Based on a public-private partnership, the government will upgrade the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway to an eight-lane expressway. A Korean company, Korea Overseas Infrastructure and Urban Development Corporation (KIND) will jointly implement the project with the government of Bangladesh.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, approved the proposal on Wednesday.
After the meeting, the finance minister said, the highway from Joydebpur to Mymensingh will be upgraded to an expressway with a service lane of 87 kilometers.
"The upgrade will take place using the existing four lane road. The construction of the new infrastructure will cost Tk3,353 crore, and the Korean company will bear the entire cost," the finance minister said.
For this project, the government will spend Tk380 crore, of which Tk280 crore will be spent on rehabilitation, and Tk100 crore on relocating utility lines, added AHM Mustafa Kamal.
Officials of the Roads and Highways Department said that this will be the first eight-lane expressway in Bangladesh. Among the lanes, the main four lanes will be the expressway, two will be emergency lanes and two will be service lanes.
The average daily traffic on the highway in 2019 was 27,663 vehicles, they said.
Between 2011-2016, the government upgraded the two-lane Dhaka-Mymensingh highway to a four-lane one spending Tk1,800 crore.
At least 193 intersections, 28 school zones and many markets and other structures along the 16.5 kilometers of the four-lane highway are slowing down traffic on the road.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, on March 12, opened the country's first-ever expressway from Dhaka to Faridpur's Bhanga upazila.
Users should get the full benefit of the expressway once the construction work on the Padma Bridge is complete.
The Cabinet Committee on Public Procurement, chaired by the finance minister, has approved a proposal to construct 76 flats for government employees at Azimpur Colony in the capital. The meeting also approved the proposal to import 80,000 tonnes of urea fertiliser.