First river tunnel to boost industrialization in Bangladesh
The move appears to elevate the South Asian nation of 170 million people to a new level of prominence in the world, as it is also the region's first river tunnel.
Exim Bank of China is providing a hard loan of $696 million (approximately Taka 59,130 million) at a 2% interest rate, with the government mobilizing the rest. The China Communication Construction Company (CCCC), a private Chinese engineering firm, is working as the project's contractor.
“We have already completed more than 73% of the total works,” Md. Harunur Rashid Chowdhury, Director of the mega project, told Anadolu Agency. "We are doing our best to complete the work by the set deadline," he added.
He informed that the tunnel’s total length would be nearly 9.3 kilometers (5.78 miles), with the main tunnel under the river measuring 3.4 kilometers (2.11 miles) and the approach road extending 5.25 kilometers (3.26 miles).
Underlining the tunnel as a “challenging” and “courageous” project, Chowdhury noted that no Bangladeshi engineers had any direct experience of constructing a tunnel under a river. "Right now, we are monitoring and learning, which will help us handle larger tasks in the future," he added.
This tunnel will revolutionize the country's industrialization and communication, said a president of one of the country's top business organizations, while talking to Anadolu Agency. ■