Objections of port authorities and police after commencement of work Design has changed due to objections
Project duration is over, work is 40 percent
Total cost of the project is Tk. 3,250.63 crore
Chittagong Port Authority objected to the commencement of work on the Chittagong Elevated Expressway. Earlier, the police objected. The work of this much awaited project has come to a halt. The project has already expired. However, not even half of the work. Meanwhile, the cost of the project is increasing exponentially.
The Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) is disappointed with the objections of various organizations after the start of work. However, port authorities say the CDA did not discuss the design of the elevated expressway with port authorities before the project was passed.
Chief Engineer of Chittagong Development Authority Kazi Hasan bin Shams told Dhaka Post, “After the commencement of the work, it was not possible to complete the project in time due to objections from various organizations. The design is also being changed due to objections. As a result, both time and expense are increasing.
Asked why no objection was raised before the work started, he said, “I have met the port several times before the project was passed in the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC).” They did not raise the issue of security then. Picking up now. The Elevated Expressway project was passed by talking to everyone when the project was passed. Then there was no complaint or anything from any organization. As soon as the work started, the port authorities talked about changing the design of the elevated expressway. This has slowed down the work. There is a meeting on Monday (February 22).
Zillur Rahman, deputy manager (land) of Chittagong Port Authority and a member of the committee set up to resolve the design complexity, told Dhaka Post: Former CDA chairman MA Salam did the job.
He said, ‘The members of the committee formed to resolve the design complexity have recently visited the place. But the committee’s report has not yet been made. The CDA has been asked to move the elevated expressway to the right from the port.
The location of the port is very clear. The port has no objection if the CDA can manage the truck management properly. If the port works by blocking the road in front of the building, huge traffic jams will be created. Going down to the Barek building, the road came down to 60 feet. CDA went to work and blocked forty feet. With 20 feet of road, there will be no traffic management in the port area.
According to CDA sources, when the Elevated Expressway project worth Tk 3,250.63 crore was approved at the ECNEC meeting on July 11, 2016, the target was to complete the work within three years, i.e. by 2020. The length of the four-lane elevated expressway from Lalkhan Bazar to the airport will be 16 km. The Prime Minister inaugurated the construction work on 24 February 2019. Although 2020 has passed, only 40 percent of the project work has been completed. Meanwhile, the work of the project has come to a standstill due to design complications in Chittagong port area.
It is learned that initially it was planned to build an elevated expressway over the road adjacent to the port. But since the main jetties of the port are located on the side of the main road in the Saltgola section from the Barik building, the port authorities objected citing security reasons and the reasons for the port traffic management after the commencement of work. The CDA has not yet finalized the design of about three kilometers of this section of the elevated expressway. It is learned that the land acquisition work will start after the design is finalized.
According to CDA sources, the elevated expressway will be constructed at a distance of 30 feet on one side of the airport road from Barik Building to Saltgola Crossing in the city adjacent to the port. This will require the port authority to occupy an additional 12 acres, including 8 acres. This will increase the cost of construction of elevated expressway by at least 500 crore.
Sources said the Chittagong Port Authority has objected to the construction of an elevated expressway on the existing road in the area from the city’s Barik Building junction to Saltagola Crossing. Port authorities claim that the construction of an elevated expressway on this part of the existing airport road will disrupt the security of the port. The port authorities informed the CDA authorities to take necessary steps to prevent the view from entering the port from the elevated expressway. Later, in response to the objections of the port authorities, the CDA concerned started discussions. Which is still going on. The design complexity is not over yet. An inter-ministerial meeting has been held on this. Ministry officials have visited the port area. Yet the design did not cut through the complexity. A decision on the matter could be taken at a meeting of the port authorities today (February 22).
Earlier, the work was stopped for a long time due to the objection of the police. Traffic congestion in the city will increase due to the construction work – because the police asked to stop the work. A letter signed by the Deputy Commissioner of Traffic West Division of Chittagong Metropolitan Police on February 13 said that fencing has been set up in the middle of the main road from Badamtali junction to Banani Gap for the expressway. As a result, traffic jams are spreading in different parts of Chittagong city. Besides, fencing or fencing is also being planned in Dewanhat area. And if that is done, there will be severe traffic jam up to the airport. In the letter, the police requested not to erect a fence in Dewanhat area till the fencing or fencing work in Agrabad Banani Gap is completed.
It is alleged that the fence in the Agrabad area caused cracks in the road which were not repaired immediately. There are also leaks and cracks in WASA and gas pipelines due to lack of coordination. It has been mentioned that traffic jam is being created due to repairing them during the day. The police said that the repair work should be done at night instead of during the day.
Mahfuzur Rahman, project director of Chittagong Elevated Expressway, was annoyed by the objections of various organizations after the work started. “Everywhere you look today, the tide of protectionist sentiment is flowing. The police are obstructing, the port is obstructing. Coordinating with other companies is also gaining momentum. Our equipment is sitting. But I can’t work. ‘
He added, ‘We started the work in June 2019. The work was slow due to Corona in the middle. We are working to launch the elevated expressway by 2023.
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