Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel (or Karnaphuli Tunnel) is an under construction underwater expressway tunnel in the port city of Chattogram, Bangladesh under the Karnaphuli river. The length of the entire route is 9.39 kilometers (5.83 mi), with the tunnel making up 3.32 kilometers (2.06 mi) of the length. The tunnel diameter will be 10.80 meters (35.4 ft). The cost of the project is estimated at US$1.1B, of which around half is financed by the Exim Bank of China. The tunnel is expected to be completed in 2022 and will be the first river tunnel in South Asia. It is expected to improve the Dhaka—Chittagong—Cox’s Bazar highway network. A Chinese company, China Communications Construction Company, was selected to construct it. Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, and Chinese President, Xi Jinping, inaugurated the construction site of the Karnaphuli tunnel on 14th October 2017. On 24th February 2019, Sheikh Hasina also inaugurated the tunnel boring phase. A set of images went viral on social media claiming to be the pictures of Karnaphuli tunnel.
(Screenshot from Facebook post)
(Screenshot from Twitter posts)
(Screenshot from Facebook post)
Same picture was also shared on the Government of Bangladesh teachers’ portal official website.
(Screenshot from Bangladesh Teachers’ portal official website)
কর্ণফুলী টানেল ( বাংলাদেশ )— Syed Gulab Ali (@SyedGulabAli2) June 30, 2022
দক্ষিন এশিয়ার সর্বপ্রথম পানির নিচের পাতাল পথ। নির্মাণ কাজ প্রায় শেষ, এখন শুধুই উদ্বোধনের অপেক্ষায়। pic.twitter.com/zsaTvutoFt
In order to investigate the claim, we performed a reverse image search. Reverse image found picture uploaded on Shutterstock. We also found a news article from South Korea media outlets displaying the same image dated 25th May 2018.
(Screenshot from ShutterStock website)
According to the report, the South Korean government has decided to build a 1.2-kilometer-long tunnel between the country’s Gangwon-dor Sabuk-myeon, Chuncheon-si. The government decided to build this tunnel in 2016. The report cited Getty Images Bank as the source of the image used. The image was first uploaded back on 10th October 2015.
(Screenshot from Hankookilbo website)
Disinformation/ False Context
Our fact-check confirmed that unrelated images are being shared as Karnaphuli Tunnel. Picture of a tunnel from South Korea is collected from the internet and is being circulated on social media, Facebook, with the claim of the beautiful picture of the Karnaphuli tunnel.
ABCDE Framework-Based Analysis
|Actor||Independent social media accounts, Facebook pages and the official website of teachers’ portal are spreading disinformation.|
|Behavior||Unrelated images are being circulated widely, claiming completion of Karnaphuli tunnel.|
|Content||Social media posts.|
|Degree||The fake news was shared to celebrate another milestone achieved by the ruling party. Pictures of South Korea’s tunnel were shared and claimed to be from Bangladesh. The disinformation grabbed more attraction on Facebook than Twitter.|
|Effect||The post was widely shared on social media platforms in Bangladesh to appreciate the efforts of the government. Ruling party was applauded for the development projects.|