3rd Karnaphuli Bridge

Project cost up by 17pc despite completion of construction

Munima Sultana | Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Roads and Highways Department (RHD) has revised the 3rd Karnaphuli bridge project, raising its cost by around 17 per cent though the construction work was completed eight years ago.
The department proposed 16.9 per cent increase in the project cost from its earlier revision and 82 per cent increase from the original cost estimated in the fiscal year 2002-03.
Sources said RHD has revised up the project cost to Tk 7.97 billion in the 3rd revision from Tk 6.82 billion as per the Planning Commission's recommendation placed at the project evaluation committee meeting in September 2017.
The latest revision was necessary to adjust price escalation and incorporate new components in the design of the approach road, they added. The eight-kilometre road was designed to connect the Karnaphuli bridge with Bahaddarhat of Chattogram city with four lanes. Four small bridges on the corridor will also turn into six lanes.
Though the RHD completed the construction of 3rd Karnaphuli bridge in September 2010, it continued the project as a small amount of total fund provided by the Kuwait government remains unused.
The Kuwait government confirmed Tk 1.62 billion in loan for the 3rd Karnaphuli bridge project.
RHD sources said when the RHD requested the Kuwait government to utilise unused fund for the approach road construction after completion of the bridge, it agreed to use the fund under the same project. But it later refused to give additional fund under the same project, they added.
The DPP was revised based on the assurance from Kuwait Fund.
RHD officials said the revised DPP was sent to the Road Transport and Highways Division under the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges for final approval from the Planning Commission.
Sources said the RHD has given undertaking in the latest revision that the cost of the project would not be increased and its tenure not be extended beyond June, 2019.
Project Director Abu Hena Mohammed Tareq Iqbal told the FE that there is no possibility of further revision of the 3rd Karnaphuli project as 50 per cent of the additional work has already been completed.

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