The project duration has also been proposed to extend for three more years; it was scheduled to complete by June 2022
The estimated cost for the construction of a third terminal and other infrastructural development for Dhaka's Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport is likely to get 57.23 percent bigger than the original proposal.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh has revised the estimated project cost at about Tk21,399 crore from originally Tk13,610 crore. The development project, being implemented with loans from Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), began in July 2016.
According to the revised proposal, spending from the government fund will enhance by around 119 percent to Tk5,258 crore, while the Jica credit by over 43 percent to Tk16,141 crore.
The civil aviation authority has already sent the revised proposal to the Planning Commission. Originally scheduled to complete by June 2022, the project will take three more years, as per the proposal.
The civil aviation authority attributed the reasons for a cost hike to an extension in work, upgrading the building management system to international level and a rise in prices of services and necessary equipment.
Besides, two separate buildings will be constructed to handle import and export activities through the airport. The original proposal said to set up one building for both the services.
The project cost has been reviewed following a demand of the project implementing organisation, according to the proposal.
A Planning Commission report said the new proposal did not incorporate necessary information, any new survey report and the basis for the cost increase. Besides, the implementing firm could not submit a design of the third terminal and its overall plan on the project.
Meanwhile, a big change has been noticed in different aspects in the fresh proposal as it has added no report or recommendation by the Jica. The Planning Commission has asked the civil aviation authority to include it.
The commission said the civil aviation, as an independent organisation, was bound to bear a part of the total project expense in order to cut pressure on the government. Even though the estimated government spending has ballooned up by over 119 percent, they are not spending anything from their own fund.
The commission also objected to another proposal regarding consultancy service cost which is Tk132 crore more than it was said originally.
The civil aviation authority, in their proposal, said they want to spend Tk2,459 crore in income tax which was Tk1,321 crore in the original proposal. The commission said usually the earning person or the organisation has to pay income tax but they have proposed to spend it from the government fund which is illogical.
When contacted, Md Mohibul Haque, the civil aviation secretary, refused to comment on the issue claiming he was on leave.
Civil aviation sources said the numbers of passengers and air cargos at the airport are increasing annually by 3.2 percent and 7 percent respectively. Against this backdrop, the joint-venture of Yooshin (Korea), CPG (Singapore) and DDC (Dhaka) was appointed as a consultant firm in 2014 after performing a feasibility study of the project.
The consultant firm drafted a design of the third terminal and other infrastructures by updating the airport's Master Plan 2035. A survey of the firm said an expansion of the airport's terminal, runway and cargo handling facilities is essential amid a growing pressure of air passengers and cargo transportation.
At present, the airport has a passenger handling capacity of approximately 80 lakh which will rise to around about 1.4 crore in 2025 and nearly 2.88 crore in 2035.
According to the proposal, a 2.30 lakh square metre passenger building, including terminal and security equipment, will be constructed under the project.
The terminal will incorporate 115 check-in and 64 check-out counters, 64 incoming immigration counters, 27 baggage X-ray machines, 40 cabin X-ray machines, 12 boarding bridges, 16 conveyor belts and 11 body scanners. All these facilities will enhance passenger handling capacity to nearly 1.2 crore.
Besides, it has been proposed to set up, among other infrastructures, a 54,000sqm tunnel and multi-storied car parking facility under the same project.