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Rail link will expand to BBIN nations

Published : 25 Oct 2020 09:27 PM

The government has taken an initiative to build a new railway bridge over the Teesta River and a new 57-km dual gauge railway on Banglabandha route in order to ease the communications system in the northern region and to establish an easy railway link between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN).

The railway bridge will connect the Banglabandha and Sona Masjid land ports, railway ministry sources said. Besides, the government will construct railway tracks from Sona Masjid of Chapai Nawabganj, Banglabandha of Panchagarh and Domar of Nilphamari district.

This initiative has been taken as the 654-meter old Teesta bridge is 100 years old and dilapidated. In addition, prior to the construction of the railway bridge and the new railway, a project titled 'Feasibility Study of Important Projects in the Western Region of Bangladesh Railway' has been undertaken.

The main objective of the project is to carry out feasibility study for three projects in the western part of the railway, including feasibility study, detailed design and preparation of tender documents for a new bridge parallel to the existing Teesta Bridge. The survey project is being implemented since 2018 with the government funding of Taka 9 crore 91 lakh.

Work on the main project will begin in June 2021 on completion of the survey. So far, the financial progress of the project is 18.73 percent and the physical progress is 7.90 percent. Taka five crore 5 lakh has been allocated for the completion of the project in the current fiscal year. The main project will be taken up in June 2021.

Director of Bangladesh Railways Mohammad Abu Jafar Mia said, “The third largest railway bridge will be built parallel to the Teesta Bridge. The long-standing bridge is now dilapidated. Besides, Banglabandha and Sona Masjid land ports will be connected to the new railway line. Feasibility study work is nearing completion. After this the main project will be taken up. ”

Regarding the slow pace of feasibility study work, the director of Bangladesh Railway said, “The work has been slow due to various reasons. But I hope, the work will be completed in June 2021. ”

Besides it learnt that, public railway services in Jaldhaka, Dimla, Kishoreganj and Nilphamari will also be upgraded. A dual gauge railway will be constructed from Jaldhaka and Domar railway station to Votmari railway station.

Feasibility study, design and preparation of tender documents for construction of new railway bridge over Teesta river have started for the development of northern and western border railway communications.

Necessary survey, soil test and traffic survey work is going on. The government is thinking of maintaining the same standard as the Indian Railways are doing in the border areas.

For this, a new 57-km dual gauge railway will be constructed on Banglabandha route in Tetuliaupazila of Panchagarh district. To connect with this route, a new 37-km railway track will be constructed from Chapainawabganj district to Sona Masjid (Indian border side).

According to the Ministry of Railways sources, it will be one of the routes of railway link between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN). If rail connectivity is introduced in the land port, transportation of imported and exported goods besides passengers will be easier and cheaper.

The Banglabandha land port in Panchagarh district will also play an important role in import and export between India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh through railway.

Nepal is only 61-km from Banglabandha land port, Bhutan is only 68 km and China border is only 200 km. This is a port that can unite five friendly countries. That is why, the government wants to establish railway link between the four countries through Banglabandha.

According to ministry sources, if the railway from Panchagarh to Banglabandha is constructed, import and export to both the land ports will increase. The communications system of North Bengal will also be improved.