Dhaka-Bhanga Rail Line: Likely to open in late Sept
Installation of rail lines from Dhaka to Bhanga will be completed next week and the authorities have sought time from the prime minister to inaugurate the section towards the end of September, officials said.
Bangladesh Railway will likely to launch commercial train service on the Dhaka-Bhanga route in early October with one train. The number of trains will be increased gradually, they said.
The Dhaka-Bhanga section is part of the Tk 39,246.80 crore project to link Dhaka and Jashore via the Padma Bridge and the officials said that it could take up to July next year for the Bhanga-Jashore section to be completed.
When the 169km line is fully operational, it will halve the travel time to Jashore from Dhaka and bring Munshiganj, Shariatpur, Madaripur and Narail under the rail network.
The project was approved in May 2016 and the delay in signing the loan agreement with China caused a late start. The physical work began in July 2018.
"Installation of the rail line on the entire Dhaka-Bhanga section will be completed within August 25," Project Director Afzal Hossain told The Daily Star yesterday.
BR will run some tests and then carry out trials before September 10, he said.
"We have sought time from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to open the line. We mentioned that we will be ready for opening the section in the last week of September. So, we hope the line will be opened in the last week of September or the first week of October," he said.
Replying to a question, he said three new stations -- Mawa, Padma (Janjira) and Shibchar -- would be ready at the beginning. It would take two to three months more to make the other stations of this section ready. He said the Bhanga junction would be ready in March next year.
The PD said they have not picked which train would run first but the Pakshey Division of the BR has suggested that Modhumoti Express, which runs between Bhanga and Rajshahi, be used. If picked, Modhumoti Express would then run between Rajshahi and Dhaka via Bhanga.
He said the installation of 15km of rail line on the Bhanga-Jashore section has already been completed and they hope that the line would be opened in June or July next.
Replying to a question, he said they would need six more months to finish some related work after the opening and one year more as a defect liability period.
"So, we would seek one and a half years more time for completing the project. However, there would be no cost escalation," he added.