DHAKA: An agreement was signed yesterdayday to appoint a consulting farm to oversee construction work and to review design of Karnaphuli River Tunnel.
The agreement was signed at a simple signing ceremony at the Shetu Bhaban, an official said.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader was present on the occasion.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Chinese President Xi Jinping on October 14 laid the foundation of the Karnaphuli River Tunnel and the Chinese Special Economic and Industrial Zone (CSEIZ) in the port city of Chittagong.
The foundation laying was held at the Prime Minister’s Office in the capital city following bilateral talks between the two leaders.
China finances the two mega projects involving Taka 36,000 crore. Out of the amount, Taka 20,000 crore would be spent for building a tunnel under the river Karnaphuli, keeping Taka 16,000 crore for the special economic and industrial zone.
Officials earlier said construction works of the two projects were expected to begin in 2017 and to be completed in 2020.
During the Bangladesh premier’s 2014 Beijing visit, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on building the tunnel.
The country’s first-ever tunnel is designed to make Chittagong into a ‘One City Two Towns’ like Chinese mega city Shanghai. The multilane tunnel route will pass through the river close to Navy College on one side and Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) and Karnaphuli Fertiliser Company (KAFCO) on the other.
The tunnel will also connect Chittagong Port and Anowara Upazila and is expected to ease the port city’s communication with Cox’s Bazar and particularly the traffic on two bridges over the Karnaphuli River.