Railways Minister inaugurates Chinese sleeper manufacturing factory for Padma Rail Link Project
China Railway Group Limited (CREC) has set up a railway sleeper manufacturing factory at Bhanga in Faridpur, which will supply slippers for Padma Bridge Rail Link Project.
Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan today inaugurated the factory.
CREC is also the construction contractor of the rail link project.
The factory will supply more than 3.7 lakh sleepers for the rail link.
The factory had started producing sleepers from August on limited scale and railways minister formally inaugurated it today.
Wang Kun, project director for CREC, said they have set up the factory to dispel uncertainty over global procurement of sleepers amid pandemic, and to produce slippers quickly while maintaining quality.
Around 200 locals were given training for the works and the factory will be able to produce up to 500 sleepers daily, he said.
"This is a factory with modern facilities. Sleepers are being produced here using machines by maintaining quality," the railways minister told reporters after visiting the factory.
CREC has brought technology and machines from China, he said.
"We will take decision upon consultation with them (CREC) whether the factory can be used for producing sleepers for Bangladesh Railway after completion of the project," Nurul Islam Sujan also said.
The BR is implementing Padma Bridge Rail Link Project to connect the capital with Jashore with a 169-kilometre long rail line at a cost of Tk 39,246 crore, with Exim Bank of China providing Tk 21,036.70 crore as loan.
CREC built the factory on Bangladesh Railway's land and will have to pay rent for it, a BR official said.
However, the rent related issues have not been settled yet, the official said wishing anonymity.
Railways Ministry Secretary Salim Reza, BR's Director General Md Shamsuzzaman and Project Director Golam Fakhruddin Ahmed Chowdhury, among others, accompanied the minister during the inauguration of the factory.
Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming was supposed to take part in the programme, but he did not appear as the Covid-19 situation is deteriorating, Sujan said.
Wang Kun read out a message from the Chinese ambassador before media.