Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the increase of project cost of Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover by another Tk108.40 crore.
The approval was given at a meeting of the Committee on Sunday. Local Government Division’s (LGD) proposed the rise of cost “mainly for protecting the underground utility services put on both sides of the flyover.”
The additional cost will be used to construct new piles to keep the underground utilities services intact.
After the meeting, Additional Cabinet Secretary Md Mostafizur Rahman said the project authorities are installing a pot bearing and shock transmission unit in the flyover to help protect it from earthquake-caused damages.
“This has increased the cost to Tk452.10 crore from the estimate of Tk343.70 crore.”
The 8.25km Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover project was taken up in January 2011 and was supposed to be completed by December 2015.
But the authorities concerned went for a one-and-a-half-year time extension until mid 2017 with the construction still in progress.
However, an LGD official said the flyover’s Mouchak part, which is 3.937km long, will be opened to traffic next month, despite the total project being incomplete.
The additional piles will be installed to save the utility service connections like electricity lines, gas and sewerage lines, water pipelines and land-phone cables.
Meanwhile, the installation of a pot bearing and shock transmission unit was followed a BUET recommendation.
The increase of VAT and other taxes by National Board of Revenue has also pushed up the cost coupled with the consultant firm’s demand of price adjustment of different items of the project.
The total project cost now stands at Tk1,327.4 crore against the Tk773cr primary estimate.
In the latest hike, the government on December 27 had raised the project cost by Tk271 crore for the project’s Moghbazar part.
Experts said the flyover costs more and takes longer time to complete in Bangladesh than any other South Asian countries despite cheap labour and construction materials.
One kilometre of four-lane flyover costs on an average Tk123 crore in Bangladesh. The average cost of the same in India is Tk100 crore and in Pakistan, it is around Tk70 crore.
The cost of a flyover in Bangladesh is also higher than that of any other countries like Malaysia and China, where less than Tk100 crore is spent for building a kilometre of four-lane flyover, according to construction experts and project findings in those countries.