Dhaka-Bhanga train service through Padma Bridge to open by June, 2023: Railways Minister

The train service from Dhaka to Bhanga through the Padma Bridge is expected to be opened in March next year, said Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujan on Sunday.

“If not possible in March, it will be opened for traffic in June next year,” said the minister while inspecting the progress of construction work of Mawa railway station under Padma Bridge project at Mawa end of Louhajong upazila in Munshiganj.

After the inauguration of the bridge next month, the work of installing the railway tracks on the bridge will start from July which is expected to be completed in six months, he added.

There were plans to open Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga rail service on the day of opening of the Padma Bridge, but it was not possible to work on the upper part of the bridge as the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project Authority did not get the permission due to technical reasons, he said.

He said the progress of 39 kms railway from Dhaka to Mawa is about 60.4 per cent while the progress of 42 kms railway from Mawa to Bhanga is 78 per cent and Bhanga to Jashore is 49.5 per cent.

The overall progress of the railway bridge from Dhaka to Jashore is 57.50 per cent and the total 172 kilometres railway project from Dhaka to Jashore will be completed in 2024, he added.

The rail line of Padma Bridge project is about 169 km from Dhaka to Jashore.

The cost of this project has been estimated at around Tk 40,000 crore. The government of Bangladesh will finance about Tk 18,000 crore and the Chinese government will provide the rest of the money.

On May 11, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said the much-hyped Padma Bridge will be inaugurated in June and preparations are going on for its opening.

The minister said the work progress of the main bridge is 98 percent while river training is 92 percent and the progress of carpeting work is 91 percent.

The total work progress of the project is 93.50 percent, he said.

About Padma Bridge

The project, one of the country’s largest structures, was first approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) with an estimated cost of Tk10,161 crore in 2007. Following irreconcilable differences with the World Bank arising out of the issue of financing in 2012, the government decided to go for it alone.

The second revision of the project was approved by Ecnec on January 5, 2016 with an estimated cost of Tk 28,794 to be implemented by 2018. Without changing the project proposal, the costs were increased again to Tk 30,193 crore In June 2018.

Rail Link

On October 14 last year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened the construction work on a rail link between Dhaka and Jashore under the ‘Padma Bridge Rail Link Construction Project.’

The first phase of the ‘Padma Bridge Rail Link Construction Project’ will establish a rail link between Mawa and Bhanga via Janjira and Shibchar through the Padma Multipurpose Bridge.

This will connect Dhaka, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Shariatpur, Madaripur, Faridpur, Gopalganj, Narail and Jashore.

China Railway Group Limited, a Chinese government-nominated contractor, is implementing the project under the China G2G system.

Source: United News of Bangladesh