The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed a $200 million loan agreement with the government for modernising Bangladesh Railway (BR), with increasing its passengers and goods transport capacities.
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, Dhaka.
Under the agreement, the government will buy 250 passenger carriages, 10 locomotives, and state-of-the- art maintenance equipment. The ADB will also provide training facilities for train drivers while the government will arrange additional funding for the project.
“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.
The ADB official said the assistance would also help BR 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 project aims to increase the number of train passengers by at least 10.0 percent by 2021. It will also support the government’s goal of increasing Bangladesh Railway’s transport market share from 4.0 percent to 10.0 percent for passengers.
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, reports BSS.