Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said Dhaka dwellers will witness different rail connectivity by 2030 to ease the traffic situation.
“InshaAllah, a different scenario will be established in Dhaka city by 2030 through rail communication,” she said.
The premier said this while inaugurating train movement from Rooppur, Shashidal and Joydebpur railway stations on the newly installed 69.20km rail track under three projects of Bangladesh Railway (BR).
Joining virtually the function from her official residence Ganabhaban in Dhaka, she also said the government has introduced Metro Rail which will be extended from Uttara to Kamalapur in future.
“Not only on the overhead (elevated route), but also we are going to underground . . .,” she said referring to the inauguration of construction works of the underground rail under MRT-I scheme.
“It (rail) will ease people’s communication, movement and save fuel cost as well as many more. Traffic of Dhaka city will be eased,” she said, adding that “We are formulating our plan in such way.”
With Railways Minister Md. Nurul Islam Sujan in the chair, Railways Secretary Dr. Md. Humayun Kabir delivered the welcome address.
Acting High Commissioner of India Dr Binoy George also spoke.
A video documentary on the three projects of BR was screened at the function.
The prime minister said her government has constructed Padma Multipurpose Bridge with own finance and kept the rail communication facilities on the bridge.
She said installation works of rail track on the Padma Multipurpose Bridge is going on fast alongside extension of the rail track to Rupdia and Singia of Jashore.
Besides, two fast track projects are being implemented rapidly to establish rail connectivity with the tourist city of Cox’s Bazar due to the initiative of Awami League (AL) government, she added.
Sheikh Hasina said her government is also constructing separate rail bridge on the Jamuna river, which is progressing fast.
“Those who once opposed the rail connectivity through the Bangabandhu Bridge alongside road communication, they again proposed to construct a separate rail bridge on the Jamuna River. Now construction works of the Bangabandhu rail bridge is going on,” she said.
Mentioning that Khulna-Bagerhat-Mongla rail route was shut down by Khaleda Zia during her tenure, the premier said now they are constructing new rail bridge along with rail track on this route.
She said Akhaura-Laksam Dual Gauge Double-Line, Dhaka-Tongi 3rd and 4th Dual Gauge Line and Tongi-Joydevpur Dual Gauge Double-Line are under construction.
In addition, the government is constructing Dhaka-Narayanganj dual-gauge line, Bhanga-Barisal-Paira Port railway line, Joydevpur-Ishwardi dual-gauge double-line, Khulna-Darshana dual-gauge double-line, Sirajganj-Bogura dual-gauge railway line, she said.
Moreover, work on Joydevpur-Mymensingh-Jamalpur dual-gauge double-line, Rooppur nuclear power plant rail-link, Akhaura-Agartala railway line, Dhirashram ICD project is in progress, she added.
The head of government said that for the purpose of transporting goods of Rooppur nuclear power plant, they took up the project titled “Rehabilitation and Construction of Railway Line with Signaling for Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant” with own funding.
Under the project, a total of 26.52km railway track including loop-line, Rooppur railway station building, 7 culverts, 13 level crossing gates and signaling-telecom works have been completed, she added.
As a result, the project area is connected to other parts of the country by rail, she continued.
Sheikh Hasina said they undertook the project to upgrade the Dhaka-Chattogram corridor to double-line.
Earlier, out of 321 km of this corridor, 249 km double-line construction has been completed, she said.
The project titled “Construction of Dual Gauge Double Rail Line from Akhaura to Laksam and Conversion of Existing Rail Line to Dual Gauge” was taken up with Asian Development Bank and European Investment Bank and self-financing for construction of remaining 72 km double-line.
Mentioning that Laksam-Cumilla train service started earlier, Sheikh Hasina said that now railway double line construction from Shashidal to Rajapur and from Kasba to Mandbagh has been completed which was inaugurated today.
“The double line on the remaining 33 km route will be completed in June this year, Inshaallah,” she added.
The prime minister also highlighted briefly the development works for railways in the last 14 years.
She said they have constructed 650 km of new railway lines, converted 280 km of meter gauge to dual gauge and rehabilitated/reconstructed 1,297 km of lines.
Besides, 126 new station buildings and 223 station buildings have been rehabilitated/reconstructed, she said.
In addition, 732 new railway bridges were constructed while 774 railway bridges were rehabilitated or reconstructed alongside rehabilitation of 50 broad gauge and 50 meter gauge passenger coaches, she went on saying.
Sheikh Hasina said they have collected 106 locomotives, 20 sets of DEMUs, 535 passenger carriages and 516 freight wagons.
They have developed and modernized signaling system at 130 stations, she said, adding that a total of 142 new trains including Mithali Express have been launched on 44 new and extended routes.
Earlier, the prime minister separately witnessed a presentation on the revival of Motijheel at Ganabhaban.