A long-awaited railway project between Bogura and Sirajganj will shorten travel distance by 112 kilometres and save three hours.
Bangladesh Railway set to sign a contract with an Indian joint venture firm for the project’s feasibility study, detailed design, and preparing tender documents.
Under The project for constructing the 86.51km dual gauge rail line from Bogura to Shaheed M Mansur Ali Station in Sirajganj.
The existing railway distance from Dhaka to Bogura is 324km and once the proposed rail line is built, the distance will be cut short to 212km.
It will also cut the distance and travel time between Dhaka and other northern districts, including Gaibandha, Rangpur, Kurigram and Lalmonirhat.
This is one of the six projects being implemented under the Indian Line of Credit. India would provide Tk 3,146.59 crore or 56.39 percent of the total project cost in soft loans.
Under the project, seven new stations would be built at Kalia Haripur, Krishnadia, Raiganj, Chandaikona, Sherpur, Aria Bazar and Ranihat. Besides, the new line will connect three existing stations– Shaheed M Mansur Ali, Kahaloo and Bogura.
Currently, if anyone wants to go to Bogura from Sirajganj, they have to travel via Iswardi, Santahar and Kahaloo.
On October 30, 2018, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the project.
But the project authorities have so far been able to select consultants following lengthy tender and approval processes involving several authorities from both Bangladesh and India. The Covid-19 pandemic increased the delay.
Contract with the Indian joint venture is likely to be signed on September 27. Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan and Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram K Doraiswami are expected to join the programme.
The project will be finished by June 2023. However, starting the physical work would depend on how quickly they would be able to complete the bidding process. In that case, the project deadline has to be extended.