেসওয়েতে এ ডিজিটাল ট্রাফিক সিস্টেম চালু হবে

traffic-management-system-bioenable.jpeg

 

শামীমা রীতা, মুন্সিগঞ্জ

প্রকাশিত: ০৮:৩৩ রাত জুলাই ০৭, ২০২২

দেশে প্রথমবারের মত চালু হতে যাচ্ছে “অ্যাডভান্সড ট্রাফিক ম্যানেজমেন্ট সিস্টেম”। 

পদ্মা সেতু ও ঢাকা-মাওয়া-ভাঙা এক্সপ্রেসওয়েতে সড়ক দুর্ঘটনাসহ যেকোনো অনাকাঙ্ক্ষিত ঘটনা এড়াতে আগামী ডিসেম্বরের মধ্যেই এ ডিজিটাল ট্রাফিক সিস্টেম চালু হবে।

বাংলাদেশ সেতু বিভাগের তত্ত্বাবধায়ক প্রকৌশলী  আবুল হোসেন ঢাকা ট্রিবিউনকে এ তথ্য নিশ্চিত করেছেন।  

গত ২৫ জুন প্রধানমন্ত্রী শেখ হাসিনা উদ্বোধনের পর ২৬ জুন রবিবার থেকে সকল ধরনের যানবাহন চলাচলের জন্য উন্মুক্ত করে দেওয়া হয় দেশের দক্ষিণ-পশ্চিমাঞ্চলের মানুষের বহুল প্রতীক্ষিত পদ্মা সেতু।

তবে যান চলাচল শুরুর প্রথম দিন রাতেই মোটরসাইকেলের সঙ্গে কাভার্ড ভ্যানের ধাক্কায় দুইজন নিহত হয়। এরপর সেতুতে বন্ধ করে দেওয়া হয় মোটরসাইকেল চলাচল। ঈদ-উল-আজহার আগে পদ্মা সেতুতে মোটরসাইকেল চলাচলের অনুমতি দেওয়ার সম্ভাবনা নেই বলে আগেই জানিয়েছেন মন্ত্রিপরিষদ সচিব খন্দকার আনোয়ারুল ইসলাম। 

অন্যদিকে শুধু মোটরসাইকেল নয় গত ১১ দিনে পদ্মা সেতু রটোলপ্লাজা ব্যরিয়ারে ধাক্কাসহ, সেতু সংলগ্ন দুই প্রান্তে একাধিক দুর্ঘটনা ঘটেছে। এতে ২ জন নিহত এবং আহত হয় একাধিক ।

৬ জুলাই রাত সাড়ে ৮টার দিকে মাওয়া টোলপ্লাজার সামনেপদ্মা সেতুর মাওয়া প্রান্তে সড়ক ডিভাইডারের সঙ্গে ধাক্কা লেগে একটি প্রাইভেটকার উল্টে  তুহিন ও আবু সাইদ নামে দু'জন আহত হয়। । পরে স্থানীয়রা দুজনকে উদ্ধার করে শ্রীনগর উপজেলা স্বাস্থ্য কমপ্লেক্সে নিয়ে যায় ।

২ জুলাই পদ্মাসেতুর জাজিরা প্রান্তে ভাঙ্গা এক্সপ্রেসওয়েতে বাসের ধাক্কায় মাইক্রোবাস উল্টে আব্দুল হক মোল্লা (৬০) নামের এক বৃদ্ধ নিহত হোন। আহত হয় অন্তত ১৫ জন।

৩০ জুন দুপুর ১টার দিকে পদ্মা সেতু উত্তর থানার ঢাকা-মাওয়া এক্সপ্রেসওয়ের মেদিনীমণ্ডল এলাকায়  গাড়ির ধাক্কায় এক পথচারী বৃদ্ধা (৫০) নিহত হয়। ২৭ জুন মুন্সিগঞ্জের মাওয়া প্রান্তে পদ্মা সেতুর উত্তর ভায়াডাক্টে (নদীর বাইরের অংশ) পেঁয়াজবাহী ট্রাক উল্টে আহত তিনজনের মধ্যে দুজনের অবস্থা আশঙ্কাজনক বলে জানা গেছে।  অতিরিক্ত গতির কারণেই এ দুর্ঘটনা বলে জানায় পুলিশ।

