Feature: All eyes on rail link project after Padma Bridge opens to traffic in Bangladesh

(Xinhua) 08:55, July 22, 2022

DHAKA, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The history of crossing the mighty Padma river between dozens of districts in southern Bangladesh and the capital of Dhaka only by ferries or boats ended in June this year as the largest bridge in the South Asian country opened to traffic.

Now all eyes are on Padma Bridge Rail Link Project that will pass through the Padma Bridge, which was built by the China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Co, Ltd.

The 172-km Padma Bridge Rail Link Project is one of the most significant projects under construction by the China Railway Group Limited (CREC) in Bangladesh.

The Padma Bridge is located about 40 km southwest of Dhaka, with a total length of 9.8 km, and the main bridge is 6.15 km long.

According to Bangladeshi Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan, it will be possible to run trains on one of the Rail Link Project's three sections, Dhaka to Bhanga in central Faridpur district for some 81 km by June 2023.

The section from Dhaka to Jessore, some 164 km southwest of Dhaka, will be completed in 2024.

Md Afzal Hossain, project director of the rail link project, said this is the biggest project of Bangladesh Railway, and it is also the government's fast-track project.

"Although we suffered setback due to COVID-19, our work never stopped. The pandemic is lingering this year, but we're still working," he said.

According to Hossain, the project is being implemented in three sections, from Dhaka to Mawa, from Mawa to Bhanga and from Bhanga to Jessore. Hossain said up to June, progress in Dhaka-Mawa section is 64 percent.

Progress in Mawa-Bhanga section is about 80 percent, and in Bhanga- Jessore part 47 percent, he said.

"At present our work is in full swing everywhere. The work of laying track is going on," Hossain said.

Habib, a worker at a project site in Keraniganj on the outskirts of Dhaka, said they were working very fast. "This line is going through the Padma Bridge.

"We never thought that we would have a railway line (over the river) in Bangladesh. We're very happy for this railway line. We're very proud," he said.

Farhat Khan, a worker from Rajbari district in central Bangladesh, said he felt very proud to work on the rail link project.

"I've been working on the project for three and a half years. We're very happy that the rail link project is being implemented (despite COVID-19)," he said.

Shi Yuan, project director of the project from CREC, said they did all kinds of construction work. "We entered the Bangladeshi market 20 years ago. At the moment we are concentrating on the rail construction and we will remain here and build Bangladesh together with the Bangladeshi people."

The employer of the project, Bangladesh Railway, has highly praised CREC's persistent efforts in the construction of the mega project. 

(Web editor: Wu Chaolan, Liang Jun)


Related Stories