The Roads and Highways Department (RHD) today hired two China-Bangladesh joint venture firms to expand a 35-kilometre portion of the Dhaka-Sylhet Highway at a cost of Tk 2,318 crore.
Representatives of RHD and the firms signed separate contracts on behalf of their organisations at a city hotel today, in presence of Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader.
A joint venture of Henan Highway Engineering Group Company Ltd of China and Mir Akhter Hossain Ltd of Bangladesh was awarded a Tk 1,232 crore contract.
Under the deal, the joint venture will expand a 15.7km stretch from Sarail intersection to Budhonti bus stand in Brahmanbaria and build 11 bridges and 11 culverts and carry out other tasks.
A joint venture of China Shandong International Economic and Technical Cooperation Group Ltd and Shandong Luqiao Ground Co Ltd of China and Property Development Ltd of Bangladesh was awarded a Tk 1,085 crore contract.
The joint venture will expand a 19.1km road from Budhonti bus stand to SM Spinning Mill in Habiganj's Madhabpur upazila and will build seven bridges, 25 culverts and carry out other related tasks.
The contractors will get four years to complete the work. There will be a one-year defect liability period and then they will provide performance-based maintenance services for six more years.
The RHD is implementing a Tk 16,918-crore project to turn the 210km Dhaka-Sylhet highway into four lanes by adding a service lane on each side.
The Asian Development Bank will provide Tk 13,244 crore, its biggest portfolio in the transport sector in Asia.
The deadline for the project is December 2026. The authorities decided to implement it under six packages hiring 13 contractors for quick execution.
The RHD has already hired contractors—both local and foreign-- for two packages. Physical work started on February 1.
Md Mahbub Ali, State minister for civil aviation and tourism, Rowshan Ara Mannan, chairman of parliamentary standing committee on road transport and bridges ministry, ABM Amin Ullah Nuri, secretary to Road Transport and Highways Division, Edimon Ginting, ADB country director, among others, spoke at the programme. The programme was chaired by RHD Chief Engineer Md Ishaque.