Train operation on the Dhaka-Narayanganj rail route is set to resume on 1 August, Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan has said.
The coordination with the Padma Bridge rail link project caused some delays in the construction of a dual gauge line parallel to the existing line from Kamalapur to Narayanganj, the minister said yesterday after visiting the project site.
The minister said the dual gauge single line is currently being upgraded to double line. The work on both projects is being carried out simultaneously to ensure swift progress.
The railways minister arrived at Narayanganj's Chashara railway station in the morning, riding on a small-sized high-speed special vehicle from Kamalapur.
The minister stayed at Chashara station for about 20 minutes and went back to Kamalapur after briefing journalists.
He told reporters that a trial run of train movement from Kamalapur to Bhanga via Padma Bridge is expected to commence in the first week of September, followed by an official inauguration by the prime minister.
He hoped that the dual gauge double line work will be completed within the scheduled timeframe of June next year. The minister said the Padma Bridge rail line will be completed by 2024.
In addition to the Dhaka-Narayanganj route and the Padma Bridge project, the minister also revealed plans for a major project from Khulna to Mongla and from Dohazari in Chattogram to Cox's Bazar.
Afzal Hossain, project director for the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project, and Selim Raouf, project director for "Construction of a Dual Gauge Line parallel to the Existing Meter Gauge Line in Dhaka Narayanganj Section" were present, among others, during the minister's visit.
Afzal Hossain said work on 79km of the 82km rail line from Dhaka to Bhanga has been completed.
Last year, Bangladesh Railway announced that the Dhaka-Narayanganj train services would be halted for three months starting from 4 December due to the work on the Padma Bridge rail line project over Narayanganj.
The services on the line are to be resumed after they remained halted for eight months – five months longer than the committed time.