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Projects under Indian LoCs: BR's performance unsatisfactory

| Updated: September 27, 2020 17:01:21

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The Bangladesh Railway's (BR) performance in implementing the projects under three Indian lines of credit (LoCs) has been recorded unsatisfactory even after a lapse of substantial time.

Sources said the state-run rail operator has long been implementing six development projects under the financial support worth Tk 110.32 billion.

Of the BR projects, the lone Khulna-Mongla port rail line development under the first LoC made 70-per cent progress until last August.

"With multiple problems, progress in Khulna-Mongla port rail project reached a level. However, 10 years of the project period have already gone…," said a source.

But progress in rehabilitation of Kulaura-Shahbazpur section and construction of Dhaka-Tongi third and fourth dual-gauge line and Dhaka-Joydevpur dual-gauge double line under first LoC were also not satisfactory.

Sources said the rehabilitation scheme, undertaken in 2011, did only 18-per cent work as of August, with only four months left before the project ends in December.

"The Indian contractor has already applied for two years' time extension," said an official.

He said the project has suffered as the Indian firm was slow in executing the project. It got the work order in 2015.

Progress in Dhaka-Tongi dual-gauge line and Dhaka-Joydevpur double line was recorded at 31 per cent.

But the delay in work was due to technical reasons, according to officials concerned.

The national rail track developer has to take time to make a decision to increase the height of Tongi bridge.

Under the second LoC, the BR has been implementing two projects but none of the schemes have made any progress even after elapsing two years.

The projects are double-line track between Khulna and Darshana junction and conversion of metre gauge into dual gauge from Parbatipur to Kaunia.

Officials said both projects got delayed as the BR had to wait for getting clearance for the expression of interest from the Indian authorities.

But they said requests for proposals for both projects have been called and contractors will be selected soon.

However, both projects got four years' tenure for implementation starting from 2018.

The project under third LoC has also suffered due to a delay in getting clearance from India.

According to the BR, dual-gauge track construction from Bogura to Shahid M Mansur Ali station has been planned for completion by 2022.

India has committed to providing $7.5 billion under three LoCs since 2010 for development projects, predominantly in road and railway sectors.


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