The Financial Express

BBA board rejects proposal to raise toll at two bridges

Fresh plan with reduced rates sought

| Updated: November 20, 2020 14:06:38

Lankabangla and Fianancial Express Lankabangla and Fianancial Express
A view of Bangabandhu Bridge seen in this undated photo. Source — Wikipedia A view of Bangabandhu Bridge seen in this undated photo. Source — Wikipedia

Board members of the Bangladesh Bridges Authority (BBA) have rejected a proposal of toll hike at two major bridges amid the pandemic-hit current economic state.

Sources said all 13 board members, including road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader, sought a fresh plan with revised rates in the January meeting.

The 109th board meeting of the BBA was hosted virtually on Thursday.

Bridges division proposed to raise toll by 20-100 per cent on different categories of transports for using Bangabandhu (Jamuna) bridge and Bangladesh-China friendship bridge (Mukterpur bridge).

After the meeting, BBA executive director and bridges secretary Mohammad Belayet Hossain said the board directed to reduce the proposed toll rates considering the country's economic situation.

"We've placed the proposal prepared and approved by finance ministry in 2017. But the BBA board considered the projected rates unsuitable…," he told the FE.

Mr Quader virtually unveiled the cover of the annual report of bridges division for fiscal year 2019-2020.

He informed the board members of the development in the Padma multipurpose bridge project and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Karnaphuli) tunnel project.

The minister said span installation work on the 6.15-kilometre bridge will be completed by mid-December as 37 out of 41 spans have already been placed.

With this, he said, 5.55 kilometres of the bridge have now been visible.

Physical work of the main bridge was recorded around 91 per cent and river training work around 75 per cent.

The overall progress of the project is 82 per cent. Mr Quader also told the meeting that boring work and ring installation work on 2.5-km tube of Karnaphuli tunnel have been completed.

Boring work on the second tube will start in mid-December. Physical progress of the project is 60 per cent, he mentioned.

Bridges secretary and secretaries of 12 other ministries, including finance, home, NBR and ERD, attended Thursday's meeting.

Senior officials of those ministries and agencies were also present.

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