China Communications Construction (CCCC) looks set to bag the Tk 14,000 crore-contract to construct the Dhaka-Sylhet four-lane highway after the project's original contractor, China Harbour, was dumped for offering bribes.
The Chinese state-owned construction firm has been lobbying with the government since the job vacancy opened up in January last year and has even promised to finish the project quickly and smoothly in a letter to the government on December 21.
The project -- which is expected to expand the regional transport network, including the Asian Highway Network, BIMSTEC and SAARC corridors -- is supposed to be completed by December 2022, as per the original plan.
The 214 kilometre-long highway, which will be made with entire Chinese funds, will have 321 culverts, 70 bridges, five railway overpasses, four flyovers, 10 underpasses, 42 footbridges, three truck stands and two rest houses.
Under a direct procurement method China Harbour was chose on October 9, 2016 to helm the project. But it was ousted from the project earlier last year for offering bribe a secretary of the road transport and bridges ministry, the implementing entity.
CCCC's proposal is now sitting on the prime minister's table for her approval, said Md. Zahidul Haque, additional secretary of the economic relations division.
“Since only the contractor will change and everything else will remain the same, the government does not need to float the tender again to appoint the new company,” he added. The project was bookmarked as a priority one among the 27 agreed upon during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Dhaka in October 2016.
Contacted, Md. Nazrul Islam, secretary of the road transport and highway division, declined to comment on the matter.