Bangladesh Railway is yet to confirm any funding for Padma Bridge rail tracks that ensure communication between Faridpur and the capital via Mawa-Jajira.
Finally the railway has been waiting for the Chinese investment to implement the project as it earlier failed to manage loan from Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA).
Railway Minister Mujibul Haque while visiting Gandariya rail station yesterday told the reporters: “We are looking for funds and we have sent letters to China embassy for loans or donations for the project. The 82km rail track requires Tk17,000 crore.”
However, the cost saw a significant rise from Tk12,814 crore only five months ago.
Being failed to draw attention from the ADB and JICA, the state authorities have contacted the China government for financial and technical support for the project.
Though Railway signed MoU with China Railway Group (CRG) on January 24 this year to get technical support, the fund crisis put a bar to reach a final agreement with CRG.
On the contrary, the feasibility study and site selection works have already started without the fund confirmation. Sources said the government is expected to sign a loan agreement soon with the Chinese government for this project. The 44.32km rail track is to connect Dhaka from the bridge and 6.15km is to span the bridge while 31.85km for connecting Bhanga of Faridpur to the bridge.
However, Mujibul Haque said: “We are hopeful of having completed the rail tracks with the completion of Padma Bridge.”
The government expects to inaugurate the much-awaited Padma Multipurpose Bridge by 2018.