As the latest deadline expired in June this year, the project authority has sought another extension period of at least one year as they could complete only 68% work till July this year
Construction work on the Khulna-Mongla railway project is progressing at a slow pace after being suspended for more than two months due to the coronavirus pandemic and persistent rainfall.
The 65km railway project was taken up in 2010 in order to boost communication between Khulna and Mongla which was supposed to be completed in three years.
As the latest deadline expired in June this year, the project authority has sought another extension period of at least one year as they could complete only 68% work till July this year.
In the meantime, the project missed several deadlines and the cost rose more than doubled the original estimate.
According to the authorities, the estimated Tk3,801 crore project includes a 65km railway line divided into eight stations from Fultala to Mongla port and the length of the railway bridge alone will be 5.13km.
The landfilling has already been completed after acquiring 751 acres in Khulna and Bagerhat while preparations for laying the slippers are almost at the final stage.
Although stones, concrete slippers and other equipment were brought to the project area, due to the coronavirus situation, all the work of the project came to a halt on March 26.
The slow progress of the project is said to be due to delays in land acquisition, change of consultant in the middle of work, repeated failure in piling, and base grounding alongside the pandemic and rains.
Ariful Islam, the executive engineer of the project, said although that the construction was halted from March 26 due to the pandemic and rain it has resumed from May.
“We aren’t being able to bring any equipment from India. However, with the goods in the project area, the work will continue for another six months,” he said.
The project was expected to finish in December 2020 upon the third extension but there is a proposal to extend it further, Ariful said.
Khulna-Mongla railway project Additional Chief Engineer Ahmed Hossain Masum said the work was halted for about two months due to the coronavirus outbreak even though there was necessary equipment at the ready at the construction site.