Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to finance the feasibility study on Dhaka-Mawa rail line for helping the country get benefit of Padma multipurpose bridge.
The assurance came from a meeting between Communi-cations Minister Syed Abdul Hossain and visiting ADB Director General Sultan Hafeez Rahman held at the ministry’s conference room Tuesday.
It has generated hope for a direct rail route from Dhaka to Jessore which is vital for the Padma bridge, officials said.
The $2.9 billion Padma multipurpose bridge has been planned with road on top and rail below. Though the government announced the start of railway service through the Padma bridge from day one, it has to drop the plan due to fund constraints and time needed to establish the Dhaka-Mawa rail line.
The Bangladesh Railway has already taken an ambitious plan to construct 138-kilometre (km) rail route connecting Dhaka with Jessore via Bhanga, Pukuria, Faridpur and Pachuria in phases.
The minister informed the ADB delegate that work on double track Dhaka-Chittagong railway from Tongi to Bhairab bazaar would start within a month while the feasibility study on highway would be concluded shortly.
Both the projects are financed by ADB.
The director general was accompanied by five-member ADB delegation. DG of Bangladesh Railway TA Chowdhury, Chief Engineer of Roads and Highways Department M Shahbuddin, Dhaka Transport Coordination Board Executive Director Joynal Abedin and Additional ED Dewan Mohammad Saleh Uddin and Joint Secretary Mohammad Mostafa were present.