The Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) plans to build a 14km-long elevated road while also upgrading the existing road to improve connectivity between the haor region and Dhaka.
The elevated road will not only allow the disadvantaged people of the haor region easy access to the Bangladesh capital, but also promote tourism in the haor region, according to BBA sources.
Furthermore, the road will be extended all the way to Habiganj to create an alternate route between Dhaka and Agartala, the capital of the Indian state of Tripura.
BBA officials said the Development Project Plan (DPP) for the elevated road and road upgrade has already been completed. The estimated cost is Tk5,500 crore.
“The project has been segregated into two components: The 14km elevated road over the haor region to Mithamoin upazila and the upgrade of the existing 14km road from Kishoreganj to Marichkhali into four lanes,” said Md Wahiduzzaman, superintendent engineer of BBA and lead of the project.
“The DPP will be sent to the Planning Commission for further discussion in the next month,” he added.
The Dhaka-Sylhet highway is currently the main corridor to move through the haor region upazilas under Kishoreganj district. The highway between Bhairab and Kishoreganj is also being upgraded to six lanes under a different project.
How will the project benefit people?
People who live in such haor region areas as Itna, Austagram, and Mithamoin will be able to travel directly to Dhaka and other parts of the country with ease once the haor connectivity project is completed. Furthermore, it will be much easier to transport goods through the area.
According to officials, a large amount of construction materials, such as stone and sand, are currently transported from Sylhet to Kishoreganj via Bhairab and Netrokona. The development of roads through the haor region will reduce travel distance by approximately 35%.
Traffic from Dhaka to Sylhet is expected to increase significantly in the next few years, and the additional roads will also be needed to bear this load, BBA Superintendent Engineer Wahiduzzaman added.
Elevated road will boost tourism
The wetlands of the haor region in the north-eastern part of the country is popular among tourists for their natural beauty. The development of the elevated road will allow them to visit the region when it is at its most beautiful during the monsoon season, experts said.
“The elevated road will give tourists a prime view of the water in the haor. There will be three three-storey decks with car parking for sightseers. People can see the whole haor from the decks,” said Buet Civil Engineering Department Professor Hadiuzzman, who is involved in the detailed design of the project.
“The elevated road will not hamper the biodiversity of the region as it will not create any barriers to the flow of water,” he added.