Bangladesh is likely to get US$400 million credit from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to construct a rail line linking Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar.
A loan agreement was signed in this regard between the Manilla-based lender and the government at Economic Relations Division (ERD) in the capital on Thursday.The rail link being constructed under ADB’s SASEC (South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation) project will promote trade, investment and tourism in Bangladesh, the lender said.
The assistance forms the second part of $1.5 billion ADB loans for the SASEC Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Railway Project.
The loan will finance around 27 percent of the progress towards constructing 102 kilometers of new railway line between Chattogram and Cox's Bazar.
ERD Secretary Monowar Ahmed and ADB Country Director Manmohan Parkash signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides.
“ADB is committed to help Bangladesh develop its railways, which is a safe, affordable and environment-friendly mode of transport,” said Manmohan Parkash.
“The project is a priority investment under Bangladesh’s Seventh Five Year Plan and will open up the unserved areas of Cox’s Bazar region by promoting investment, trade and tourism,” he added.The project also integrates features that are friendly to the elderly, women, children, and people with disabilities, he also said.
The new rail link will be open to public in 2023 aims to transport 2.9 million passengers annually between Chattogram and Cox's Bazar by 2024.
The construction of this railway section is one of several ADB railway projects to help Bangladesh meet its targets under its Seventh Five-Year Plan and Railway Master Plan.
Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Railway is part of the Trans-Asia Railway network, an initiative led by United Nations, aiming to provide seamless rail links between Asia and Europe to better connect people and markets.