Tk 17,542cr for railways ministry
DHAKA, June 3, 2021 (BSS) – An allocation of Taka 17,542 crore has been proposed for the Railways Ministry in the national budget for fiscal 2021-22 (FY22).
“Ensuring modern, safe, sustainable and environment-friendly transport and communication infrastructure is of paramount importance in building Bangladesh as a developed economy,” Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said this while placing the budget for 2021-22 fiscal in the House today.
He said the government has been working relentlessly to build an integrated domestic and international communication network through continuous and integrated investment in roads, bridges, railways, waterways and airways.
Another important goal of the government will be to strive for timely implementation of all nationally important projects including mega projects in the infrastructure sector, such as the Padma Bridge, Padma Rail Link Bridge, Dohajari-Cox’s Bazar Railway construction, Kamal said.
“In today’s world, within the land communication system, the railway sector is considered as the safest, comfortable, affordable and environment-friendly means for transporting passengers and goods,” he said.
Considering importance of railways as a public transport to meet the demands of large population for low cost and safe transportation, the minister said the government has taken various steps to ensure balanced and integrated development of the sector.
As part of 30 year revised master plan (2016-2045) of Bangladesh Railway, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla Port, Tungipara, Barisal, Chattogram Hill Tracts and other parts of the country will be brought under the railway network, he added.
“Projects have been taken up to establish Trans-Asian Railway and Regional Railway Network, and connect nearest suburbs with important cities like Dhaka, Chattogram, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Sylhet, etc. by introducing improved commuter train service. Under this master plan, 230 projects will be implemented in 6 phases at a cost of Tk. 5,53,662 crore,” Kamal said.
According to the 8th Five Year Plan, the governmnet will construct 798.09 km of new railway lines, 897 km of dual gauge/double railway lines parallel to existing railway lines, construct 9 important railway bridges, other crossings, level crossings, and construct and modernize 160 new locomotives, 1,704 passenger coaches and rehabilitate 886.51 km of railway lines.
Under the plan, modern maintenance equipment will be procured and improved signaling system at 222 stations, strengthened railway management and developed financial management activities.
Besides, Mitali Express was inaugurated on March 27, 2021 to carry passengers on Dhaka-Chilahati-Haldibari route between India and Bangladesh and six new trains were introduced on different routes, and an agreement was signed to purchase 150 passenger coaches.
The approval of revised manpower structure for 47,703 posts is under process, which will enhance railways services. Among the major projects being implemented in the railway sector, about 40 percent of the Padma Bridge Rail Link project, about 57 percent of the Chattogram-Dohazari-Ghumdum railway project and about 77.75 percent of the Mongla-Khulna railway project have been completed. In addition, implementation work on the Jamuna Rail Bridge and Rupsha Rail Bridge projects is well in progress.
The finance minister said Tk 3,984 crore was proposed for operating (non-development) expenditure and Tk 13,558 crore for development expenditure of the railways ministry.