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Dhaka, Yangon to finalise road link

Rafiq Hasan
FromThe Daily Star, Bangladesh
February 17, 2005 to this article.
Myanmar Foreign Minister (FM) Nyan Win will come to Dhaka on February 24 for giving final endorsement to the project of the proposed road link between Dhaka and Yangon.

Nyan Win will formally lay the foundation stone of a bridge at Taungbro on Bangladesh Myanmar border on February 25, sources said.

He will hold meetings with Bangladesh Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan and other high officials on various bilateral issues during his three-day visit.

The issue of gas export from Myanmar to India through pipeline over Bangladesh will also come up at the discussions.

The progress of the three-nation project (involving Bangladesh, Myanmar and India) for the pipeline slowed down following postponement of Saarc summit scheduled to be held in Dhaka this month.
Bangladesh government will construct the 100 feet long bridge as part of its assistance to the next door neighbour in building 20 kilometre highway, necessary for establishing direct road link between the capital cities of two countries.

Communications Minister Nazmul Huda and high officials of the ministry yesterday held a meeting on the subject and discussed necessary preparations for laying the foundation stone by the Myanmar FM at Taungbro.

The distance from Bangladesh border area to the existing union highway in Myanmar leading to Yangon is around 130 kilometres.

Bangladesh has taken up the initiative to construct 43 kilometre road in the first phase, out of which 23 kilometre is in Bangladesh side and 20 kilometre in Myanmar side. Myanmar government will construct the rest of the road.

The communications ministry has submitted the project concept paper (PCP) to the Planning Commission for approval. The PCP estimated Tk 96 crore as the cost for building 20 kilometre highway in Myanmar side.

The estimated total cost of the first phase of the project is Tk 186 crore.
The Roads and Highways Department is now processing the documents for pre-qualification of the contractors and survey and design of the roads, sources said.

This is for the first time that Bangladesh is going to construct roads in a foreign country with its own resources.

The proposed highway will start from Gundum in Bangladesh and end at Bawli Bazar in Myanmar. The prime minister of Myanmar during his visit to Bangladesh last year laid the foundation stone of the road at Gundum.
The direct road link between Dhaka and Yangon is also necessary for establishing road communication with Thailand and China. The road link is also expected to strengthen the government's present 'look east' foreign policy.!!!


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