Skip to main content

Significance of Bangabandhu Tunnel in Bangladesh’s ongoing development process

By Anup Sinha* 

On October 28, Bangabandhu Tunnel, a modern transportation system of great national pride, opened. It's more than a tunnel – it's a symbol of patriotism and national pride. Thank Sheikh Hasina, Bangabandhu's daughter, for building this dream tunnel. His unshakable passion, fearlessness, and relentless growth attitude gave the country the most modern tunnel beneath the Karnaphuli river. This tunnel represents competence and confidence. 
The Prime Minister of Bangladesh and the President of China laid the foundation stone for this tunnel, the first in Bangladesh and the longest in South Asia beneath the river, on October 14, 2016. The Bangabandhu Tunnel was launched by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on February 24, 2019.
This is another communication system milestone. Bangladesh built the first river tunnel in South Asia. The Indian land tunnels are beneath the river. Still no tunnel. The 'Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel' was built after the Padma Bridge due to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's courageous and imaginative initiative.
China's biggest and most populated city is Shanghai. The Huangpu River, a Changjiang River tributary, split Shanghai. Tunnels beneath the river link the banks. The world now calls Shanghai 'One City Two Towns'. Shanghai is the world's biggest and busiest seaport. Port. Bangladesh's largest marine port is Chittagong. River Karnaphuli separated Chittagong like Shanghai. Dream tunnel created around Karnaphuli river to construct 'One City Two Town' like Shanghai.
This tunnel also benefits government governance. If there is no human-loving public welfare-oriented good ruler, effective administration is impossible. The dreamer is the daughter of the Father of the Nation. Its opening is a joyful and exciting event. Nationwide laughter day.
Development philosophy aims to maximise human wellbeing. The government is proud of the Bangabandhu Tunnel. The tunnel will link the riverbanks as in Shanghai, China. Tunnel length is 3.32 kilometres. The tunnel lies 18–31 metres below the river. Passing will take 3–3.5 minutes. Cars may reach 80 km/h in the tunnel. Bangabandhu Tunnel would cut Cox's Bazar-Chittagong route by 40 kilometres. Cox's Bazar and South Chittagong cars may bypass Chittagong and go across the nation to Dhaka via the tunnel. Traffic in Chittagong will decrease significantly. Domestic and international investors are building coal-based thermal power plants and LNG stations in Matarbari, Maheshkhali upazila, Cox's Bazar. The tunnel will boost foreign investment and significant development projects.
Once operational, the tunnel will become 'two cities in one city' and a corridor beneath the Karnaphuli river, say communications specialists. If the Bangabandhu Tunnel is opened, the economic revolution, South Chittagong industries, and the projected industrial region would speed up deep-sea port activities. All of Chittagong-Cox's Bazar-Teknaf-Saint Martin-Mountain tourism will revolve on the tunnel. The hope of substantial change in different activities, including job creation and poverty eradication, will be huge. Economists believe the Bangabandhu Tunnel will boost GDP. Overall, the Bangabandhu Tunnel represents Bangladesh's wealthy future.
A bridge to South Chittagong has long been needed. Karnaphuli tunnel construction is justified by location. The tunnel was built near the mouth of Bangladesh's driest river, Karnaphuli. Since the other three bridges are upstream in the Karnaphuli river, water velocity is modest. However, the estuary has tremendous velocity. Experts said heavy river currents destroyed bridge supports. A bridge erected in the Karnaphuli river estuary is risky because the water may move dirt from beneath the supports. Bridge siltation also occurs. River navigability was lost owing to buildup. Chittagong port, Bangladesh's principal seaport, was threatened then. Tunnels instead of bridges were used to address future difficulties.
In a 2008 election public meeting in Chittagong's Laldighi Maidan, Awami League President Sheikh Hasina vowed to construct a tunnel. She started building the tunnel after taking control. Additionally, during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's June 2014 visit to China, Bangladesh requested a tunnel beneath the Karnaphuli River. - China An MOU was struck. In October 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the project in Bangladesh. November 2017 saw a loan from China's Exim Bank. On February 24, 2019, Prime Minister Deshratna Sheikh Hasina launched the tunnel's primary work. The 9.3-kilometre tunnel is 3.5 km beneath the river. Two tubes are placed at 36-108 feet deep. Traffic will flow in four lanes at 18–31 metres. The Bangladeshi government will pay 40% of the project's cost, while Exim Bank of China would finance 60%.
The present government has a Chittagong master plan. Plans are for building a tunnel in Chittagong to provide a modern, continuous communication infrastructure. This tube will boost Chittagong's communication infrastructure. Eastern and western ends are connected, therefore travel time and money are taken. It will be affordable. Eastern industrial commodities may be easily transported to Chittagong port, airport, and other areas. The tourist hub of Cox's Bazar, highland Bandarban, and South Chittagong make countrywide travel easy. Visit Cox's Bazar and South Chittagong from Dhaka or elsewhere. Port city entry unnecessary. Three bridges, including Shah Amanat Bridge on the Karnaphuli River, must be crossed. Since the tunnel lies outside Chittagong, traffic will be much lighter. Through the tunnel, the Chittagong Bypass arrives fast.
The southeast Anwara tunnel outlet is linked to the National Highway Road-1 via Patia to Cox's Bazar. Chittagong will be 35-40 km closer if another route is extended to Cox's Bazar via Banskhali-Pekua-Chakria. The tunnel makes it easy to utilise the airport and port, which are 3 km and 15 km from Patenga. The maritime road from Mirsrai, Chittagong, to Cox's Bazar is being built. been made.
The government wants Chittagong to be a global commerce centre. No alternative exists to a regionally built continuous communication infrastructure. This need communication infrastructure initially. To convey commodities, reduce the distance between critical economic corridors. Bangabandhu Tunnel Port It will help economic zones maintain airport-zone contact. India-Nepal-Bhutan can swiftly move commodities from Chittagong port to their nations. Matarbari deep sea port, power station, LMG terminal, LGP terminal, oil terminal, gas transmission, single point mooring project, oil refinery, energy and food storage, tourism, and better contact with Korea and China Economic Zone are under development.
Tourism would benefit greatly from Bangabandhu Tunnel. Patenga Beach and Anwara Parking Beach will draw visitors. Due to the tunnel, Patenga to Anwara will take 20–30 minutes instead of 4 hours. Faujdarhat-Patenga tourism centres would surround Marine Drive and Tunnel. Additionally, Sonadia Eco Tourism Park in Cox's Bazar, Shabrang Tourism, and Naf Tourism in Teknaf will grow.
A sophisticated smart communication system connecting Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox's Bazar will be established via the tunnel. Connecting to the Asian Highway would simplify Myanmar-Bangladesh-India commodities transportation connectivity. Industrialization will produce vast jobs. The nation will prosper socioeconomically and eradicate poverty. Economy Massive expansion will impact the country's economy.
As the adage goes, dreams need guts. All of Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina's aspirations are coming true. After Padma Bridge, Metro Rail, Elevated Motorway, Bangabandhu Tunnel, connectivity system expanded. Sheikh Hasina extended possibilities. The tunnel represents Bangladesh's pride and self-esteem.
*Security and strategic affairs researcher, freelance columnist



