Adding a rewarding pathway to the communications network, the ministry of railways is going to start the construction of much-awaited Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge, which will be parallel to the existing Bangabandhu Multi-purpose Bridge, over the Jamuna River, by December this year.
"We hoped that the construction work of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge will start within December this year as all the necessary works have done. The dream project will be completed within the stipulated time frame," project director Quamrul Ahsan on Thursday told the Bangladesh Post.
"We have called for tenders in two separate packages for selecting the construction firms. Already six Japanese firms have submitted their applications to us. The technical evaluation of these applications has been completed. Now we are evaluating the financial part of these applications which will be completed soon," he added.
After that the ministry would start the construction works in full swing for implementing the project in due time, he said, adding that the ministry has already completed necessary tasks such as feasibility study, survey and appointment of consultants. The rail bridge over the Jamuna River, a dream project of the government, will run parallel to the existing Bangabandhu Multi-purpose Bridge. The rail bridge will be constructed with steel, he said.
The construction of the 4.8km dual-gauge double-track bridge is scheduled to be completed by 2022. And one more year will be needed for competing defect liability study before full run of the bridge.
The project would be implemented with the joint financing of the government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The government and the JICA will provide Tk 2009.7450 crore and Tk 7724.3250 crore respectively to finance the project. The government plans to run gas transmission and optical fiber lines along the bridge and approach embankment, a project paper said.
The project aims to improve capacity and safety of railway transportation within its own territory and neighboring countries, which will help reduce travel time. Although a rail bridge currently exists alongside the Bangabandhu Bridge, it is not suitable for movement of freight. Even passenger trains have to maintain a speed of 10 kilometres per hour.
"It will also help improve mobility of passengers and goods across the country... This railway bridge will also open windows for regional and international freight (container) traffic---Trans-Asian Railway Network", the project paper said. The project was approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on December 6, 2016.