বাংলাদেশ সেতু বিভাগের তত্ত্বাবধায়ক প্রকৌশলী আবুল হোসেন বলেন, “এ সকল দুর্ঘটনা রোধে চালকদের অসচেতনতা ও দ্রুত গতিকে দায়ী করেছে সেতু কর্তৃপক্ষ।  তবে এসকল অনাকাঙ্ক্ষিত ঘটনা রোধে  দেশে প্রথমবারের মতো চালু হতে যাচ্ছে অ্যাডভান্স ট্রাফিক ম্যানেজমেন্ট সিস্টেম।” 

পদ্মা সেতুতে দুর্ঘটনা রোধ প্রসঙ্গে তিনি আরও বলেন, “মূলত এ দুর্ঘটনা রোধে চালকদের প্রথমে সচেতন হতে হবে। আমরা পদ্মা সেতুসহ ঢাকা-মাওয়া-ভাঙা এক্সপ্রেসওয়ে পুরোটায় অ্যাডভান্সড ট্রাফিক ম্যানেজম্যান্ট সিস্টেম চালু করবো।  এ সিস্টেম  বাংলাদেশে প্রথমবারের মতো চালু করা হবে। বাইরের দেশগুলোতে এ ট্রাফিক সিস্টেম থাকলেও বাংলাদেশে  এর আগে দেখা যায়নি।”

তিনি জানান, এ সিস্টেম চালু হলে সড়ক দুর্ঘটনা ঘটলে বা কোনো গাড়ি দুর্ঘটনা কবলিত হলে চালকসহ গাড়ির বিস্তারিত তথ্য বের করা সম্ভব হবে।

এছাড়া, সেতুতে সিসিটিভি এবং স্পিডগান বসানো হবে জানিয়ে তিনি বলেন, “এর ফলে কোনো যানবাহনের গতি নির্ধারিত গতির বেশি থাকলে বা কোনো অসঙ্গতি দেখলেই তাৎক্ষণিক ব্যবস্থা নেওয়া সম্ভব হয়।”

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https://www.thedailystar.net/news/bangladesh/transport/news/over-record-tk-34cr-toll-collected-bangabadhu-bridge-3067036

Over record Tk 3.4cr toll collected from Bangabandhu bridge

Star Digital Report

Fri Jul 8, 2022 04:24 PM Last update on: Fri Jul 8, 2022 04:58 PM

bangabandhu_bridge_file.jpg?itok=Lj1jMz8

The Bangabandhu Bridge has set a new record in the amount of toll collected from vehicles in 24 hours till 6:00am today (July 8, 2022).

According to the sources of Bangabandhu Bridge, a total 43,595 vehicles crossed the bridge from yesterday morning to this morning. Over Tk 3.4 crore has been been collected from both toll plazas during this period, setting a new record.

Ahsan Masud Bappy, an executive engineer of the site office of the Bangladesh Bridge Authority, confirmed the development to our Tangail correspondent.

The toll plaza had collected Tk 3.19 crore from 44,274 vehicles on April 29 before the last Eid-ul Fitr.

Executive engineer Bappy further said the toll collection on the bridge in the last 24 hours has also broken all previous records.

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https://bangla.thedailystar.net/সংবাদ/বাংলাদেশ/অপরাধ-ও-বিচার/মোটরসাইকেলে-পদ্মা-সেতু-পারের-চেষ্টা-১১-হাজার-টাকা-জরিমানা-369036

মোটরসাইকেলে পদ্মা সেতু পারের চেষ্টা, ১১ হাজার টাকা জরিমানা

নিজস্ব সংবাদদাতা, মুন্সিগঞ্জ

শুক্রবার, জুলাই ৮, ২০২২ ১১:৫৯ অপরাহ্ন

মোটরসাইকেলে পদ্মা সেতু পার হওয়ার চেষ্টা করায় মো. আবুল কালাম আজাদকে ১১ হাজার টাকা জরিমানা করেছে ট্রাফিক পুলিশ।

আজ শুক্রবার সকাল ১১টায় সড়ক পরিবহন আইনে এ জরিমানা করা হয়। আবুল কালাম আজাদের বাড়ি বরিশালের উজিরপুর এলাকায়।

লৌহজং থানা পুলিশের উপ-পরিদর্শক মো. রাজু দ্য ডেইলি স্টারকে এ তথ্য নিশ্চিত করেন।

তিনি বলেন, 'সরকারি সিদ্ধান্ত অনুযায়ী পদ্মা সেতুতে মোটরসাইকেল প্রবেশ নিষেধ। এজন্য সড়ক পরিবহন আইনে তাকে ১১ হাজার টাকা জরিমানা করা হয়।'

