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Primary cost estimation forecast at Tk337cr/km

Ashif Islam Shaon
28 Feb 2024 21:37:24 | Update: 28 Feb 2024 21:37:24
Primary cost estimation forecast at Tk337cr/km

The Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) has almost completed its plan for route alignment of 178-kilometre Dhaka Outer Ring Road around the capital city which is expected to ease its gridlock by separating intra-capital traffic flow from inter-district traffic.

This highway will not be a uniformed-lane one. Depending on future traffic pressure, it will have a minimum of four to a maximum of eight lanes in different places. This access-controlled highway will have service lanes on both sides. Vehicles from the service lanes will enter the highway through interchanges. For local vehicles, there will be underpasses to go through.

The under-plan tolled highway, which will go through the Meghna River bank of Dhaka-Chattogram Highway’s Sonargaon, Dhaka-Barishal Highway’s Sreenagar upazila of Munshiganj district, Singair’s R504, Kelia of Dhamrai upazila, Gazipur’s Chandra, Masterbari, Ghorashal, Madhabdi in Narsingdi, Araihazar Economic Zone and Baradi in Narayanganj, may cost around Tk 60, 000 crore or Tk 337 crore per kilometre, according to a primary estimation.

However, the cost projection may be reduced prominently in the final feasibility report after conducting a topographic survey, geotechnical investigations, and economic analysis, said officials involved with the feasibility study on Dhaka Outer Ring Road: Eastern, Western, and Northern Part project. 

Consultants of the feasibility study project--ACE Consultants Ltd. JV and BCL Associates Limited--have recently submitted a route alignment draft report to the DTCA which was later approved in principle by the Road Transport and Highways Division after some correction processes.

At a recent meeting, the ministry suggested that the DTCA consult with local public representatives of the areas where the highway has route alignment.

Now the project authority will sit with the stakeholders, including mayors of Dhaka North, Dhaka South, Gazipur, and Narayanganj city corporations, highway police, adjacent districts’ administrations, local public representatives, officials of other agencies, said Project Director Md. Rokibul Hasan, also transport planner of DTCA.

“We are the initial planner. The government will decide which authority will be assigned to implement the project and who will finance it,” he said.

The DTCA said that the government will follow the plan and may bring necessary changes at implementation level. It may take years to start the implementation. Roads and Highways Department (RHD) may implement it.

Under the Revised Strategic Transport Plan (2015-2035), there was a plan to build three outer ring roads (inner, middle, and outer ring roads) and eight radial roads by 2035 in and around the capital to reduce its traffic jam and carbon pollution by separating intra-capital traffic flow from inter-district traffic.

DM Ghius Malik, Deputy Traffic Engineer of DTCA and project manager of the feasibility study said, the proposed Dhaka Outer Ring Road will offer inter-district communication avoiding Dhaka’s traffic. The purposes of the inner, middle, and outer ring roads are identical. But in the future, when the city will expand further, outer ring road will be a lifeline for seamless traffic flow.

“But this road will take time to be completed. It is for the future. For example, in London, they have a similar outer ring road--The M25 or London Orbital Motorway which is a major road encircling most of Greater London. They planned it in 1954 and it was constructed in phases. The final section was opened in 1986. Our outer ring road is being planned now. It may take 30 years to make the full ring as well,” he said.

He assumed that the construction cost would increase further depending on inflation when the government goes for construction in the future. Dhaka Outer Ring Road will be constructed in phases and the feasibility report will mention which part of the highway to be constructed in which year calculating the future traffic flow, he said.

DTCA will suggest stopping land development in the areas of route alignment by private landowners. This will minimise land acquisition costs. “We will suggest taking a land acquisition and utility shifting project way before main construction works,” he said.

Currently, the topographic survey and geotechnical investigations for the feasibility study are going on. “After finalising the feasibility report, we will send it to the ministry. The ministry will decide on which part of the route will be constructed first. The government will allocate the budget accordingly to start the project,” he added.