A China-led consortium is set to build Dhaka bypass as the country's first toll expressway with high-tech road facilities under public-private partnership (PPP).
Officials claimed the first-ever real-time PPP project followed the PPP guideline, including design and selection of concessionaire under the PPP Authority.
Although projects like Dhaka Elevated Expressway and Hanif Flyover are claimed to be road sector's PPP projects, they said, none of them were implemented following the PPP process completely.
Sichuan Road Bridge (Group) Corporation of China, Shamim Enterprise and UDC Construction of Bangladesh were picked as private partners in the bypass project with major share of the Chinese firm.
The company offered Tk 30.39 billion which is Tk 2.24 billion higher than the project's estimated cost.
The government's investment for the project will be Tk 2.23 billion meant for acquiring land and paying 7.0 per cent vulnerable gap funding (VGF).
The Roads and Highways Department (RHD) will sign the concessionaire agreement with the Chinese firm at a programme in Dhaka today.
"This is the first milestone project as toll expressway," said Syed Afsor H Uddin, chief executive officer of the PPP Authority.
The PPP Authority was formed under the Prime Minister's Office in 2010.
He said Dhaka bypass will have all features of expressway for uninterrupted traffic with high speed.
Sources said the 48-kilometre artery will have four-lane access control road with a lane for breakdown vehicles and service roads having connectivity with locality for all modes of vehicles.
High-tech monitoring system, key performance indicator, viable message signs and such will also be established on the corridor to provide real-time information to road users and safety during journey.
The RHD undertook the project to build the road through Joydevpur, Debugram, Bhulta and Modonpur in 2013.
Vehicles mostly of the industrial belts of greater Mymensingh and 16 northern districts to and from Chattogram are likely to use it.
The RHD conducted a feasibility study under the PPP Authority in 2015, projecting cost at Tk 28.15 billion.
Four shortlisted companies-China Railway Group, Henan Transport Group with Mir Aktar and Suchian Group with Shamim Enterprise and UDC-responded to the request for proposal which closed on September 28, 2017.
The Suchian Group-led consortium was selected earlier this year as the lowest bidder.
An RHD official said the consortium will enjoy 25-year concessionaire period, including three years for construction.
The period will start after the end of nine-month condition precedent which is given to submit financial closure.
He said the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has provided security for the private partner.
Ninety per cent of the funds may come from China and 10 per cent from local banks, the official added.
The RHD and PPP Authority have a high opinion of Dhaka Bypass as expressway.
But analysts said traffic may face congestion on Modonpur side for not getting any solution to vehicles maintaining the same speed.
This side is set to link with another PPP project named Dhaka-Chittagong expressway which is, however, yet to reach its construction stage.
The Joydevpur side may get a better solution after the end of Tangail Elenga four-lane construction work, although it is not a PPP project.