Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) Chairman M. Zahirul Alam Dubash has stressed the need for planned development of the port city. He has emphasised the urgency to solve the housing problem of the city dwellers in Chattogram.
In an exclusive interview with The Financial Express (FE), he has said the CDA is going to ready a new housing project with 167 residential and 18 commercial plots on the Lope Road in the Baizid Bostami area of the port city to ease the problem.
He said, "CDA has already a total of 12 housing projects including those at Silimpur, Agrabad, Nasirabad, Kolpolok, Anonya, etc which are not adequate for 6.0 million (60 lakh) city dwellers of Chattogram. A total of 6,660 plots have already been allocated in the 12 housing projects of CDA. Besides, the CDA built market-cum-apartments at Kajirdewri which were allocated to the dwellers. A total of 64 apartments have already been allocated there."
He further said that the Baizid Housing Project would be implemented on 19.65 acres of land and the work on land selection and development had already been completed. The CDA had already sent the draft project proposal (DPP) to the ministry concerned for approval.
"According to the DPP, the cost of Baizid Housing Project is likely to be Tk 3.57 billion (357 crore and 82 lakh taka). The project tenure started in June last. It will end in June 2023 next. There will be a manmade lake, a playground, a green belt, etc in the new Baizid Housing Project."
He further said, "According to the master plan for Chattogram, the CDA has to plan a housing project on 50 acres of land every year. But, the CDA could not take any housing project in last 10 years. So, after completing the Ononya Housing Project, now we are taking up the new Baizid Housing Project."
About the ongoing projects, the CDA chief said, "CDA has taken up a project for building an elevated expressway from Lalkhan Bazar to the Shah Amanat International Airport. The construction work started in February 2019. But it halted during April to June last year due to the coronavirus outbreak. Presently, the construction work is continuing in full swing. Around 50 per cent work on the elevated expressway is already completed."
The project is expected to be completed next year. The project is divided into six parts -- Lalkhan Bazar to Dewan Hat (1300 metres, four-lane), Dewan Hat to Barik Building (2000 metres, four-lane), Barik Building to Saltgola (2900 metres, four-lane), Saltgola to Cement Crossing (3150 metres, four-lane), Cement Crossing to Katgor (2150 metres, four-lane), Katgor-VIP Road (2350 metres) and Beach to VIP Road (850 metres).
The elevated expressway will be built on 450 pillars and 24 ramps at nine points. If completed, it will help reduce traffic congestions. All major intersections on the CDA Avenue, the city's main street, will be connected with the 24 ramps on the left and right of the expressway so that passengers can reach their destinations quickly.
There are six entry and exit gates of the Chittagong Port for the cargo and container transportation from the Barik Building area to the Saltgola Rail Crossing."
About the waterlogging problem in Chattogram, the CDA chairman said, "We are recovering all canals from illegal occupation. CDA in association with Bangladesh Army is recovering 123 acres of land of the canals which were occupied by influential quarters. I hope after construction of all sluice gates, the waterlogging problem will ease."
He said, "The CDA will recover all occupied canals under a mega project worth around Tk 60 billion (6000 crore) to solve the waterlogging problem in Chattogram permanently in association with Bangladesh Army, Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) and other law enforcing agencies."
"Engineering Corps of Bangladesh Army are implementing the mega project," he added.
However, about the Ring Road Project, the CDA chairman said, "The construction work on the ring road is almost completed. Now, the Road Department requested the CDA to construct a platform point at the junction of the Bangabandhu Tunnel and the Ring Road at Patenga. After end of the construction work on the tunnel, we will build a platform junction at Patenga to direct vehicles to the tunnel from the ring road. And, it will be the end of work on the ring road."
He said, "In the meantime, limited traffic has been allowed experimentally considering sufferings of the people."
"After end of the construction work on the much-awaited Coastal Road popularly known as Ring Road, the traffic congestion will ease remarkably and the communication system will be updated. It will help protect from natural calamities the Chattogram EPZ, Karnaphuli EPZ, Chittagong Port, Shah Amanat International Airport, Naval and Air Forces' establishments and other key establishments as well as the people of the area," he said.
"Besides, the pressure of traffic on Chattogram city will ease significantly and industries, especially the tourism industry, will flourish after end of the project," he added.
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