জানতে চাইলে মুন্সিগঞ্জ ট্রাফিক পুলিশ ইন্সপেক্টর বজলুর রহমান দ্য ডেইলি স্টারকে জানান, জরিমানার ১১ হাজার টাকা পরিশোধ করেছেন আবুল কালাম।

ট্রাফিক পুলিশ সূত্র জানায়, সকালে আবুল কালাম মোটরসাইকেল নিয়ে টোল প্লাজার কাছে গেলে চেকপোস্টে দায়িত্বরত পুলিশ সদস্যরা মোটরসাইকেলের গতিরোধ করে তাকে জিজ্ঞাসাবাদ করেন। এ সময় আবুল কালাম নিজেকে পুলিশের আত্মীয় হিসেবে পরিচয় দেন।

 

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https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/s-korea-ready-invest-other-sectors-bangladesh-ambassador-455958

TBS Report

09 July, 2022, 02:15 pm

Last modified: 09 July, 2022, 03:28 pm

S Korea ready to invest in other sectors in Bangladesh: Ambassador

lee_jang-keun_south_korean_ambassador_to

Lee Jang-keun, South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh. Illustration: TBS

South Korea is looking to other sectors apart from ready-made garments for its future investments, although there still remain a number of challenges, South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-keun has said.

Economics and business were the core of the relation between Bangladesh and South Korea, with infrastructure being another area the two countries can work on, the ambassador said during a visit to The Business Standard offices.

"Korea's investment is already present in this country. It is the sixth biggest foreign direct investment country for Bangladesh with $1.3 billion. Two years ago, when I looked at this statistic, it was $1.1 billion. This investment is mainly in the RMG sector which is almost 80% of the total investment, which is too much for a particular sector.

"So, going beyond the RMG is what we are looking at in the future. We want companies from other sectors to invest here," he said.

"Most of these companies are small and medium sized. Some of them have already invested in Mongla port and some in Adamjee EPZ," he said.

"The next sector can be infrastructure which can also bring in other elements in the purview. Besides the Chattogram transport sector, we are involved in the Dhaka airport extension project although it is a Japanese project. Samsung is bringing in their technologies in Bangladesh," he said.

Lee Jang-keun pointed out that one of the limitations of RMG is that only small and medium companies are involved in it. "But South Korea now has some very big companies like Samsung, Hyundai etc and they are coming for infrastructure. For example, if Samsung comes to the country and finds value here, they will stay here. Samsung also has a research institute very close to this place in Dhaka. They are also collaborating with Fairgroup and have installed four machines in their factory. If the Korean companies are successful, they will bring investment," he said.

Although the ambassador did not specify which other sectors South Korea was looking at, he said that some steps had to be taken first.

"Here you have a good labour force of which I often hear from the Korean investors. But there are some problems like heavy traffic – which I experienced today. It can increase cost and take a lot of time for transport of goods and other things. It is a big challenge. The country should address this challenge to attract more investment," Lee said.

The ambassador also said due to the geopolitical situation disrupting the supply chain, Korean companies were trying to diversify their sourcing countries.

"During the pandemic time, many Korean companies faced difficulties in some countries. Some of them even had to reduce or close their businesses. And then, they have increased their operation here," he said.

On bilateral trade, Ambassador Lee said the volume was not enough and there were opportunities to increase it.

"Last year, our trade volume reached a historic high by crossing $2.1 billion. Korean export to Bangladesh was $1.6 billion or more and Bangladesh's export was $555 million. So, Korea's exports increased around 40%. And up to May this year, also, that increasing trend continued.

"At first, the trade volume should be increased and then we have to see the companies. As for investment, around 85% of our import from Bangladesh is RMG. So, Bangladesh has become a major RMG source for the Korean side. Before it was China or Vietnam. Many do not know that Korea is also providing preferential trade treatment and 95% of Bangladeshi products are tax-, quota-free since 2008. So, since 2008, trade volume has increased."

Lee said it was time to think about other products aside from RMG to import from Bangladesh, especially fisheries and agriculture, terming those promising.

"And mangoes too. I really enjoyed the mango here. But currently, there is no direct maritime link or air link between Bangladesh and Korea. So, that is hampering the further development of our commercial ties. That is another area we are looking into.

