Govt hopeful of Padma bridge rail-links

Reazul Bashar
The government is hopeful of raising funds for the rail project on the proposed Padma bridge.

Bridge authority secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told on Thursday that the Asian Development Bank has promised to finance the project.

He said this following a working committee meeting on connecting roads and railway construction project. Communications minister Syed Abul Hossain chaired the meeting at Setu Bhaban.

Project director Rafiqul Islam told that around 50 kilometres of railway tracks will have to be constructed from Dhaka to Munshiganj’s Mawa and from Shariatpur’s Jajira to Faridpur’s Bhanga to connect the bridge with the existing rail network.

When asked about the funding, the project director echoed Bhuiyan and said, “ADB is surveying the construction of the 50-55 kilometres of rail path from Dhaka to Bhanga via Mawa.”

He expressed hope that the construction of the bridge will begin within the next year and said, “We are hopeful about completing the work of the bridge along with the link roads and rail path within the incumbent government’s tenure.”

A communications ministry official, who was also present at the meeting, quoting the minister, said, “Bangladesh government will fund the construction of the rail paths if the development partners do not provide aid.”

The 6.15 km bridge will be constructed jointly under the Roads and Highways Department and Bangladesh Railway. However, no connecting rail paths have been constructed yet.

The construction cost of the bridge has been estimated $ 2.9 billion of which development partners are to fund $ 2.65 billion.