Tuesday, 29 November, 2022
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8th Five Year Plan

Massive BR overhaul schemes in the offing

Massive BR overhaul schemes in the offing

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The government has taken a massive move to upgrade the country’s railway network as the sector is considered as the safest, comfortable, affordable and environment-friendly means for transporting passengers and goods, reports UNB.

According to an official document, considering the importance of the railway sector the government wants to implement several projects “to ensure a balanced and integrated development”.

All these activities will be done under the 8th Five Year Plan (2021-2025), which targets to achieve 8.51 percent GDP growth with yearly 8 percent growth on average in the next five years. The plan also envisages reducing the poverty rate to 15.6 percent at the end of the deadline.

Under the 8th Five-Year Plan, comprehensive steps will be taken for construction of 798.09 km new railway lines, 897 km of dual gauge/double railway lines parallel to existing railway lines and renovation of 846.51 km of railway network.

It also includes construction of nine important railway bridges and other infrastructural development schemes including level crossing gates, construction of domestic container depos, building and modernisation of repair and maintenance outlets.

The document says that under the 8th Five-Year Plan there will be procurement of 160 locomotives, 1,704 passenger coaches, modern maintenance equipment, improvement of signaling system at 222 stations and strengthening of railway management.

Meanwhile, the government is implementing the 30-year revised Master Plan (2016-2045) of the Bangladesh Railway.

According to the plan, steps have been taken for connecting Dhaka with Cox’s Bazar, Mongla Seaport, Tungipara, Barishal, Chattogram Hill Tracts and other parts of the country under the railway network.

The initiatives included in the plan are: establishing Trans-Asian Railway and Regional Railway Network and connecting important cities with nearest suburbs by introducing modern commuter train service.

The Trans-Asian Railway network, which was initiated in the 1960s, comprises 114,000 km of rail routes of international importance. It aims to offer efficient rail transport services for goods and passengers within the ESCAP (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) region and between Asia and Europe.

Under this master plan, 230 projects will be implemented in 6 phases at a cost of Tk. 5,50,000 crore.

The document said that the overall progress of Padma Multipurpose Rail Link Project is 58 percent while the overall progress of construction work of the double track dual gauge railway bridge on the river Jamuna is 40 percent.

It also says 71 percent construction work of the single line dual gauge track from Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar via Ramu and from Ramu to Gundum, near Myanmar border, has been completed.

In addition, approximately 90 percent work of the Khulna-Mongla railway project has been completed.

Construction work of Rupsha Rail Bridge is nearly completed, it says.

The government has also taken initiatives to build railway line from Bhanga in Faridpur to Payra port via Barishal and Patuakhali to connect Payra Port with Padma Rail Link.

The approval of the revised manpower structure of 47,703 posts is in the process, which will enhance the quality of service of railways, according to the document.