"Korea is a peninsula which is surrounded by seas and there is a city called Busan and this is the second largest transshipment port in the world after Singapore. But we have no direct link with Bangladesh. So, a direct link would increase trade between the two countries."

On expatriate Bangladeshis in South Korea, he said there were now 10,000 Bangladeshi workers.

"We have a quota system and we take around 2,000 Bangladeshi workers. The pandemic affected them heavily. From July 2020 up to October last year, we stopped taking workers. But from November last year up to now, more than 2,500 workers travelled to Korea. However, Korea is a preferred destination for Bangladeshi workers and the remittance that they send to Bangladesh is about $210 million. Korea was number 12th the year before the pandemic in terms of the amount. The Bangladesh government wants to send more workers to Korea and we are working on that."

Asked what workers can do to be more attractive options for Korea, he said they needed to have a minimum skill in the Korean language.

"We have three BKTTCs [Bangladesh Korea Technical Training Centre] in Bangladesh in Savar, Mirpur and Chattogram. These centres provide various training to workers. However, we have 1,600 Koreans in Bangladesh and 1,200 are in Dhaka," Lee said.

He also said there were many Bangladeshi students in Korea, mostly on scholarships, for doctorates and engineering.

In cooperation with Bangladesh, Lee said there was a plan for Chattogram public transportation.

"One important thing in this transport section cooperation is related to the Padma Bridge. A Korean company was supervising the construction of the bridge. So, Korean companies are in the infrastructural area. We are also installing an intelligent transport system [ITS] in Bangladesh, which is very common and widely used in Korea. It can automatically monitor the highway situation using ICT technology. It will be used on the Mawa expressway. I visited the expressway and was impressed by that.

"In Korea, we also have traffic problems, especially in Seoul. But the ITS system introduced there has lessened the problem. But in Dhaka, you also need to change the culture to solve this problem," he said.

On what led to Korea's progress in the last 50 years, the ambassador chalked it down to hard work, cooperation from other countries such as the USA, and education.

"Education is the area where our secret may lie. And the generation after independence did everything to secure education for their children and worked very hard. And I see a similar situation in Bangladesh…I see the rickshaw-pullers here which reminds me of their passion for life as they have to work very hard under the sun to earn a very small amount of money. The young students of the country are also very ambitious," he said.

He also said Korea did not have natural resources, so human capital was the one they focused on.

"And we have very experienced political parties as well. I see that Bangladesh is now struggling for political democratisation or modernisation. It was only in 1997 that we had political democracy with multiple parties. Earlier, there was only one party which always came into power. But for democracy you also need a chance for the opposition party to have their share of power," he said.

"Politicians are the respondent to the needs of the people of the country. And I believe that that's why Korean culture is now thriving around the world like K-drama, K-pop, Squid Games etc. People are free there to pursue their dreams. I am now looking at Bangladesh for that to happen and I think in my lifetime it can happen.

"I see that the government of Bangladesh has played a role until now. They have ruled the country but what they should do is to let the people lead the country," said Ambassador Lee.

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https://www.thedailystar.net/news/bangladesh/padma-bridge/news/record-tk-419cr-toll-collected-padma-bridge-yesterday-3067706

Record Tk 4.19cr toll collected from Padma Bridge yesterday

Star Digital Report

Sat Jul 9, 2022 03:07 PM Last update on: Sat Jul 9, 2022 03:14 PM

The government has earned a record Tk 4.19 crore in revenue from tolls collected from vehicles that crossed the Padma Bridge in a total of 24 hours till yesterday (July 8, 2022).

Tk 4.19 crore was collected from 12am to 11:59pm yesterday -- which is the highest amount earned so far, according to Bangladesh Bridges Authority.

A total of 31,723 vehicles crossed the Padma Bridge in that time.

