Tunnel – Following the opening of the Padma Bridge, Bangladesh’s 170 million inhabitants are eagerly awaiting the opening of the Bangabandhu Tunnel, another massive project. Going through the dream tunnel takes time.
In December, this dream will become a reality thanks to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The Prime Minister elevated Bangladesh to new heights on the international stage by constructing the Padma Bridge on June 25. The first tunnel in South Asia, currently under construction near Chittagong under the Karnaphuli River, has become a symbol of Bangladesh’s pride, majesty, and capacity to construct massive structures.
The economy is driven by a favorable environment for investment. As a result, investment-friendly infrastructure development is becoming increasingly popular. As a result, the road and rail infrastructure sector has seen an increase in investment from the Bangladeshi government for more than a decade. The region is given a fresh perspective thanks to the Bangabandhu Tunnel. The country’s confidence grows as a result of the first-ever tunnel project in Bangladesh. It is important to note that many nations around the world now regard Bangladesh as a source of development wonders.
In 2010, it was announced that a project would be to construct a tunnel under the Karnaphuli River. The final report of the feasibility study was completed in 2012 for 120 million Tk. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in December 2014 between the Bangladesh Bridge Authority and the Chinese company CCCC.On November 24, 2015, the two nations signed the agreement. Six projects, including the Karnaphuli tunnel, were established on October 14, 2016, by Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The tunnel’s official construction began on February 24, 2019, by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Despite difficulties like the two-year Corona disaster, the tunnel construction is moving forward as planned. The project is 91% finished, and Harunur Rashid Chowdhury, the project manager, claims that 100% of the work will be finished by the end of December of next year.
The tunnel runs under the river between the Chittagong Urea Fertilizer Company and the Karnaphuli Fertilizer Company in Anwala, beginning at the Patenga Naval Academy end in Chittagong. The main tunnel is made up of two tubes, each with two lanes, and is 3.32 kilometers long. To the west and east of the main tunnel, there is 5.35 km of roads that connect, and cars can travel at a maximum speed of 80 km.
Many important transportations, energy, and telecommunications infrastructure projects have been carried out in Bangladesh by Chinese businesses, enhancing the social and economic well-being of the nation. The “Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel” is a significant juncture in the cooperation between China and Bangladesh during this trip. Based on the “one city, two towns” design, the port city of Chittagong will be modeled after Shanghai in China once this tunnel is built. On either side of the river are two towns.
The Governments of Bangladesh and China (G2G) share funding for the tunnel project. The project will cost 10.375 million BDT altogether. The Bangladeshi government contributed BDT 4,461 million, and China Eximbank contributed BDT 5,913 million. In addition, Bangladesh must pay 2% interest. The project is being carried out by China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) under the direction of the Bangladesh Bridge Authority.350 Chinese workers out of 1,200 local and international employees regularly work here during the day. It’s important to note that the Padma Dream Bridge, which cost a lot of money, was built by Chinese companies as well.
The financial and economic IRR will be, respectively, 6.19% and 12.49% when the project is implemented. Additionally, the financial and economic sectors’ “benefit-cost ratio” (BCR) would be 1.05 and 1.50 percent, respectively.GDP is positively impacted by tunnels. As a result of a lot of employment, tourism, and industrialization, the economy will get bigger. In Anwala, Pelki Beach, CUFL, and the Korean and Chinese EPZs are at the end of the tunnel. With the western end of the tunnel, the Chittagong metropolis, Chittagong port, and airport, a better and simpler communication system will be developed. It will decrease the time and cost of shipping created merchandise and unrefined components from eastern ventures to Chittagong ports and air terminals.
The Bangladeshi road network in the south will be transformed forever by the tunnel. Through the Karnaphuli tunnel through Anwala, a cutting-edge communication system will be developed with the Cox’s Bazar, Banshkari, and Matarbari power stations and the Matarbari deepwater port. It will also connect to the Asian Highway through it. The tunnel will be in use for 7.6 million vehicles per year after three years.
The excellent initiative to construct industrial facilities on both sides of the tunnel, which will transform the port city into a business hub, is another factor that gives us a reason for optimism. We learned from the media that since the tunnel was built, many large businesses have been established in Chittagong. Renovations have been made to an abandoned industrial building. On the banks of the Karnaphuli River, a new effort was made to construct 80 industrial factories that would manufacture clothing, shipbuilding, cooking oil, fish processing, steel, and cement.
The South Region’s economic wheels will expand at a faster rate. Both employment and standard of living will rise.”Professor Manuel Islam, an economist, stated, “This tunnel will play an important role in improving the economy in the long run.”
Bangladesh’s economic growth can only be achieved through the construction of infrastructure. Consequently, it is anticipated that this massive undertaking will significantly boost trade, tourism, and communication growth in the nation. In this instance, it is hoped that China will continue to stand by the people of Bangladesh as trustworthy partners, friends, and neighbors. In other words, China’s assistance in the areas of climate change, poverty alleviation, public health, human resource development, and other related areas is anticipated in the form of economic and technical cooperation.