Dhaka – The construction of a railway bridge on the river Jamuna will now cost 16,780.95 crore taka with a jump of additional 7,046.88 crore taka, which was approved by the national economic council on Tuesday.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the additional fund to kick start the railway bridge project this month to connect the northern part of the country with the capital Dhaka.
This will be an additional bridge to be named after Bangladesh’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman 300 meters upstream of the Bangabandhu Multipurpose Bridge on the river Jamuna.
The project cost for construction of the 4.8 kilometers dual-gauge double track bridge was earlier estimated at 9734.07 crore taka. The project is expected to be completed by 2025, said Planning Minister Abdul Mannan after the meeting.
He said the project was enhanced following a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), as Japan is funding the major shares of the cost as soft loan.
JICA will provide 12,149.19 crore taka, the minister told reporters at the Planning Commission building.
The potentials of rail freight transport with the neighboring countries could not be exploited properly with the existing Bangabandhu Bridge due to limited access load and speed limitations, according to the project rationale.
The second railway bridge would tap that potential, believe the railway officials. They added that the dedicated railway bridge will be opened for national and sub-regional rail traffic, both passenger and freight, in future.
The project operations include construction of a 4.8 kilometer long dual gauge double track bridge, construction of a 7.6 kilometer long double line railway approach embankment, erection of 30.73 kilometer dual gauge railway track, construction of 16 railway approach viaducts, minor bridges and culverts, renovation and remodeling of Bangabandhu Bridge East and Bangabandhu Bridge West stations and yards.
A railway museum will be built under the project. Ancillary infrastructures, conducting dredging at the approach channel and harbour of River Jamuna and river training on the both sides of the bridge are also under the project component.
The ECNEC at its meeting also approved seven other development projects involving 3,421.36 crore taka for protection of riverbank erosion and water supply in Dhaka among others.