PM lays foundation stone of Bangabandhu Railway Bridge
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today laid the foundation stone of 4.8-km long double-line dual-gauge dedicated Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge involving Taka 16,781 crore over the Jamuna River.
“Today, I am really very happy. Construction work of a separate railway bridge is going to start over the Jamuna River from today,” she said while laying the foundation stone of the bridge virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence here.
The PM said that once the railway bridge is constructed, the country’s socio-economic advancement would surely happen alongside developing regional and international connectivity that will help robust development of Bangladesh in future.
Railways Minister Md. Nurul Islam Sujan, MP, and Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh, ITO Naoki spoke at the function from the Tangail and Ganabhaban ends respectively.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and local lawmakers were also present on the occasion.
PM’s Principal Secretary Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus moderated the function from the Ganabhaban end while Secretary of Railways Ministry Md. Salim Reza gave a welcome address.
Earlier, a video documentary on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge was screened on the occasion.
According to the project details, contractors concerned have already started preliminary works of the bridge while construction of the main construction will start tomorrow.
The main bridge will be constructed under two packages. Two separate agreements have already been signed with Obayashi-TOA-JFE, Japan and IHI-SMCC JV, Japan for eastern and western part of civil works respectively.
As per the agreements, land was handed over to the both contractors in July this year. The new bridge will be able to run trains at a speed of 120 kmph on broad gauge line and 100 kmph on meter gauge track. With construction of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge 88 trains will be able to run.
The project is scheduled to be completed by 2025.
Local staffers of the contractors are now preparing the construction site, fencing the site and building accommodation facilities for workers. A land-related dispute with the Bangladesh Bridge Authority for building a construction yard has already been settled.
Of the approved project cost of Taka 9,734.07 crore, Taka 7724.32 crore would come from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as project assistance and Taka 2009.75 crore from Bangladesh government exchequer.
Once built, the dual-gauge double-track bridge would be the largest dedicated rail bridge in the country.
The bridge would improve the capacity of Bangladesh Railway (BR) in operating more trains between the capital and western part of the country. It would also help reduce train delays, which are now common, officials said.
While visiting Tokyo on May 25-28, 2014, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina requested Japan to provide fund for the project when she met Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Later, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also raised the issue when the Japanese Prime Minister visited Dhaka on September 6, 2014.