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Bangabandhu rly bridge to bolster economy

Published : 28 Oct 2020 09:27 PM | Updated : 29 Oct 2020 10:14 AM

The work of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge over the Jamuna River is going on. 

The bridge is expected to boost an economy by ensuring safe, secure, smooth, faster journey and transportation of goods.

The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will formally inaugurate the work on 29 November, Project Director Md Quamrul Ahsan told The Bangladesh Post on Wednesday.  

This new railway bridge will also facilitate transportation of various goods and products, and will play a major role in boosting the economy of the country's northern region and north- west districts as well.

Md Quamrul Ahsan, Project Director of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge, told The Bangladesh Post, “It was another dream bridge for people. Although the project is facing some problems due to the pandemic, the preliminary work has already started.” 

Some Japanese workers have already come to Bangladesh who cannot come earlier due to Covid-19 pandemic, he added.

The bridge will be constructed under two packages, he said adding that, JICA is providing loan assistance of about 72 percent of the construction cost.

The eastern part of the bridge will be constructed by Obayashi Corporation, TOA Corporation and JFE while another joint venture of the IHI and SMCC will work on the western part, he mentioned.

Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan said, “23 more districts are being connected to the railways through the implementation of the Padma Bridge Rail Link project. Besides, the country's largest and most expensive dual gauge double-track railway bridge is being built over the river Jamuna.”

He also said, “The project will be implemented in Sirajganj and Tangail. With this new railway bridge, trains will be able to run at a speed of 100 kilometers per hour on two lines.”

The project is expected to be completed by 2025, added the minister.

The railways have already added new routes, new trains and state-of-the-art engine-coaches, he mentioned. 

He said the speed of the train is not going to increase as there is no double line and appropriate railway bridge. 

In such a situation, necessary preparations have been made for the construction of a bridge over the river Jamuna, he said adding that, it will be built by a Japanese contractor. 

The cost has been estimated at Tk 16,781 crore, he said. 

“When the construction work of the bridge is completed, the railways will undergo a radical change,” Sujan added.

A senior official of railways ministry said the 4.8km-long bridge will be built some 300 metres upstream of the existing Bangabandhu Multipurpose Bridge over the Jamuna.

This dual-gauge double-track bridge would be the largest dedicated railway bridge in the country, he said adding that, the bridge would improve the capacity of Bangladesh Railways in operating more trains between the capital and western part of the country. 

It would also help reduce train delays in train running which are now common, the official said.

In December 2016, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council passed the bridge project at a cost of Tk 9,734 crore and the project was scheduled to be completed within December 2023.

The project, which started in 2016, was supposed to be completed in December 2023, but now it is scheduled to be completed by December 2025 involving Tk 16,781 crore.