Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Bangladesh Government on Wednesday signed $200 million loan agreement for new train carriages, locomotives and other equipment for Bangladesh’s rail network.
Saifuddin Ahmed, Joint Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance, and Yoshinobu Tatewaki, Officer-in-Charge, Bangladesh Resident Mission of ADB, signed the agreements on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB respectively, at a ceremony at ERD, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital Dhaka.
“The additional locomotives and passenger carriages will enable Bangladesh Railway to satisfy steadily growing demand for safe, affordable and energy efficient rail transport,” said Yoshinobu Tatewaki. “This assistance will help to build up the fleet capacity and operate additional trains on key rail corridors like Dhaka-Chittagong and Dhaka-Khulna, where infrastructure improvements such as double-tracking and modernization of signaling are ongoing.”
The assistance under the Railway Rolling Stock Project, supported by further funds from the Government of Bangladesh, will finance about 250 passenger carriages, 10 locomotives, and state-of-the- art maintenance equipment. It will also provide training facilities for train drivers.
The project aims to increasing the number of train passengers by at least 10 per cent by 2021. It will also support the Government of Bangladesh’s goal of increasing Bangladesh Railway’s transport market share from 4.0 per cent to 10 per cent for passengers.
Upgrading capacity along key transport corridors has become increasingly urgent, as the current high demand for intercity rail services is not being met.
The project is part of ADB’s broader assistance for rail in Bangladesh, which includes double-tracking of the 64 km Tongi – Bhairab Bazar and 72 km Akhaura – Laksam sections of the Dhaka – Chittagong railway corridor.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.
Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.