আউটার রিং রোডে বদলাবে চট্টগ্রাম
The Chittagong City Outer Ring Road, which is five kilometers from Patenga Beach towards Halishahar and about 15 kilometers from Patenga Naval Academy to Fauzdarhat, is expanding. The Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) is working on an outer ring road construction project around the country’s main seaport, Chittagong, to cope with the growing import-export activities. This time in the second phase, CDA is going to do it from Sagarika to Bhatiari on this road. The Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) is implementing a 30-km stretch from Bhatiari to Bangabandhu Industrial City in Mirsarai under the name ‘Marine Drive Road’. Although the construction of two lines is going on for the time being, it has been confirmed by the concerned sources that the entire line will be upgraded to four lines from next year.
Once the construction of this large project is completed, heavy vehicles like trucks, covered vans and lorries heading towards Chittagong Port and EPZ will not use the internal routes of the city, just as the communication of Chittagong Port with Bangabandhu Industrial City will be very smooth and traffic free. This ring road will also be connected with the Karnafuli tunnel under construction. Not only that, urban planners think that this outer ring road of Chittagong will become the main driving force of economic activities of Chittagong Port, CEPZ, KPZ and Bangabandhu Industrial City of Mirsarai. According to CDA sources, due to the Outer Ring Road being connected to the Karnafuli Tunnel, goods can be easily transported to the port from the economic zones of Anwara, Banshkhali, Maheshkhali and Cox’s Bazar in South Chittagong. Similarly, cargo vehicles from Bangabandhu Industrial City will also be able to travel to Chittagong Port via South Kattli at the fastest time. This will increase the dynamism in import-export activities as well as increase domestic and foreign tourists. The Outer Ring Road will also serve as a city protection dam. Kazi Hasan bin Shams, director of the Outer Ring Road project and acting chief engineer of CDA, said work was underway to strengthen the outer ring road and coastal embankment in an area of about 15 km from Sagarpar to South Kattli Rasmoni Ghat to Patengar Naval Academy. The construction company SEL-KNR JB has already completed 90 percent of the construction work of this road which is 90 feet wide and 30 feet high from the sea level. Kazi Hasan bin Shams told Bangladesh Pratidin that two more feeder roads and two service roads would be added to the project along with the Outer Ring Road extended from Fauzdarhat to Bhatiari. CDA authorities have started feasibility study of the road extended up to Bhatiari. Preparations are underway to raise the proposal at the ECNEC meeting in June after a feasibility study.
According to project sources, the government took the initiative to build the Chittagong Outer Ring Road at a cost of Tk 1,413 crore in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). In the third phase, the cost and duration of the ‘Chittagong City Outer Ring Road Construction’ project is increasing once again. The project is scheduled to expire in June, but the ECNEC meeting on January 5 approved the Chittagong City Outer Ring Road (Third Amendment). At this stage, the expenditure is increasing by Tk 165 crore. At the same time, the project period was extended by six months till December 31. The total expenditure was set at Tk 2,065.96 crore. Of this, the government is spending 2 thousand 32 crore 40 lakh 42 thousand taka and JICA is giving 843 crore 55 lakh 6 thousand taka as loan. Meanwhile, Bejar Chairman Pawan Chowdhury told Bangladesh Pratidin, “We have already completed 9 km of Sitakunda section called ‘Marine Drive Road’ outside the CDA section; Another 8 km road is under construction. Step by step, we will build the road to Mirsarai ‘Bangabandhu Industrial City’ with a length of about 30 km. Work is currently underway on two lines, but it will be upgraded to four lines from next year. That is the goal we are working on as planned. If implemented, it will radically change our communication system and the country’s economy. Kazi Hassan bin Shams, project director and chief engineer of CDA, said, “90 to 92 percent of the project has been completed. Although the work period is till December 2021, we are hopeful that the vehicles will be able to move at full speed before then. If it is launched, Chittagong port, various industries and airport-bound vehicles of the city will be able to travel on this road and will come under the same highway from Bangabandhu Industrial City to Cox’s Bazar in Mirsarai. So this road will be one of the milestones in South Asia.