The government yesterday increased the building cost of the Moghbazar-Mouchak Flyover Project by Tk 446.20 crore and extended the completion deadline by 18 months.
At the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec), the government also extended the length of the flyover by 450 metres and brought a few structural changes.
Transport experts have raised questions on whether the flyover, with its present layout plan devoid of required right-turn provisions, would serve its avowed purpose of resolving chronic traffic congestions at Mouchak, Malibagh, and Moghbazar intersections.
The cost of the project that started in 2013 was Tk 772.70 crore. Now it stands at Tk 1218.90 crore. The project was supposed to be completed by December last year but it would now be completed by June, 2017.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said Moghbazar-Mouchak Flyover Project has been revised to cover more areas to ensure maximum benefit of city dwellers.
He said as its length has been extended by 450 metres redesigning its structure, the project timeframe has been extended by another 18 months.
Now the ramp of the flyover would be extended to Sonargaon intersection, which was earlier supposed to end at the FDC level crossing, he said. With the extended length, the flyover would be 8.70km.
"The prime minister has directed the extension of the ramp of the flyover over the level crossing to facilitate traffic movement," he added.
Construction of the extended 450-metre flyover will cost Tk 85 crore, he said, adding that installation of earthquake-resistant equipment and construction materials were the reasons for the project cost shooting up.
Project Director Nazmul Alam had told The Daily Star that they had trouble implementing the designed foundation work. They had to change the design almost at every step as there was no exact information on various underground utility service lines.
The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) have already agreed to increase the amount of the project aid by $15 million and $6 million respectively.
Meeting sources said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed the authorities concerned not to give permission for setting up of new industries in Tejgaon Industrial Area. However, buildings could be set up there for commercial operations.
A total of 10 projects were approved in the Ecnec meeting involving Tk 4,830.92 crore. Of them, seven were new, said the minister.
The projects include development of power distribution system, Rangpur zone (Tk 1334 crore), identification of valuable minerals in the sand of rivers and its economic assessment (Tk 35.63 crore), LED Light (CKD) assembling plant in ETL (Tk 33.52 crore), construction of residential building for justices of the Supreme Court (Tk 173 crore), Nilphamari-Jaldhaka road development (Tk 66.34 crore), establishment of Shaheed M Mansur Ali Medical College and 500-bed Hospital in Sirajganj (Tk 636 crore), establishment of Shaheed Kamruzzaman Textile Institute (Tk 74.62 crore), small farmer development foundation assistance, 2nd phase (Tk 64.10 crore) and development of Cox's Bazar airport, 1st phase (Tk 1193 crore).