Bangladesh Signs Deal for SASEC Dhaka-Northwest Road Corridor
15 March 2020
The Government of Bangladesh and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed on 15 March 2020 a $400 million loan agreement to upgrade the Dhaka-Northwest international road corridor. The loan is the second tranche of ADB’s financing facility for the Second South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Dhaka-Northwest Corridor Road Program.
Ms. Fatima Yasmin, Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), Bangladesh, and Mr. Manmohan Parkash, Country Director, ADB, signed the loan agreement at a ceremony in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
ADB’s assistance is part of a series of loans totaling $1.2 billion for the transport project. The first tranche of phase 2 was signed in November 2017. The project helps connect Bangladesh with Bhutan, India, and Nepal.
“The project will further strengthen regional connectivity, and boost trade along the second busiest road artery in the country,” said Mr. Parkash. The project will improve safety and help reduce transport costs, travel time, vehicle emissions, and congestion.
The project will expand a 190-kilometer section of the transport corridor from Elenga through Hatikumrul to Rangpur into four lanes. It also incorporates gender-responsive features with the inclusion of footbridges, footpaths, and dedicated lanes for slow-moving vehicles, such as rickshaws. Road management by the Roads and Highway Department will be strengthened while climate resilience features will be adopted in the project design.
ADB supported the development of the 70-kilometer Joydevpur-Elenga section of the Dhaka-Northwest road corridor and the improvement of land ports in Burimari and Benapole under the SASEC Road Connectivity Project committed in 2013. Transport infrastructure is a vital component of the SASEC program, which has been promoting regional prosperity in the South Asian region since 2001.