Dhaka to upgrade highway link with Chittagong

January 28th, 2009 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Jan 28 (IANS) Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government is poised to resume a project to upgrade the highway linking the national capital with Chittagong port city to speed up movement and curb accidents. The four-lane highway is to eventually link to the Asian Super Highway, The Daily Star newspaper said Wednesday.

The government has decided to seek international invitation for pre-qualifying tender for it, due to cancellation of the immediate past bids.

Communication Minister Syed Abul Hossain has instructed Communication Secretary Iqbal Mahmood to take measures to restart the project “immediately”, after receiving the nod from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Initiated in September 2006, tenders for the much needed project were cancelled twice, first in April and then in July 2007 due to procedural lapses.

Some of the firms challenged the government’s decision through a writ that was later upheld by the high court.

Due to the delay in the implementation of the project, the government estimated cost is now as high as Tk 24 billion (about $4 billion) compared to the previous estimated cost of Tk 21.6 billion, government officials said.

The government could have saved an additional Tk three billion by finalising the previous bids, as the lowest quote of the pre-qualified firms was Tk 17 million.

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