ECNEC Meeting

Chittagong Dohazari Railway is being converted to dual gauge (ECNEC)

Chittagong Dohazari railway is being dual gauged at a cost of around 13,500 crores. Although somewhat discussed and criticized, the project was approved by ECNEC (Executive Committee of the National Economic Council) yesterday. Initiatives have been taken to implement this new project to decongest the Chittagong – Cox’s Bazar rail link. It has also been alleged that the cost of this project to convert the existing old meter gauge railway from Chittagong to Dohazari to dual gauge is too high.

According to sources , there is a 47 km meter gauge railway from Chittagong to Dohazari. This long-standing route has already become quite popular. Railways took the initiative to convert this route into dual gauge. Again , a ‘connecting curve’ will be constructed to connect Dhaka – Chittagong railway with Chittagong Cox’s Bazar railway from Pahartali of the city via Jhautla . The length of the proposed railway is 52 km. Railways has spent 116 crore 84 lakh dollars or about 13 thousand 436 crore 60 rupees to implement this new project.

Commenting that the cost of railway construction is excessive , the sources said that the construction of Dohazari Kangbazar railway line has not been so extensive. However, a related official said that about 103 acres of land has to be acquired to implement this project. Land acquisition cost has increased as compared to any time in the past. At present, three times the Mauza value has to be paid to encroach on any land. The prices of every mauzar in the country have been increased. He also mentioned that the project cost increases a lot. Besides, 24 major and 95 minor bridges have to be rebuilt outside the railway line in the project. The cost of bridge construction has gone up a lot. Expenditure in these areas also increased as compared to earlier due to increase in rod cement and labor wages. Besides, two railway stations have to be constructed under the project. Costs have also increased here. Besides, the main work of the project is to convert the 107 km track to dual gauge which requires huge amount of money. The official commented on the condition of anonymity that the project cost is determined after taking everything into account.

Sources said that the land acquisition cost of the project has been estimated at Tk 2,428,390,000. The main work of the project i.e. railway track construction cost has been estimated at 1 thousand 753 crore 87 lakh taka. 1 thousand 72 crore 77 lakh taka is estimated to be spent on soil filling sector of the project. Under the project, 711 crore 97 lakh Taka for construction of station and building , 1 thousand 314 crore 36 lakh Taka for construction of bridge and culvert , 305 crore 77 lakh Taka for signaling and telecom and 309 crore 73 lakh Taka for plant and equipment. Apart from this, an expenditure of Tk 588 crore has been fixed in the consultancy sector.
Referring to the fact that ADB is providing loan assistance for the implementation of the project, sources said , ADB is supposed to provide loan assistance of 760 million dollars for this project. The rest of the money will be provided by the government from its own funds. A railway official said that it is necessary to double line the Chittagong – Dohajari meter gauge railway. Under this project, 107 kilometers of railway will be constructed. He also commented that this project is very important to speed up the Chittagong-Kongbazar railway line.

News Source : Dainik Azadi

error: Content is protected !!