China Railway Group Limited (CREC), contractor of Padma Bridge Rail Link Project, has appealed to the Bangladesh government to reopen flights between Bangladesh and China as flight suspension is affecting this mega project.
In a statement, CREC said the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project is an important cooperation project between China and Bangladesh.At present, the project is in a full swing stage; hence the project personnel require frequently traveling between China and Bangladesh.
Around 30 people involved in the projects need to travel between China and Bangladesh every week, including the project managers, safety and quality personnel, and technical construction personnel in key positions.
Due to the outbreak of the pandemic, the project management personnel and the on-site labor organization arrangements have been continuously affected.
“And now, the flight suspension policy has even worsened the project progress. If these personnel cannot return timely to the construction site from China, some working procedures are going to be difficult to implement, and some works will even be forced to be suspended. This will directly affect the progress of the construction”, reads out the statement.
It is reported that despite the pandemic, trading and other operations between China and Bangladesh have all seen increases in January-February this year.
At present, the pandemic situation in China has been effectively controlled. The Chinese personnel who came to Bangladesh were all vaccinated with two shots, and therefore they will not pose any risk of infection to Bangladesh.At the same time, the personnel in many key positions said that they would not want to come to Bangladesh again if the Bangladesh government formulates a policy of centralized quarantine in designated places for Chinese personnel who will return to Bangladesh in the future. These factors have seriously affected the progress of the project.
They said that with the deterioration of the pandemic situation in Bangladesh, the suspension of flights led to serious congestion of ships that carry steel beams, steel bars, geotechnical materials, etc., ordered by the project in Chattogram.
Besides, the high port demurrage charges, additional port storage charges and fuel charges have caused the project severe financial loss.
The mobilization of steel beams, rails, and more also had to be delayed, posing a challenge to the project's material supply, it added.
“Taking the impacts mentioned above into cognizance, CREC as the contractor of Padma Bridge Rail Link Project representing the Chinese companies in Bangladesh, sincerely appeal to the Bangladesh government to reopen flights between China and Bangladesh”, said the statement.