Bangladesh Railway (BR) authorities have been asked to speed up the implementation work of four projects, including the Akhaura-Agartala rail link project, financed by the Indian grant and the first Line of Credit (LoC).
The directive came at a meeting of the Railway Ministry on Thursday, as it reviewed the progress of the projects being implemented using three Indian LoCs.
The meeting, chaired by Railways Minister Mujibul Haque, also advised the respective project offices to complete necessary procedures in this regard by March to accelerate the work, sources said.
The meeting noted that the four railway projects which were taken under the first LoC and a grant were progressing very slowly. The physical progress of these four projects is insignificant, meeting sources said.
Of the four projects, the Akhaura-Agartala Dual Gauge Rail Link project was taken in 2015 under an Indian grant of Tk 4.2 billion. The three other projects are Khulna-Mongla rail line construction project, Kulaura-Shahbazpur section rehabilitation project, and the Dhaka-Tongi section 3rd and 4th Dual gauge lane and Tongi-Joydevpur Section Dual Gauge line construction project.
Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr Moshiur Rahman, Railway Secretary Mofazzel Hossain and BR Director General Amzad Hossain attended the meeting. Indian Railway Advisor Dibanjon Roy and representatives of Indian Exim Bank and BR officials concerned were also present.
The meeting was informed that US $816 million was allocated for 12 projects under the first LoC signed in 2010, and $325.67 million has been disbursed.
Under the 2nd and 3rd LoCs, $503.17 million has been allocated for implementing three more projects and $526.23 million for two other projects.
But as the DPP or development project proposals were not approved for these five projects, there was no disbursement for them, BR officials said.
Of the 12 projects under the first LoC, six projects have been completed and three more are scheduled to be completed by June this year.
Sources said the project offices of the three delayed projects told the meeting that project costs may go up now and requested the Indian side to consider it.
Delay in getting clearance from the Indian Exim Bank and some other technical reasons are behind the slow progress of these projects, they said.
The meeting also discussed various problems, like land acquisition, which are hindering the implementation work, and directed the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to resolve them.