Bangladesh Railway link with Myanmar by 2014

Cambodia Construction News Myanmar

Bangladesh Railway link with Myanmar by 2014

Ecnec okays Tk 1,852cr project for Dohazari-Gundhum rail line

The government is going to construct a rail line from Dohazari in Chittagong to Gundhum in Myanmar via Cox’s Bazar to establish link with the proposed Trans-Asia Railway corridor.

The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved a Tk 1,852 crore project to construct a single track rail line from Dohazari in Chittagong to Ramu in Cox’s Bazar and from there to Gundhum in Myanmar.

Scheduled to kick off sometime this month, the project is expected to be completed in July 2014.

After the meeting held at the NEC auditorium, Planning Minister AK Khandker told reporters that the rail route is being constructed to build up communication with China.

It will be a single-track line for the moment as the rail line on the Myanmar side is such, but there will be an option for broad gauge for future uses.

Replying to a query, the planning minister said the other aim of the project is to establish link with the proposed Trans-Asia Railway corridor. However, the minister avoided a direct reply as to when the government will join the corridor.

Tk 1,182 crore, more than half needed for the project, will come from foreign assistance, a planning ministry official said.

Economic Relations Division (ERD) has been in talks with Asian Development Bank, China and other donor agencies for the assistance.

The official also said the project also aims at connecting Cox’s Bazar, the country’s top tourist attraction, with the rest of the country.

The Trans-Asian Railway network, which was initiated in the ’60s, comprises 1,14,000 kilometer of rail routes of international importance. It aims to offer efficient rail transport services for goods and passengers between Asia and Europe.

The link offers immense potential to shorten the distances and reduce transit time between countries and regions facilitating trade expansion, economic growth and cultural exchanges.

If completed, countries to be benefiting from the Trans-Asia Railway networks are Cambodia, India, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Thailand, among others.

The Ecnec also approved another seven projects worth Tk 3,192 crore including the Gulshan-Banani-Baridhara Lake Development project. The cost of lake development project has been estimated at Tk 410 crore.

The main aim of the project is to protect the lake from the grabbers, reclaim its land and thereby restore the water capacity and enhance beauty on its four sides, the planning ministry official said.

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