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https://bangla.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2022/07/09/16573827052381

টোলে রেকর্ড যমুনা সেতুর, আয়ে এগিয়ে পদ্মা

একদিকে উদ্বোধনের পর পদ্মা সেতুতে সর্বোচ্চ টোল আদায় হয়েছে। অন্যদিকে বঙ্গবন্ধু সেতুতেও সর্বোচ্চ টোল আদায় হয়

 

ট্রিবিউন ডেস্ক

প্রকাশিত: ০৮:২৮ রাত জুলাই ০৯, ২০২২

দেশের প্রধান দুই সেতুতে টোল আদায়ে নতুন নতুন রেকর্ড তৈরি হচ্ছে। শুক্রবার (৮ জুলাই) পদ্মা সেতু ও বঙ্গবন্ধু সেতুতে টোল আদায়ে সর্বোচ্চ রেকর্ড হয় বলে জানিয়েছে সংশ্লিষ্টরা।

উদ্বোধনের পর শুক্রবার (৮ জুলাই) পদ্মা সেতুতে সর্বোচ্চ টোল আদায় হয়েছে। এদিন সেতু দিয়ে ৩১ হাজার ৭২৩টি গাড়ি পারাপার হয়েছে এবং টোল আদায় হয়েছে ৪ কোটি ১৯ লাখ ৩৯ হাজার ৬৫০ টাকা। শনিবার সকালে বাংলাদেশ সেতু কর্তৃপক্ষ এসব তথ্য জানায়।

অন্যদিকে, বঙ্গবন্ধু সেতুতে একদিনে সর্বোচ্চ পরিমাণ টোল আদায়ের রেকর্ড ভেঙেছে। শুক্র থেকে শনিবারের মধ্যে এই সেতুতে ৩ কোটি ৩৪ লাখ টাকারও বেশি টোল আদায় করা হয়েছে। এর আগে গত ঈদ-উল-ফিতরের সময় এক দিনে সর্বোচ্চ টোল আদায় হয়েছিল ৩ কোটি ১৮ লাখ ৮০ হাজার টাকা।

শুক্রবার বঙ্গবন্ধু সেতু কর্তৃপক্ষের নির্বাহী প্রকৌশলী আহসান মাসুদ এসব তথ্য জানান।

আহসান মাসুদ বলেন, গত ২৪ ঘণ্টায় মোট ৪৩ হাজার ৫৯৫টি যানবাহন বঙ্গবন্ধু সেতু দিয়ে পারাপার হয়েছে। এর বিপরীতে টোল আদায় হয়েছে ৩ কোটি ৩৪ লাখ ৭ হাজার ৭০০ টাকা। এর মধ্যে ঢাকা থেকে উত্তরবঙ্গগামী লেনে ২৫ হাজার ১১৩টি যানবাহন পারাপারে টোল আদায় হয় ১ কোটি ৭৩ লাখ ৮৯ হাজার ৯০০ টাকা। অন্যদিকে উত্তরবঙ্গ থেকে ঢাকাগামী লেনে ১৮ হাজার ৪৮২টি গাড়ি পার হয়ে টোল আদায় হয়েছে ১ কোটি ৬০ লাখ ১৭ হাজার ৮০০ টাকা।

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পদ্মা সেতুতে টোল আদায় কমেছে

জেলা প্রতিনিধি, শরীয়তপুর

১০ জুলাই ২০২২, ১২:১৩ পিএম

পদ্মা সেতুতে গত ২৪ ঘণ্টায় ৩ কোটি ৭৩ লাখ ৮৮ হাজার ৩০০ টাকা টোল আদায় হয়েছে। এ সময় পদ্মা সেতু দিয়ে ১৯ হাজার ৭৯৩টি যানবাহন পারাপার হয়েছে। গত ২৪ ঘণ্টার চেয়ে ৪৫ লাখ ৫১ হাজার ৩৫০ টাকা কম আদায় হয়েছে।

রোববার (১০ জুন) বেলা ১১টায় মুঠোফোনে এসব তথ্য জানান পদ্মা সেতুর নির্বাহী প্রকৌশলী মো. আবুল হোসেন।

তিনি জানান, নিরবচ্ছিন্নভাবে পদ্মা সেতু দিয়ে যানবাহন পারাপার হচ্ছে। গতকাল শনিবার সর্বাধিক ৩ কোটি ৭৩ লাখ ৮৮ হাজার ৩০০ টাকা টোল আদায় করা হয়েছে। এ সময় ১৯ হাজার ৭৯৩টি যানবাহন পারাপার হয়েছে।

এর আগে গত ২৪ ঘণ্টায় সর্বোচ্চ টোল আদায় করা হয়েছে। এদিন ৪ কোটি ১৯ লাখ ৩৯ হাজার ৬৫০ টাকা টোল আদায় হয়। এটি এখন পর্যন্ত পদ্মা সেতুর টোল আদায়ের সর্বোচ্চ রেকর্ড।

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