DCRP Rail Track

Railway revolution: Ctg-Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar trial premieres this October

The Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar Railway deemed a “fast track project,” is on the cusp of its grand inauguration in Bangladesh. In 2018, this ambitious endeavor set its sights on connecting Chittagong to Cox’s Bazar. With the trial run of the train on the Ctg-Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar route slated for the upcoming month, the project is propelled forward to begin its journey of connecting the Southernmost side of the country.

This visionary project holds the promise of seamlessly linking the alluring tourist haven of Cox’s Bazar with the bustling capital city of Dhaka. With the opening of the rail service, the District will effectively become the 45th district that will be accessible via road, air, and now, rail. With a substantial budget of over BDT 18 thousand crores, meticulous preparations are currently in full swing, setting the stage for its momentous inauguration in October 2023.

Back in 2010, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) granted approval for a monumental 128 km railway project. Its trajectory was destined to traverse from Chittagong’s Dohazari. This project set its aim at meandering through the picturesque landscape of Cox’s Bazar and culminating at Bandarban’s Ghumdhum Upazila, situated along the Myanmar border. The project has the lofty aspirations of connecting Bangladesh to the Trans-Asian Railway Corridor, ultimately forging a link with China through Myanmar. The symbolic foundation stone was laid in 2011, with an initial completion target of 2013. However, the project faced a series of delays, predominantly stemming from the challenges in contractor selection.

As an integral component of the Trans-Asian Rail Network, this railway harbors the potential for monumental regional connectivity. Regrettably, the construction of the pivotal 28-kilometer railway segment from Ramu to Ghumdhum remains suspended, largely due to sluggish progress on the Myanmar front.

The scope of this monumental project encompasses the construction of over 260 minor bridges and culverts, in addition to nearly 100 level crossings. To harmonize with the natural environment and ensure the unhindered movement of elephants and other wildlife, a 50-meter-long overpass and three underpasses are under construction. This project promises to create nine strategically located stations along the route from Dohazari in Chittagong to the pristine shores of Cox’s Bazar. These stations, namely Dohazari, Satkania, Lohagra, Harbang, Chakaria, Dulahazra, Islamabad, Ramu, and Cox’s Bazar, will serve as vital hubs in this transformative railway network. Inaugural operations will see a fleet of ten trains traversing the dual gauge tracks, providing seamless connectivity from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong to Cox’s Bazar.

Project Director Mohammad Mofizur Rahman, speaking with unwavering confidence, declared, “A train has been meticulously prepared and stands poised for its maiden trial run on the Chattogram-Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar route, scheduled for October 15, 2023. Remarkably, this milestone has been achieved seven months ahead of the stipulated timeline.”

Furthermore, Mofizur Rahman proudly stated, “We have crossed the formidable threshold of completing over 89 percent of the project’s construction work. Thus, we can now anticipate the culmination of the remaining tasks within a mere six months.”

In concrete terms, the construction of all 39 major bridges and 242 culverts has been successfully accomplished, with 95 out of the 100 kilometers of railway tracks firmly laid. The landscape now boasts three substantial bridges spanning the Sangu, Matamuhuri, and Bankhali rivers, complemented by 43 smaller bridges, 201 culverts, and 144-level crossings. Additionally, six out of the nine planned railway stations have reached their completion, with the remaining two or three stations poised for readiness by the upcoming December. the construction of these stations is currently advancing at full throttle.

The envisioned 100-kilometer route’s stations are designed to offer state-of-the-art facilities, featuring 100 percent computer-based interlocking signal systems and a fully digitized telecommunications network, setting new standards in railway infrastructure.

In terms of financing, a substantial portion of Tk 60.34 billion (Tk 6,034 crore) out of the total project cost of Tk 180.34 billion (Tk 18,034 crore) is sourced from domestic channels. The Asian Development Bank plays a pivotal role, providing Tk 120 billion (Tk 12,000 crore) in credit, while two esteemed Chinese firms take on the mantle of implementing this transformative vision.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of this project back in April 2011, sowing the seeds of progress and connectivity that are now bearing fruit. As the crowning jewel of this endeavor, an iconic rail station, shaped like a majestic oyster, is taking shape in Cox’s Bazar. It promises to offer international standard facilities, an emblem of progress and modernization, set against the backdrop of breathtaking natural beauty.

News Source: Press Xpress

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