ASHUGANJ- AKHAURA PORT LINK ROAD
What’s in news?
India and Bangladesh signed an agreement to upgrade the 50.58-kilometre long road between Ashuganj river port and the Akhaura land port in Bangladesh into a 4-lane highway.
- Roads and Highways Department/RHD, of Bangladesh will sign an agreement with Indian company AFCONS Infrastructure limited to implement the road upgradation project in Dhaka.
- The link will accelerate India’s end to end trade by using Ashuganj river port and Akhaura land port of Bangladesh.
- The 50.58km long link road will make easier travel in northeaster Indian cities, especially between Kolkata and Tripura’s capital Agartola.
- The distance between Kolkata port to Ashuganj port is 750km, which takes seven days by waterways.
- After finishing the “Improvement of Ashuganj River Port-Sarail-Darkhar-Akhaura Land Port Road as National Highway” project, journey between Kolkata and Agortola will become faster and smoother.
- Indian trucks currently take around 30 days to meet the distance between the two Indian cities, and businesses spend around Rs 4,500 as travel costs. Upgrading the road can promote safe and faster flow of traffic between the ports.
- On the other hand, Bangladesh will become benefited as Indian businesses would use Bangladeshi transports, water vessel as well as ports during their end to end journey, which could boost up the trade and economy.
- Bangladesh also charges tariff and fees for using Bangladesh’s river and land port as well water and roadways.
- As per the project details, the four-lane road will be interlinked with the Asian Highways as well as the Chittagong sea port and improve transport connectivity between Dawki-Tamabil land port.
Details of the project:
- The 50.58km existing road upgradation to a four-lane highway will be implemented under three packages, with a cost of Tk3,000 crore as part of Indian Line of Credit (LoC).
- Under the Work Package 1, around 12km road between Ashuganj and Sarail will be improved by spending Tk553 crore, and under Work Package 2 around 27km road between Sarail and Dharhar will be upgraded with costing Tk1,850 crore.
- Both the packages will be implemented by AFCONS Infrastructure Limited.
- Apart the packages, RHD will also sign a deal with RITES-MEPC JV for project management consultancy spending Tk117.65 crore.
- Besides, the government is yet to publish the tender for the third package between Dharkhar and Akhaura land port.
- Under the package 1 and 2, upgradation includes service lanes on both sides of the carriageway, 2 railway overpass, 10 foot over bridges, 16 bridges and 36 culverts.
- The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the project on July 10, 2017.
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