The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $42 million in project readiness financing (PRF) for a facility to help improve transport connectivity and promote multimodal transport in Bangladesh, reports BSS.
The PRF will support project preparation in areas including road and rail connectivity of ports, land ports, and border crossing points; road and rail connectivity of intermodal transshipment facilities, including inland container depots and inland container terminals. It will also support strengthening of corridors, including bypasses, connected roads, and alternate routes; and sector-wide improvements, including safety, traffic management, and maintenance, said an ADB press release.
The total cost of the facility is $57.2 million, of which the government will provide $15.2 million. The PRF is due for completion at the end of 2024. “Bangladesh’s transport network is critical infrastructure supporting the country’s economic activities and promoting international trade,” said ADB Transport Specialist Kaoru Kasahara.
“ADB’s Transport Connectivity Improvement Preparatory Facility will help meet rapidly growing transport demand by financing feasibility studies, detailed design, and other preparatory works to support the government in preparation of road and railway projects.” added the ADB official.
The release said transport demand is expanding nationwide because of Bangladesh’s young and growing population and steady economic growth. Insufficient transport infrastructure results in increased costs and transport time, reduced competitiveness and efficiency of the economy, and impeded economic growth.
The government has been substantially investing in all subsectors to strengthen the country’s transport network. Improving transport connectivity at intermodal transshipment facilities is vital to achieving an optimized modal split, as targeted in the government’s Seventh Five-year Plan.
The country needs to boost connectivity between different transport modes, strengthen arterial transport corridors, as well as construct bypass and connecting roads.