High-speed train to for a more habitable society

Ensure prudent utilisation of the project funds

It is encouraging to note that some UK- based companies have expressed their interest to install electric lines for the upcoming high-speed train projects.

As reported by this daily on Friday, the companies are interested to construct a double track electric railway line from Payra Port to Dhaka via Bhanga in the first phase for the transportation of containers and other goods. In the second phase, the foreign companies are interested to construct a new high-speed passenger train service from Dhaka to Matarbari Port via Chattogram. And, in the third phase, they want to expand the passenger railway service from Chattogram to Cox's Bazar.

Authorities concerned must rethink the 

viability issues to avoid any hindrance in 

the project implementation

The incumbent government has been instrumental in terms of developing the country’s transportation and communication system. Besides constructing Metro-rail, Elevated expressway, Padma Bridge etc., the government is now working to construct high-speed trains to foster a more habitable society by taking the country’s transportation system to the rank of the first world countries.

It needs no mentioning that construction of high-speed trains would require a huge amount of money.  Hence, the government should remain prepared to face such an eventuality which can lead the country towards a debt trap. On top of that, authorities concerned should strictly monitor the entire construction process of the project to restrain corruption, ensure transparency and proper utilization of the fund.

Many of high-speed train projects around the world have been struggling with viability. Japan’s pioneering Shinkansen and Korea’s Seoul-Busan HSR caters to almost 50 percent of Japan’s and 70 percent of Korea’s population respectively, yet struggling with viability. On the other hand, Argentina gave up on HSR ambitions on cost grounds. 

Therefore, authorities concerned must rethink the viability issues to avoid any hindrance in the project implementation.