Bangladesh’s highest economic policy-making body has approved a China-funded elevated expressway project, Xinhua reported.
The project was approved at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
After the ECNEC meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told reporters that the project, involving an estimated cost of 169.01 billion taka (2 billion U.S. dollars), was approved in a bid to enable quick entry and exit of vehicles to and from Dhaka and facilitate transit trade with regional countires.
Bangladesh’s Bridges Division has already inked a memorandum of understanding with the China National Machinery IMP & EXP Corp (CMC) to construct the elevated expressway from Hazrat Shahjalal International Aiport in Dhaka to Ashulia on the outskirts of the norther part of the capital.
The project will be implemented with Chinese financial assistance on government-to-government basis, for which the Bangladeshi Economic Relations Division (ERD) has already sent a letter of interest to the Chinese government.
China will provide 1.39 billion U.S dollars or nearly 109.50 billion taka in loans to the project, of which 15 percent will be concessional loans and 85 percent will be preferential buyer’s credit.
The Bangladesh government will bear 59.51 billion taka of the estimated project cost of 169.01 billion taka.
A proposal for signing a commercial contract with CMC after negotiation was approved in principle at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on economic affairs in April.
The plans for constructing a 10.84-km ramp and improving 14.28-km road, construction of 1.92-km Nabinagar flyover, bridge overpass and drainage system have also been included in the elevated expressway project, which will be implemented by June 2022. (1 U.S. dollar equals about 82 taka)