'Karnaphuli tunnel to bring new dimension to connectivity'
Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) President Mahbubul Alam said the country's first underwater tunnel below the Karnaphuli river will bring a new dimension to connectivity between the southeastern region and the rest of the country.
It will encourage investment in the southern part of Chattogram and also boost tourism and industrialisation in the region, said the business leader.
He was talking to The Daily Star this morning ahead of the celebrations by Bangladesh Bridge Authority on completion of the physical work of one of the two tubes of the under-construction Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to join the programme virtually.
The two-tube tunnel will partially open for vehicular movement by the end of January next year following the completion of some electrical and mechanical works, officials said.
Anwara and Kanaphuli upazilas in South Chattogram would be the new hub of industrialisation with the opening of the tunnel, the CCCI president said.
Many entrepreneurs have already started setting up industrial units in these areas while some business groups are purchasing plots of land, he said.
The tunnel would be an easier route for transporting raw materials as well as finished goods to the ports and elsewhere in the country, he added.
Mahbubul further said the tunnel will allow both importers and exporters to transport goods easily to and from Matarbari deepsea port and Chattogram port.
This tunnel will turn Chattogram into a true economic corridor, he added.
The CCCI boss, however, underscored the need for a four-lane Chattogram-Cox's Bazar roadway and upgrade of the Dhaka-Chattogram highway into an eight-lane one.
Otherwise, it would not be possible to reap the full benefits of the tunnel, he observed.