IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE

Padma rail link will be launched before schedule of national elections

Patrick D Costa

Padma rail link project

Four major railway projects including the Padma Bridge rail link will be launched before the announcement of the schedule for the next national elections. There may be legal hurdles in launching the development projects after the schedule – the projects could be launched in September and October.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal recently said that the 12th parliamentary elections will be scheduled at the end of October and at the end of December. Railway Secretary Dr. Humayun Kabir told reporters at his office in Rail Bhawan on Tuesday that a summary will be sent to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the second week of this month to inaugurate the Padma Rail Link Project. It will be inaugurated in the third week of September subject to availability of Prime Minister’s time. Rail links like the Padma Bridge are also gearing up for inauguration with pomp and festivity.

A 169-km long railway line is being constructed from Dhaka’s Kamalapur station to Jessore via Padma Bridge at a cost of around Tk 40,000 crore. Railways is preparing to inaugurate the 83 km railway line from Kamalapur to Faridpur via Padma Bridge next month. As per the project plan, the construction of the railway line up to Jessore will be completed by June next year. The secretary said that the construction of the railway line in this part is at the end. The station is under construction.

A large part of the dual gauge railway construction project from Chittagong’s Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar to Ghumdhum on the border of Myanmar with a cost of Tk 18 thousand 34 crore is nearing completion. Railways is preparing to run trains from Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar by the end of September. The 92-year-old Chittagong to Dohazari 52-km railway has the same-age Kalurghat Bridge. The bridge has been closed for three months since yesterday for renovations.

Dr. Humayun Kabir said, not Cox’s Bazar from Dhaka; Railway project construction of railway from Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar. Even if the renovation of the bridge is not completed, trains will run in this section.

The railway line from Mongla seaport to Khulna will be launched before schedule at a cost of Tk 4,260 crore. The railway, which was built with Indian loans in a project approved in 2010, is likely to open in September. Akhaura-Agartala railway line built with Indian grant may be inaugurated during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India.

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