Excavation of the second tunnel or tube of the Karnafuli Tunnel project under construction at the bottom of the Karnafuli River in Chittagong was completed on Thursday afternoon. Starting from the Anwara end of Chittagong, this tube has come and merged with the Patenga end of the city. It took 10 months to dig it out. Earlier, it took 18 months to excavate the first tube.
Project Director Harunur Rashid Chowdhury has confirmed that the excavation of the second tube of the tunnel has been completed. He said that now TBM (tunnel boring machine) has to be brought out slowly. It will take two to two and a half months to clean. Work on the slab on the part inside the tube where the car will run will start next January.
The project director said the project is valid till December next year. Efforts are being made to implement the project within the stipulated time.
As seen in the picture provided by the authorities, the tunnel boring machine (TBM) used in the excavation of the tube has now moved to the Patenga end. Muddy water in front of the giant machine. Different types of colorful flags have been placed in the project area. As the excavation of the second tube was completed, banners were also hoisted there.
The excavation started on December 12 last year from Anwara in Chittagong. Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader inaugurated the excavation of the second virtual tunnel at that time. Earlier, the excavation of the first tunnel from Patenga end of Chittagong city was completed on August 2 last year. On February 24, 2019, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the construction of the country’s first tunnel under the river.
According to project sources, the length of the main tunnel is 3.32 km. The length of each tunnel in the tunnel is 2.45 km. The two tunnels will have a total of four lanes, two each. There will be 5.35 km connecting road at the western and eastern ends with the main tunnel. And at the end of Anwara there is a 726 meter long flyover.
A tunnel is being constructed at a depth of 18 to 31 meters along the bottom of the Karnafuli river in Chittagong. The width of each is 35 feet. The cost of construction of the tunnel is Tk 10,384 crore.
Although three bridges have been built on the Karnafuli river, it is not enough to cope with the traffic. Initiatives were taken to build a tunnel for this. In 2014, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Bangladesh and China for the construction of the tunnel. The agreement was signed on November 24, 2015. The Chinese government nominated China Communication and Construction Company (CCCCC) Limited, a Chinese company, to build the tunnel.
Vehicles coming to Cox’s Bazar and South Chittagong from different parts of the country including Dhaka will no longer have to enter Chittagong city once the traffic through this tunnel starts. The city will be able to reach the destination in the fastest time through the tunnel through the Outer Ring Road. This will reduce the traffic congestion in Chittagong city.