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Mohammad Zakaria
The government is going to construct a mega project of 162km dual gauge double-line rail tracks from Joydevpur to Ishwardi to increase capacity of the country’s railway for carrying passengers and good containers.
The project was approved by the executive committee of national economic council (ECNEC) on Sunday (November 4).
In this regard, the Ministry of Railways has taken a massive project titled ‘Construction of Dual Gauge Double Line Rail Line from Joydevpur to Ishwardi’ which will be implemented by Bangladesh Railway.
The project will be implemented through government to government (G2G) with China and the loan agreement with Chinese Exim Bank will be signed soon.
The project cost is estimated at Tk 14,250.61 crore. China will provide Tk 8,756.76 crore while the rest of Tk 5,493.85 will come from the government exchequer, the official concerned said.
The tenure of the project is from October 2018 to December 2024.
“We will start negotiation with China after completing the evaluation of the project. China Exim Bank is now evaluating this project,” a senior official of the Economic Relations Division told Bangladesh Post on Monday.
“While the evaluation completes, we will complete the negotiation with the Chinese Exim Bank within one and a half months,” he said, adding that, after the formal approval of the Chinese government, Bangladesh government will sign a loan agreement with China.
Once the project is implemented, it will be easy to connect with northern, southern and western regions from Dhaka.
The rail line is one of the corridors of the proposed Trans-Asian railway network. This corridor will connect SAARC, BIMSTEC and other nations.
China Civil Engineering Construction Cooperation has been selected for constructing a 162km dual-gauge double-line rail track from Joydevpur to Ishwardi.
The main activities of the project are construction of 162.023km main rail line, construction of 204 bridges, reconstruction, renovation and increasing facilities of 42 rail stations. For the project a total of 106 acres of land will be acquired.
Currently 174km single rail line exists on the route.
A dual gauge provides two separate track gauges. Normally, a dual gauge track consists of three rails, two “vital” (or gauge) rails, one for each gauge, plus a “common rail”– although sometimes commonality is not possible and four rails are required.