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Highways to be converted into 4-lane

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UNB, Dhaka :
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader has said all the national highways will eventually be converted into 4-lane ones to reduce the travel time of passengers.
Talking to UNB, the minister mentioned that the Dhaka-Chittagong and Dhaka-Mymensingh highways have already been converted into 4-lane ones, with the construction works on Rangpur-Elenga highways still going on.
He said, the trade and commerce in Chittagong have got a great boost following the upgradation of Dhaka-Chittagong Highway, reducing the commuting time by almost half. "And this is also true in the case of Mymensingh."
The one-way traffic has also played a significant role in decreasing road accidents.
According to sources at the Road Transport and Highways division, Bangladesh's highway network of 21,302.08 km out of which 3,812 km fall under national highways, 13,242 km under district highways and 4,246km under regional highways.
A Highway Development and Management survey 2016 says that 79.6 percent of the national highways, 69.21 percent of the regional  
highways and 52.92 percent of the district highways fall under the 'good-to-fair condition' category.
Road Transport and Bridges secretary MAN Siddique told UNB that several projects have already been undertaken to ensure faster inter-district communications.
As part of the first phase, he said, a feasibility study and a detailed design plan of 1,752km of the national highway has already been completed, with additional surveys, last mile and missing link connectivity for 590km more already underway. The secretary added that bridges are being constructed over major rivers adjacent to the national highway network -- 651 to be precise since 2009 and 2815 culverts.
All the national highways will be converted into 4-lane ones and improved to 'good-to-fair condition' by 2020, Siddique said.
Since 2009, sources said, 369km of the national highway has been converted into 4-lane ones, with an additional 378km to follow soon having service lanes on both sides of the road.
They also said, the project budget of Rangpur-Elenga highway is set at Tk 11,899 crore, with Tk 9354 crore coming in foreign assistance and the rest of Tk 2544 crore from the national exchequer.
It will be 193km in distance and the construction works are scheduled to be finished ruction by August 2021.

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