- Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel or Bangabandhu Tunnel or Karnaphuli Tunnel is an under-construction road tunnel under the Karnaphuli River.
- This tunnel will connect the two bank areas of Karnaphuli river.
- Through this tunnel Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar highway will be connected.
- 3.43 km is the total length of Bangabandhu Tunnel.
- If constructed, the tunnel will be Bangladesh’s first under-river road tunnel and the first and longest under-river road tunnel in South Asia.
- The Chinese company China Communication and Construction Company Limited (CCCC) is implementing this tunnel construction project.
- Bangabandhu tunnel starts from the Chittagong suburbs beside the Naval Academy and end through the Karnaphuli Fertilizer Limited and Chittagong Urea Fertilizer Limited factories at the Anwara of the southern end of the river.
- At the depth of 150 feet of the river this tunnel is located.
- On October 14, 2016, Prime Minister of Bangladesh and President of China Xi Jinping laid the foundation stone of the project.
- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina officially inaugurated the construction of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel on February 24, 2019.
- The construction of the tunnel will cost 9 thousand 880 crores.
- In October 2016, during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Dhaka, the loan agreement for the construction of the Karnaphuli Tunnel was signed.
- According to the agreement, Exim Bank of China is giving Tk 5 thousand 913 crore as a 20-year loan. The rest of the funding is being done by the Bangladesh government. Exim Bank’s financing interest rate is 2 percent.
- The construction of the river tunnel has been taken over by the Chinese construction company. The estimated completion time of this construction is 2022. Although the original length of the tunnel is 3.43 km, more than 5 km connecting road will be connected with it.
- On February 24, 2019 the boring work of the tunnel inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
- The construction of the dream tunnel will be completed in December 2022.
- Karnaphuli Tunnel Project Director Harunur Rashid Chowdhury
- Bangladesh government is providing financial assistance of 4 thousand 461 crore 23 lakh taka in this project built at the cost of 10 thousand 374 crore taka. Exim Bank of China is supporting the remaining 5 thousand 913 crore 19 lakh rupees of the project, which Bangladesh has to pay at 2 percent interest rate.
- While the total length of the tunnel is 9.39 km, the length of the main tunnel is 3.32 km. The tunnel has two tubes with a diameter of 10.80 meters, each of which is 2.45 kilometers long.
- Out of 382.08 acres of land required for the project, 362.32 acres have been acquired. The rest of the land is being rapidly acquired.
- Authorities expect around 5 million vehicles to travel through the tunnel in its first year of operation.
Md. Asaduzzaman Russel
Architecture and Civil Technology