Taka 3,507 crore Khulna-Darshana double line railway project awaits ECNEC nod


DHAKA, May 7, 2018 (BSS) – The government has initiated a big move to construct a double line railway track on Khulna-Darshana section under the Indian 2nd Line of Credit in a bid to enhance the capacity of Bangladesh Railway on Dhaka-Khulna and Khulna-Chilahati corridor.

“The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in its next meeting on Tuesday is likely to consider a project to this end,” said a Planning Commission official.

ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will preside over the meeting to be held at the NEC conference room in the capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

The official told BSS that Bangladesh Railway under the Railways Ministry will implement the project titled ‘Construction of double line railway track on Khulna-Darshana junction section’ at an estimated cost of Taka 3,506.75 crore to be implemented by December 2022.

“Of the total project cost, Taka 2,689.92 crore will come as project assistance from India under its 2nd Line of Credit while the rest of Taka 816.82 crore from the state coffer,” added the official.

The official said once the project is implemented, it would address the growing demand of national, regional and international railway traffic and thus boost connectivity between Bangladesh and India.

According to the draft Development Project Proposal (DPP), the existing Khulna-Darshana section on Dhaka-Khulna corridor is a single BG line section and it is directly linked with the Khulna-Dhaka, Khulna-Chilahati and Khulna-Rajshahi routes.

Under the project, the Khulna-Darshana section will be upgraded into double line through erection of some 126.25 kilometer BG railway track and thus address the growing demand of commuters and good transportation.

Besides, the proposed double line railway track will also facilitate transportation of fuel to the proposed fuel-based power plants in Harian, Bheramara, Santahar, Bangabandhu Bridge west station, Amanura, Faridpur, Thakurgaon and Rangpur.

Talking to the national news agency, another official at the Bangladesh Railway said once the double line track in set up, it would facilitate rail communication with the Mongla port as already a project is underway to set up 53 kilometer railway track up to Mongla from Khulna.

As a result, importers from Nepal and Bhutan would also be able to import goods from Mongla port through the improved rail communication network.

The main project operations include some 126.25 kilometer main track works, some 14.40 kilometer loop line, some 317 meter bridge works, signaling works, electrical works, some 110 acres of land acquisition.

The project area covers Khan Jahan Ali area and Fultola upazilas under Khulna district, Abhaynagar and Jashore sadar upazilas under Jashore district, Kaliganj and Kotchandpur upazilas under Jhenidah district and Jibonnagar and Damurhuda upazilas under Chuadanga district.

The Pre-Evaluation Committee (PEC) meeting on the proposed project was held on July 30 last year where the Planning Commission recommended for considering the project by the ECNEC.