Saleh Noman
The 16-kilometre Chattogram City Outer Ring Road is going to play a significant role in mitigating traffic congestion in the port city.
The ring Road, being built by the Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) at a cost of Tk 2,426 crore, is almost complete. It is expected to be open to traffic by next few months. CDA sources said around 95 percent of the project have been completed.
The project was undertaken as part of the “Chittagong Metropolitan Master Plan”, which CDA prepared with the help of World Bank in 1995. The plan described a road from Patenga to Foujdarhat as crucial for mitigating traffic congestion and protecting the port city.
Abdus Salam, CDA chairman, told Bangladesh Post that 95 percent of the work of the road is completed. There is only approach part of one bridge is left. Traffic movement has already started.
“The road was being constructed as part of a road network plan which aims to reduce traffic congestion in the port city. Buses coming from Dhaka or any part of the country can use the road to go to Cox’s Bazar, bypassing the busy thoroughfare of the port city”, he said.
Abdus Salam said, “Due to the road built along the Bay of Bengal, besides the convenience of traffic, Chattogram city will be protected from marine bores, simultaneously the tourism industry will also develop. Particularly five KM designed for the tourism Industry within 16 KM of the road.
CDA is constructing the road in coordination with Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
After two years of feasibility tests from 2006, JBIC decided to finance the project. Of the total cost of Tk 2,426 crore, the government’s expenditure stands at Tk 1,726 crore and JBIC will provide the additional Tk 700 crore.
The road, will offer commuters the chance to take in the beautiful, unchartered vista of the bay on the stretch from Patenga to Foujdarhat area, opening a new horizon for tourism.
The road will also protect the coastal people from tidal surges, which in several times lashed out in the coastal area claiming hundreds of thousands of lives.
CDA Source said, a strong embankment was necessary to protect important structures like the Chattogram port, CEPZ (Chittagong Export Processing Zone) and Chattogram airport.
The 16km long and 22m wide road would suit that purpose. It will be 33 feet above the sea level so that it can work as an embankment as well as a protective wall against tidal surge.
Vehicles and trucks carrying goods from the port will be able to avoid traffic and ply the road, which will be connected to Dhaka-Chattogram highway.
The road, will also be connected to Anwara using a currently under construction tunnel under the Karnaphuli river. CDA also plan to develop a modern city around the road.
A stretch of five kilometres of the road will be turned into a tourist spot as Tk 500 crore has been allocated to make an international standard sea beach which, once completed, will be able to accommodate at least 10,000 tourists every day.
There would be jetties so that tourists can descend into the beach, seating arrangements, parking areas, kid zones and food courts, along with security posts.
CDA began the construction work in 2011.Though the road is scheduled to be completed by June 2019, CDA expects it will finish the work by December 2018.