The construction works of the much-awaited Bangabandhu tunnel under Karnaphuli River aimed at connecting the Chattogram city to the southern part of the district is expected to be completed by December this year.
The project officials hoped that the construction works of the tunnel will be finished within the stipulated time.
Around 92% construction works of the Tunnel has been completed and the construction of the cross passage and tunnel related toll plaza is also nearing completion, the concern sources added.
The sources said, the mechanical, electrical and civil works of the tunnel are also almost completed. One of the two tubes is planned to open to traffic in November, the sources said.
Project director Harunur Rashid Chowdhury said the work of four lane of two tubes has been completed, even other related works are also in final stages.
"Around 92% construction works has been completed till today. At present the construction works of drainage system, installation of pumps is going on," he added.
Terming the tunnel tube would be opened by December Harunur Rashid Chowdhury said two tubes are being constructed within an 11-metre gap so that heavy vehicles can pass through the tunnel easily.
'We have completed the mechanical, electrical and civil works of the tunnel and the construction of the cross passage and tunnel related toll plaza is also nearing completion," he added.
According to the project officials, the length of the under-construction tunnel will be 3.40 kilometres with an approach road of 5.35 kilometres alongside 727 metres of a bridge linking the main city, port and western side of the river with its eastern side.
Bangabandhu daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the work of the first tunnel tube On February 24, 2019.
China Communications Construction Company Ltd is working as the contractor for the project.
The tunnel will connect the proposed Asian Highway to Dhaka-Chattogram-Cox's Bazar Highway and will reduce the distance from Chattogram to Cox's Bazar by 40-km. Vehicles in this tunnel will run at a speed of 80-km per hour – sources said.
The project was supposed to be completed by 2020. However, in 2018, the duration of the project was extended until December 2022 and the cost of the project was revised to Tk10,374 crore.
The Exim Bank of China is giving a loan of Tk5,913 crore with two percent interest rate for the project while the Bangladesh government is funding the rest.
The tunnel will be the first under-river tunnel in South Asia. Extensive work is underway to complete the remaining eight percent of the project. Project Director Harunur Rashid Chowdhury said, the domestic and foreign engineers and workers involved in the project are advancing the work by facing challenges everyday.