POST TIME: 2 April, 2016 00:00 00 AM
Padma Bridge Rail Link project
Preliminary contract signed with China Railway Group

Preliminary contract signed with China Railway Group

The government has initiated a mega move to set up new broad gauge railway lines from Dhaka to Jessore via Padma Multipurpose Bridge to connect the country's southwestern region through railways spending Tk 34,702.74 crore, reports UNB. A draft project in this regard, titled 'Padma Bridge Rail Link', is now under process at the Planning Commission and Bangladesh Railway will implement the project by June 2022, a senior official told the news agency.
Of the total project cost, Tk 9953.69 crore will come from the national exchequer while the remaining Tk 24,749.05 crore from the Chinese government on G-to-G basis. Talking to the news agency, a Railways Ministry official said the total length of this track will be 215.22 kilometers, including loops and sidings with 169 kilometers of broad gage one.
Railways Secretary Md Feroz Salah Uddin said through the Padma Multipurpose Bridge having a provision for roadways on the upper deck and railways in the lower deck, this railway network will connect Jessore through Mawa and Bhanga.
Feroz said there will be a provision for constructing the 2nd line in the future alongside linking the Barisal and Paira sea ports with this route.
He said the ministry has already signed a preliminary contract with the China Railway Group Limited while negotiations are underway to sign the final commercial contract with the Chinese state-run company.
Railways Ministry officials said the railway track will go through seven districts of Dhaka Division -- Dhaka, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Shariatpur, Madaripur, Faridpur and Gopalganj -- while two districts of Khulna Division -- Narail and Jessore.
The official said this proposed project will bring four new districts -- Munshiganj, Shariutpur, Madaripur and Narail -- under railway network alongside improving the standards of passenger services and passengers facilities.
The new railway track will go through Motijheel, Sabujbagh, Sutrapur, Demra, Keraniganj, Fatullah, Sirajdikhan, Srinagar, Louhajang and Janzira. Then the track will go through Shibchar, Bhanga of Faridpur, Nagarkanda, Saltha, Moksudpur, and Kashiani of Gopalganj, Lohagara, Narail Sadar, Bagpara and Jessore Sadar.
According to the Railways Ministry officials, the construction on the Padma Bridge is expected to be completed by 2018 and once it is completed, it would help improve the rail communication of Dhaka with the country’s southwestern part.
In the double deck Padma Bridge, there will be four-lane roadways in the upper deck while broad-gauge single railway track would be set up in the lower deck of the bridge so that direct rail link could be set up from Jessore, Khulna, Benapole and Mongla.
Besides, in order to reduce the length of Dhaka-Jessore route, there is a plan to set up a new railway corridor from Padma Bridge to Jessore via Bhanga. Another official at the Planning Commission said that Bangladesh Railway will implement the proposed project by 2022 under which there will be construction of some 215.22 kilometer broad gauge railway track including 169 kilometer main line, 43.22 kilometer loop and siding, 3 kilometer double track. Besides, there will be around 24 kilometers of viaduct, 2 kilometers of ramps, 66 small bridges, 244 culverts, one highway overpass, 29 level-crossings, and 40 underpasses.