Dhaka-Ctg highway to turn into 4 lanes | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, December 07, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, December 07, 2009

Dhaka-Ctg highway to turn into 4 lanes

Tk 1,655 crore project to complete in 3 years

The cabinet purchase committee yesterday finally approved a proposal to award contracts to three bidders to turn the Dhaka-Chittagong highway into four lanes from two lanes after four years of procedural hurdles and two failed tenders.
The approval was made at a committee meeting presided over by Finance Minister AMA Muhith.
It will take three years to construct the lanes running up to 230 kilometres at a cost of Tk 1,655 crore after agreements between the communication ministry and these companies are signed.
Once the lanes are constructed, travel time on this highway will be reduced by two hours.
The cost offered by the bidders is about Tk 100 crore less than the lowest cost offered in the previous tender with participation of only local companies.
Besides, the first and second tenders did not include bituminous surfacing of the highway, which has been incorporated this time.
The major part of the construction will be done by Chinese company Sinohydro Corporation.
The project will be financed by Japan under the Japan Debt Cancellation Fund (JDCF).
The communication ministry's bid to award the job to contractors had been frustrated by flawed tender process and lawsuits by some local bidders since 2005.
The ministry initiated a pre-qualification process for having suitable bidders in January after cancellation of two tender processes.
The third tender was finally floated on June 10 this year in which 18 local and international contractors took part. The bidders filed their proposals on September 8.
There are 10 different construction segments in the project. Of them, Sinohydro will construct seven involving Tk 1,150 crore, local company Reza Construction two segments involving Tk 324 crore and Taher Brothers Ltd-Al-Amin Construction Ltd Joint Venture (TBL-ACL joint venture) one segment worth Tk 172 crore.
"This tender process went though close scrutiny and is completely transparent," said Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain.
The construction work can start very soon as the government has already made a budgetary allocation of Tk 200 crore for it.
The third tender process was successful because competent bidders, not local bidders were prioritised, said the ministry sources. Besides, participation from international bidders were encouraged by keeping the provision of payment up to 40 percent in foreign currency.
Participation of bidders nearly doubled this time than the previous one.
The Dhaka-Chittagong highway, considered as the major artery of the country's transport system, now takes a load of 19,000 heavy and other types of transports. It increases by 10 percent every year.
The committee also approved the proposals for appointment of consultants for the Water Management Project, design and supervision of Emergency 2007 Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project and inviting tender to construct roads and drainage system for Purbachal project.

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