• Monday, Jan 17, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:02 am

ED: Remaining on track

  • Published at 04:31 pm November 30th, 2020
Empty train bogies at Kamalapur  Railway Station mehedi hasan
Empty train bodies at Kamalapur Railway Station in Dhaka Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

These are the sorts of projects that will be integral to Bangladesh for its future

The proposed railway bridge over the Jamuna River should prove to be an excellent addition to address connectivity in the country, in particular, the overall capacity of our railway sector.

The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge is set to be open for traffic in late 2024, and will allow 88 trains on a daily basis to travel over it, while significantly increasing the speed that these trains are allowed to travel over the bridge -- increasing both freight and passengers, and naturally improving overall regional connectivity.

These are the sorts of projects that will be integral to Bangladesh for its future, and if Bangladesh is indeed to fulfill its economic ambitions, they must become commonplace.

However, while such megaprojects are indeed a cornerstone for Bangladesh’s upward trajectory as an economy, it is extremely important for all the authorities concerned to remain committed to this project and ensure that there is no scope for any nefarious activity that derails its progress.

Indeed, this project was first proposed in 2012, and has taken eight long years for it to be greenlit, painting an extremely troubling picture with regards to the delays that projects generally experience in Bangladesh.

Furthermore, we have seen misappropriation, neglect, and corruption, all of which continue to stain projects even of this magnitude, delaying them for years on end, and requiring significant budget appraisals in order to accommodate for these missteps.

This is not only unsustainable from a financial point of view, but simultaneously a source of frustration for citizens. We cannot be burning through time and money with such disregard, especially during such a crucial juncture in our history, when all investment made must be utilized with maximum efficiency.

Thus, while we commend the long-term planning behind the project, we must ensure that we do not allow the same mistakes to prevent it from reaching its full potential.

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