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Padma Bridge rail to be delayed by 1.5yrs, cost up by Tk 1,177cr

Mohammad Zakaria
15 Dec 2021 00:00:00 | Update: 15 Dec 2021 13:00:29
Padma Bridge rail to be delayed by 1.5yrs, cost up by Tk 1,177cr
-- File Photo

Bangladesh Railway is planning to increase the cost and tenure of the much-hyped Padma Rail Link Project by Tk 1,177 crore and 1.5 years respectively, as it needs an additional 152 acres of land in different districts.

The Project Implementation Committee (PIC) made the decision at a latest meeting on Padma Rail Link (1st revision) held at the Rail Bhaban in Dhaka, railway officials told The Business Post, adding that the cost is now estimated at Tk 40,423 crore, and it is set to be completed by 2026.

Initial construction cost of the 172 km railway from Dhaka to Jashore via Keraniganj and Padma Bridge was estimated at Tk 39,247.06 crore.

This cost increase is required for a number of other reasons as well, such as the construction of Gandaria III dual gauge line from Dhaka, overhead station at Bhanga junction, underpass at Titipara in Kamalapur, new underpass at Tularampur in Narail, design change of viaduct pier.

The hike is also necessary for facilitating the design change of 100 broad gauge coaches, expansion of operational facilities in Mawa, Padmabila, and Kashiya area, and increase in river navigation clearance costs of Padma River, according to the PIC meeting papers.

Work on the project started in March 2016. The project was supposed to be completed by July 2024, but physical work commenced on July 2018, mainly due to the delay in signing of the loan contract with Chinese Exim Bank.

A senior official of the Ministry of Railways said though a proposal has been made at the PIC meeting for increasing the cost and tenure of the Padma Rail Link Project, a final decision is yet to come.

“After finalising the decision, we will send the project proposal to the Planning Commission for ECNEC [Executive Committee of the National Economic Council] approval,” he added.

According to the working papers of the PIC meeting held on November 17, 18.23 acres land in Dhaka, 2.7 acres land in Narayanganj, 33.22 acres land in Munshiganj, 31.75 acres land in Madaripur, 27.56 acres in Faridpur, 13.12 acres in Gopalganj, 22.97 acres in Narail 2.94 cares land in Jashore district will be required additionally for completing this project.

The official said people will have to wait till 2026 to enjoy the train journey.