Govt wants loan from ADB-China
Mahfuja Mukul: A 369.40 km long single line railway will be constructed from Bhanga Junction in Faridpur to Kuakata in Patuakhali via Barisal. The proposed cost for the construction of this railway has been estimated at Tk 41,798 crore.
An estimate of such cost and length of railway has been made after carrying out feasibility study project for construction of railway line from Banga Junction (Faridpur) via Barisal to Payra Bandar Kuakata along with preparation of detailed design and tender documents. The long railway will be constructed over a total of seven districts including Faridpur, Gopalganj, Madaripur, Barisal, Jhalkathi, Barguna and Patuakhali districts.
According to Bangladesh Railway, the implementation period of the project is seven years. Out of this, tendering, land acquisition and rehabilitation work will be done for one and a half years. The infrastructure of the project will be built over four and a half years. Defect liability period is considered to be one year remaining.
Main work of project: The total length of the railway line or route line will be 214.91 km, of which the main line is 190.11 km and the branch line is 24.80 km. However, the total length of the track will be 369.40 km. Out of this, the main line is 214.91 kilometers and the loop line is 154.49 kilometers. The length of railway embankment will be 168.88 km. A total of 440 box culverts will be constructed, with the length of 4.43 km.
36 km flyover railway on Bhanga-Kuakata route: 10 major bridges will be constructed, its total length will be 4.86 km. 36.74 km flyover railway will be constructed at both ends of the major bridges. Overhead railways will be built over the rivers Kumar, Kaliganga, Shandha, Amtali, Kirtankhola, Payra, Patuakhali, Andharmanik, Tiakhali, Khapra Banga.
19 aesthetic station buildings on entire railway line: 19 station buildings will be constructed on the entire railway line. The places are – Bhanga Junction, Baritla, Tekerhat, Madaripur, Kalkini, Gournadi, Uzirpur, Barisal Airport, Barisal, Dapadapia, Bakerganj, Badarpur, Patuakhali, Kakua, Amtali, Payra Pot, Payra Port Yard, Lemupara and Kuakata.
Prospects for loans from ADB and China: The long railway line can’t be implemented with public internal or public financing. For this, there will be more foreign funding for the construction of the railway. Only part of government money will be spent on land acquisition sector. The government will take loans from China or the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the rest of the infrastructure construction projects. In the meantime, two development partners have been sent loan proposals through the Economic Relations Department (ERD).
However, the ERD claimed that ADB and China have not yet responded to the loan issue. The total proposed cost of the project is Tk 41,798 crore. Out of this government funding is Tk 9,598.47 crore. A major portion of the government funding will be spent on the 5,638-acre land acquisition sector. Foreign debt has been estimated at Tk 32.199.14 crore.
Project Financing and Contracts: The construction financing of the project is yet to be confirmed. However, efforts to raise funding continue. Tenders have not been called yet as the financing of the project has not been secured. Those concerned hope that ADB and China will get loans.
A senior ERD official said that the cost estimate for the Bhanga to Kuakata route has been made after completing the survey. Using data from the survey project, loans were sent to China, ADB and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). No development partners have confirmed us yet. Hope to get feedback from development partners soon.
Recruitment of Consultants and Detailed Design: The recruitment of consultants for the construction project is yet to be completed. And detailed design survey is included by the project consultant.
Tk 49 crore survey cost for railway construction: Feasibility study project work for railway construction was completed in June 2022. One of the objectives of the project is to bring Barisal, Patuakhali under rail connectivity along with Payra seaport and Kuakata.
The railway will connect Barisal-Jhalkathy-Pirojpur and Jhalkathy-Patharghata sections. The cost of the original study was Tk 43.00crore. Later, in the first amendment, the expenditure was increased to Tk 49.96 crore. Tk 49.31 croregoes into the consultant’s pocket for the survey project.
Apart from this, Tk 8 lakh was spent on advertisement, Tk 33.15 lakh on car rental, Tk 8 lakh on office stationery and other expenses, Tk 8 lakh on honorarium, Tk 4 lakh on travel allowance and Tk 4.40 lakh on office equipment for Project Management Unit (PMU). As per the Prime Minister’s instructions, surveying and route design along with feasibility studies have been started to bring Kuakata tourist center under the rail link by constructing another 24 km line from Payra port under the project.
Regarding the construction of the railway, the Chief Planning Officer of Bangladesh Railway S. M. Salimullah Bahar told Daily Industry, “After the feasibility study, the cost of the project has been fixed at Tk 41.798 crore. Single line railways will be built initially, but there will also be provisions for double lines. The construction of the railway will create a mile bridge of communication with the southern region. The correct benefits of the Padma bridge will be obtained through the construction of this railway.
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