Home / Bangladesh / Port city to have country’s longest flyover

Port city to have country’s longest flyover

27The Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) is going to build the country’s longest flyover in the port city at a cost of some Tk. 3,500 crore. The 23-km-long flyover will connect Muradpur to Shah Amanat International Airport, CDA officials said. The on-going construction of 5.2-km-long Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury flyover, form Muradpur to Lalkhan Bazar, will be extended to the airport, officials said. The project will be funded by the government, CDA and Chittagong Port Authority (CPA), they added.
The work on the Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury flyover was inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on November 12, 2014. Max-Rankin JV was contracted to construct the flyover with entry and exit ramp facilities at a cost of Tk. 454.67 crore. The construction of the flyover is scheduled to be completed in June 2016. However, only five per cent of the project has been completed in the past six months.
During the inaugural programme, the PM had declared that the flyover from Muradpur to Lalkhan would be connected to Shah Amanat International Airport, said CDA chairman Abdus Salam. “We have received the PM’s written order to extend the flyover. We had sent the detailed project proposal (DPP) for approval to the ministry concerned in the first week of June,” he added.
“As the length of the flyover has increased by 18 km, the cost for construction has jumped to over Tk. 3,000 crore,” Salam said. “The PM has directed CPA to loan us necessary funds for the project, which will also expedite transportation of goods to and from the port,” he added.
The port authorities, however, said inadequate funds could pose a problem in giving the loan to CDA.
“As per the government’s direction, financial assistance for the project could be sought from CPA. However, it also needs to be seen whether CPA is capable of giving the money. After all, we also have our own expenditure to take care of,” CPA director (administration) Md Zafar Alam told The Independent. “CDA will submit to us the details of the project and its cost after a feasibility study,” he added.
On the other hand, experts on city planning have claimed that the construction of flyovers in Chittagong was a waste of money because such projects would be useless for the port city’s residents. They also alleged that the flyovers were unplanned, leading to increased suffering for commuters.
Delwar Hossain Mojumdar, a city planner, said, “We need to improve our traffic management systems. Slow moving vehicles, such as rickshaws, and fast moving vehicles, like buses, travel on the same tracks. We have to first separate the tracks to solve the problem of traffic snarls. The construction of flyovers is the last option to solve such a problem. The authorities should first look for alternative ways to ease traffic gridlock.”
“Moreover, building of flyovers reduces the capacity of roads. Therefore, the flyovers should be constructed outside the roads,” he said. “Before constructing the 23-km-long flyover, for just two or three per cent of airport-bound passengers, the authorities should consider whether such a flyover is an absolute necessity,” he added.