Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Bangladesh Sunday signed $50 million loan agreement for improving capacity and safety of the railway system in Bangladesh.
Mohammad Mejbahuddin, Senior Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Kazuhiko Higuchi, Country Director, Bangladesh Resident Mission of ADB, signed the agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB respectively, at a ceremony at ERD, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka, said a press release.
The assistance is the fourth tranche of the $430 million multitranche financing facility agreed between Bangladesh and ADB in 2006 to improve the railway system across the country through the Railway Sector Investment Program. Under the program, ADB has already provided $130 million, $150 million and $100 million as first, second and third tranches respectively for double-tracking the Tongi–Bhairab Bazar Railway section, purchasing of 150 new passenger carriages, implementing reforms, rehabilitating yards, extending loops, and upgrading signaling.
The fourth tranche of $50 million will help completing the double-tracking of the 64 km Tongi–Bhairab Bazar railway section, rehabilitating yards and extending loops at 11 stations in the Darsana–Ishurdi–Sirajganj Bazar section, and improving signaling in the 78 km Darsana–Ishurdi section.
The Railway Sector Investment Program will support Bangladesh Railway for faster and more frequent services between Dhaka and Chittagong. The improved railway system will ease the pressure on the road network. With high population density, vulnerability to floods, and scarcity of land in Bangladesh, the railway offer safe, reliable, and affordable services and will benefit transport users as a whole, and especially exporters.
Railway is essential for higher economic growth and poverty reduction.
It will also help promote regional trade and investment by improving a cost-effective communication network.