Upgrade work to start in July, end by 2014
Upgrading work of the narrow but busy Joydevpur-Mymensingh Highway into a dual carriageway is likely to begin in July and be completed by June, 2014.
The Tk 986-crore project has been sent to the planning commission after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently gave the nod and asked the communications ministry to finalise it and start construction works, communications ministry officials said.
"Upgrading the 87.67 kilometres Joydevpur-Mymensingh Highway into four-lane is now our top priority project after the Dhaka-Chittagong one," Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain told The Daily Star Thursday. He said construction work to upgrade Dhaka-Chittagong Highway into a dual carriageway is underway.
Earlier, the government decided to implement the Joydevpur-Mymensingh project with public fund, as private-public partnership (PPP) will take more time to materialise. It would be the second important national highway to be upgraded into a dual carriageway.
The highway often experiences intolerable traffic jams taking valuable hours of commuters due to its narrowness. Accidents on the road have become a regular phenomenon. Once the road is upgraded, it will ensure better safety as well as reduce travel time.
"The single carriageway is unable to deal with heavy traffic causing abnormal delays and accidents," says the project proposal, adding that traffic movement on the highway has increased due to massive industrialisation in the region.
As per a survey conducted by the Roads and Highways Department in 2006, the average daily traffic on this road is about 30,000. The department officials say the number is now much higher.
"Since we have got the support of the prime minister and the finance minister we will complete all the procedure by April and float an international tender in this regard," said Abul Hossain.
He said the government is planning to upgrade all important but narrow highways of the country into dual carriageways as the number of motorised vehicles is growing and accidents have increased.
The Tongi-Ashulia road, the road between Nabinagar and Jamuna Bridge via Chandra, Gabtoli-Sadarghat road and Dhaka bypass are the other roads to be upgraded into dual carriageways. Project proposals of the roads are being finalised, said communications ministry officials.
On 21,000km of major roads in the country 13.5 lakh registered vehicles ply. The number of vehicles occupying the roads is more, as there are thousands of unregistered vehicles.