Railway to get a booster shot as 2 gigantic projects cleared
11 November 2015, Nirapad News: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved two projects involving Tk 2,108 crore under which Bangladesh Railway will procure 250 new passenger coaches and 10 locomotives to improve its passenger services.
The passenger coaches and locomotives will be added to the railway fleet as part of Bangladesh Railway’s reform activities to ensure modern, safe and quality services to its passengers.
The approval was given at an Ecnec meeting held at the NEC conference room with its Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Of the total cost of the two projects, the government will provide Tk 574 crore while the rest of Tk. 1534 crore will come from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal while briefing reporters after the meeting.
He said the Ecnec meeting cleared a total of 10 projects, including 7 new and 3 revised ones, involving Tk.6250.58 crore. Of the total amount, the government will provide Tk 2672.45 crore while the remaining Tk 3578.13 crore will come from project aid.
Under the project titled ‘Procurement of meter gauge and broad gauge passenger carriages for Bangladesh Railway’ involving Tk 1374 crore, the government will procure 200 meter gauge rail coaches while 50 broad gauge ones.
Besides, Bangladesh Railway will procure two train washing plants for cleaning the coaches quickly after every trip’, the Planning Minister said.
Mustafa Kamal also said Bangladesh Railway will procure another 10 meter gauge diesel electric Locomotives, two meter gauge and two broad gauge accident relief crane and 1 locomotive simulator under a project titled ‘Procurement of locomotives, relief cranes and locomotive simulator for Bangladesh Railway’ spending Tk 735 crore.
According to Planning Ministry sources, Bangladesh Railway now has 1,165 meter gauge coaches out of which 591 are running with various problems and minimum passenger amenities. It also has 324 broad gauge coaches, but 78 of them have already crossed their economic life.
About the two projects, the Planning Minister told reporters that the new coaches will be used for intercity trains replacing over-aged ones to fulfill the demands of the passengers.
Mustafa Kamal said, “The old coaches to be withdrawn from the intercity trains and will be used as Mail Express and Local Passenger Train depending on their conditions.”
The Planning Minister added that Bangladesh Railway would complete both the projects by June, 2019.
The Ecnec meeting approved another project titled ‘Western Bangladesh Bridge Improvement Project’ at a cost of around Tk. 2912 crore to replace and construct 61 small and medium sized bridges, with a total length of 4715 meters, in 24 western and south-western districts of the country.
The districts are Faridpur (6), Madaripur (1),Sirajganj (8), Natore (1),Pabna (4), Naogaon(1), Rajshahi(2), Bagura(2), Rangpur(4), Jaypurhat(2), Lalmonirhat(1), Gaibandha(2), Dinajpur(5), Nilphamari(1), Panchagar(2), Bagerhat(2), Jessore(1), Jhenaidah(2), Kushtia(3), Barisal(7), Pirojpur(1), Jhalakati(1), Narsingdi(1) and Narail(1).
Out of the total amount of the project, the government would provide Tk 1007 crore while the JICA the remaining Tk 1905crore. Roads and Highways Department (RHD) will complete the project by June, 2020.
The project was undertaken based on the success of similar project titled ‘Eastern Bangladesh Bridge Improvement Project’ under which 118 small and medium sized bridges were constructed.
Meeting sources said ‘weather steel bridge’ technology will be applied in the future for constructing steel bridges.
Besides, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the meeting asked the Industries Ministry to come up with newer projects considering their allocation in the current fiscal year.
The other projects those got Ecnec nod are: Construction of Office Building for National Productivity Organisation and Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks with Modern Facilities (Tk 45cr), Bank Protection Work along the Left Bank of Padma River from Aurangabad to Barha Bazar Ghat at Dohar Upazila in Dhaka District (Tk 218cr), Development of Sanapur(Noakhali)-Sonagazi (Feni)-Zorarganj (chittagong) Road Project (Tk.173cr), Construction of 448 Nos. Flats for Govt Employees of Bangladesh National Parliament Secretariat at Sher-E-Banglanagar, Dhaka (1st revised, Tk 218cr), Development of Bangladesh University of Professionals (Tk 257cr), Development of Sylhet Agricultural University (2nd revised, Tk. 111cr) and Primary Education Development Project (1st revised Tk 210 crore).