ADB to help design Dhaka-Ctg expressway

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help design a new expressway between Dhaka and Chittagong to boost trade and ease congestion on the existing highway linking the two cities.

The bank would provide 10 million US dollars loan to design the expressway, the first public-private partnership (PPP) project in the country's transport sector, said a statement of the Bank.

Dhaka, located in the center of the country, is the main commercial and administrative center of the country, while Chittagong, situated in the south, is the primary seaport, accounting for 90 per cent of imports and exports.

"Once completed, the expressway will provide an immense boost to the country's trade and industry sector, ensuring safer and faster transport to thousands of users," said Markus Roesner, Senior Transport Specialist at ADB's South Asia Regional Department.

The expressway will link the two major metropolitan areas accommodating about a quarter of the country's population.

The new expressway will provide an alternative to the
existing 250-kilometer Dhaka-Chittagong highway, which, like
other major road networks in the country, has become congested.

The country's roads carry more than 70 per cent of
passengers and 60 per cent of freight, and this is expected to
rise 6.4 per cent annually up to 2015, said the ADB.

The Dhaka-Chittagong Expressway will also be part of the
Asian Highway network of 141,000 kilometers of roads
crisscrossing through Asia and linking to Europe.

The expressway will be part of government efforts to tap the private sector to finance costly infrastructure.

Under its Sixth Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), the country aims to triple investments in infrastructure from 2 per cent to 6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) through private sources of funds.

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