DHAKA, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- The construction of a tunnel beneath Karnaphuli river will be inaugurated in April, Bangladeshi Minister for Road Transport and Bridges Obaidul Quader said after meeting a delegation of Exim Bank of China Wednesday.
Bangladesh's highest economic policy-making body in November last year gave the green-light to a proposal of China Communication Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) to construct the tunnel beneath Karnaphuli river with Chinese soft loans.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal had then told reporters that the tunnel project, which is to be implemented with with soft loans from China, will cost 84.47 billion taka (about 1.07 billion U.S. dollars).
The two-lane tunnel will be constructed beneath the river Karnaphuli in Chittagong, some 242 km southeast of capital Dhaka, he said.
The tunnel will be handed over to the Bangladeshi government in June 2020, he said.
Bangladesh's Road Transport and Bridges Ministry in June last year signed a deal with the Chinese state-owned company for construction of the tunnel, a mega Bangladeshi project the Chinese have agreed to fund.
The length of the tunnel is 3,400 meters while the west bank approach road will be 740 meters and the east bank approach road 4,952 meters.
On June 9, 2014, Bangladesh and China signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on construction of the tunnel in Chittagong, which is the principal seaport city in Bangladesh.
Most of the country's export and import activities are being carried out through Chittagong Port, the country's largest seaport, situated at the mouth of the Karnaphuli River.