New Dhaka-Ctg rly track to reduce trip time by 2 hours
A new railway track is being laid on Dhaka-Chittagong route to reduce the travel time between the two major cities by two hours.
It will have a far-reaching impact on the country's trade and commerce, Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam said yesterday while proposing a Tk 5,320 crore budget for the communications ministry for FY08-09.
The amount combines both development and non-development budgets.
A broad-based reform initiative is underway to turn Bangladesh Railway into a profitable entity, Mirza Aziz said, adding that as part of the reforms Bangladesh Railway will be corporatised.
The finance adviser said the water-route distance between Dhaka-Mongla and Chittagong-Mongla has already been reduced by 300 kilometres with the development of Gabkhan canal.
"A new unit called Traffic Management for Safe Waterways has been formed in the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) to minimise the occurrence of accidents in the river ways," he said, adding that two high powered modern salvage vessels would be purchased for effective salvage operation.
Mirza Aziz said there is 0.7km road for each square kilometre land area in the country and the government should now concentrate on widening the roads and enhancing their quality.
Besides specific programmes to enhance efficiency and capacity of the Roads and Highways Department and development of road infrastructure, the government has approved construction of the Padma Bridge at a cost of Tk 10,162 crore.
"Currently, the design phase is underway for a quick start for the construction of this 5.58km long bridge," Mirza Aziz said.
The adviser said implementation of a strategic action plan is underway to build a cost effective, sustainable and safer public transport system in the capital. Link roads connecting Bijoy Sarani to Tejgaon Industrial Area and Airport Road to Rokeya Sarani will be constructed to reduce traffic congestion in Dhaka, he added.
The finance adviser proposed a budget of Tk 6,070 crore for the Bridges Division and Tk 226 crore for the shipping ministry.