The minister says launching rail route the same day as road communication won’t be possible if the Bridge Authority doesn’t hand over the rail section by January
Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan said that it will not be possible to introduce a train on Padma Bridge on the same day as the inauguration of road communication if the railway section of the bridge is not handed over to the railway authority by next December.
"It will take six months to install rail tracks on the main bridge. If the Bridge Authority hands over [the rail section] by next December, trains can run on Bhanga-Mawa route through the Padma Bridge on the same day along with the road," he said on Tuesday.
While inspecting the railway links on both sides of the Padma Bridge, Sujan said that the Dhaka-Bhanga railway route will be launched on December 16 in 2022.
He said the Bridge Authorities is not allowing the railway authority to start the construction of roads, electricity and gas connections and walkways on the Padma Bridge before March next.
He added that the overall progress of the Padma Bridge from Mawa to Bhanga is at 71%. Besides, 40% progress has been made from Dhaka to Mawa.
"And it will take six months to complete the work of the railway. As a result, it will not be possible to complete the work by June. That's why there is uncertainty about the inauguration of the bridge's road and railway together," the railways minister said.
The Padma Bridge project includes a 13 km railway line from Viaduct-2, Viaduct-3 and the main bridge to Mawa and Bhanga. The work of the railway project up to Mawa Viaduct-3 has already been completed.
Railways Secretary Selim Reza, Director General of Bangladesh Railway Dhirendranath Majumder, Padma Bridge Rail Link Project Director Md Afzal Hossain, Additional Superintendent of Police of Munshiganj (Srinagar Circle) Md Asaduzzaman, Louhjong Upazila Nirbahi Officer Abdul Awal and Padma Bridge Executive Engineer Dewan Abdul Quader were, among others, present on the occasion.
The railway line from Dhaka to Jessore will be launched by June 30, 2024. And the railway from Dhaka to Bhanga will be launched by December next year. 43.50% of railway work from Dhaka to Jessore has been completed.
Construction of a 169 km railway line from Dhaka to Jessore is underway at a cost of Taka 39,246 crore. There will be 20 stations on this route, of which 14 are new and six are existing.