'Modi govt's assault on dissent': Foreign funds of top finance NGO blocked

By Rajiv Shah  In a surprise move, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has cancelled the foreign funding license of the well-known advocacy group, Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), known for critically examining India's finance and banking sectors from human rights and environmental angle.

Misleading ads 'manipulate, seduce, lure' to market unhealthy harmful food

By Our Representative  The Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest (NAPI) in its new report “50 Shades of Food Advertising” has sought to expose how seductive, luring, manipulative or deceptive these advertisements can be. Consequences of such advertising are increased intake of unhealthy food products that is associated with obesity and diabetes, it says. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

'Failure of governance': India, China account for 54% pollution-related deaths globally

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram*   A recent report jointly prepared by UNICEF and the independent research organization Health Effects Institute has been released, and the statistics within it are alarming. It states that in 2021, air pollution caused the deaths of 2.1 million Indians, including 169,000 children who hadn't yet fully experienced life. These figures are indeed distressing and raise questions about why there hasn't been more serious effort in this direction, putting policymakers to shame. 

August 9 to be observed as Corporates Quit India day: Top farmers' group

By Our Representative A recent general body meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the top farmers' organisation, stated hat "there is no need for any illusion of change in the pro-corporate policies of the BJP-NDA government" following the recent elections in which BJP failed to achieve even simple majority. It insisted,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi "is hell bent" to continue 'business as usual' policies.

Over 3.8 billion animals at risk: India on crossroad in animal welfare practices

By Rupali Soni*  In a collaborative effort, the India Animal Fund and Dasra have unveiled their report , "Our Shared Future | Securing Animal Welfare, Human Wellbeing, and Sustainability in India." This landscape report provides a thorough overview of animal welfare and underscores its indispensable role within India's socio-economic and ecological frameworks. It also illustrates how animal welfare is intricately intertwined with public health, labor welfare, and climate resilience.

Belgian report alleges MNC Etex responsible for asbestos pollution in Madhya Pradesh town Kymore: COP's Geneva meet

By Our Representative A comprehensive Belgian report has held MNC Etex , into construction business and one of the richest, responsible for asbestos pollution in Kymore, an industrial town in in Katni district of Madhya Pradesh. The report provides evidence from the ground on how Kymore’s dust even today is “annoying… it creeps into your clothes, you have to cough it”, saying “It can be deadly.”

Maharashtra govt's proposed bill may be used against 'dissenting' journalists, writers, filmmakers, artists

Counterview Desk  The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Maharashtra, strongly objecting to what it calls “repressive and unconstitutional” Maharashtra Special Public Security Bill 2024, has demanded the proposed law be scrapped in its entirety. In its Statement of Objects and Reasons for the Bill, PUCL noted,  the broad and non-descript label of ‘urban naxal’ has been used, which is actually a “common slur used for any citizen who expresses their opposition to state policy or is not aligned with right-wing majoritarian views."