Asian Development Bank (ADB) has suspended loans against four projects of Bangladesh Railway (BR) as the authorities could not make use of the fund within the period.
Sources said the BR has already suspended all kinds of disbursements against those projects, after receiving the ADB's letter on cancelling the loans due to completing 10 years since the approval. According to ADB, a loan against a project must be spent within 10 years of sanctioning. Among the projects, the Bangladesh Railway Reform Project needed more time to be completed, they said.
Though BR officials said most of the loans have already been spent against each of the projects, sources said that the main task of reforming the organogram and railway digitisation under the BR reform project is yet to be done.
"These works would need at least one year more to complete," according to a source. The digitisation part of the reform project would continue for four to five years.
According to the progress report of BR until June this year, Tk 18.13 billion was disbursed out of ADB's sanctioned Tk 18.23 billion for the construction of double track of Tongi-Bhairab Bazar project while Tk 1.84 billion was disbursed out of the Tk 2.36 billion BR reform project.
The BR has been able to complete 74 per cent of the BR reform project while 62 per cent work of procuring 100 MG and 50 BG coaches could be implemented.
A senior official at the BR, however, said that the ADB cancelled the loans due to technical reason, but expressed the hope that the Manila-based lender would again sanction the rest of the loan amount to facilitate completing the projects.
About procurement of coaches, he said an amount of Tk 5.71 billion was used out of the sanctioned Tk 7.93 billion as the coaches were purchased at lower than that of the estimated cost.
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