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Gazipur-Airport bus corridor

December new deadline to open dedicated line

MUNIMA SULTANA | July 10, 2024 00:00:00

The authorities concerned have once again set a new target to open the Gazipur-Airport dedicated bus corridor by December next despite still having challenges to be able to complete bus procurement by then.

Since construction of the much-talked-about project began in 2016, the project office had announced several completion schedules to open the 20.1-kilometre corridor of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) for traffic but missed the deadlines.

Officials said the new target has been set after getting green signal from the contractors as 94 per cent work under the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) and 96 per cent work under Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) have already been completed.

Both RHD and BBA project officials shared the progress to the Dhaka BRT Company in its board meeting on Monday and proposed the new target, they added.

However, sources said the Dhaka BRT Company is yet to select a new contractor for purchasing 137 buses as it is planned to operate the corridor for commuting 20,000 passengers per hour.

The Board earlier cancelled the selection of a Chinese company on the ground of hiding company information in the tender document. The fresh tender was opened in April last.

Sources said the bus procurement proposals have now been under evaluation for final selection, and would take one or two months to complete the formalities to start the process of buying the buses.

The BRT project was taken under Greater Dhaka Sustainable Urban Transport Project (GDSUTP) assigning three government agencies - RHD, BBA and Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) - to develop all necessary infrastructure including 16km surface road, four km elevated and a major signal crossing management solution at Joydevpur.

Since the construction work began, the public suffering has been intensified due to slow implementation and wrongly selected two Chinese contractors. The 20 km corridor is an important part to link with northern parts of the country and different industrial areas.

The FE correspondent during a recent visit to the corridor also found slow implementation of work at stations and corridors, though the station buildings were constructed.

Another challenge also remains to complete the structures at Joydevpur crossing.

Company Managing Director Dr Muniruzzaman, however, expressed the hope to complete the entire work by October and said the completion target has been fixed in consultation with the project offices.

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