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Pranab, Hasina open broad gauge locomotives, wagons supplied under Indian LoC

DHAKA, March 5, 2013 (BSS) - Visiting Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today jointly inaugurated broad gauge (BG) locomotives and tank wagons of Bangladesh Railway (BR) supplied under the Indian Line of Credit (LoC).

The Indian president and the Bangladesh premier jointly flagged off a locomotive with 20 tank wagons and one brake van at the Cantonment Station here this morning.

Ministers, advisers, high commissioners of Bangladesh and India and high civil and military officials were present at the brief function.
On the occasion, the Cantonment Station was tastefully decorated
with flowers and other things.

Earlier, Director General of Bangladesh Railway Mohammad Abu Taher highlighted various measures for the development of BR under the LoC.

Taher said 11 railway projects have already been undertaken for US Dollar 630 million out of $736 million allocated for 14 projects under the $1 billion LoC. Two more projects are waiting for inclusion
under the LoC, he added.

The state-run BR is procuring 26 BG locomotives from RITES,
India against two contracts to replace age-old locomotives which have
crossed their economic life. The BR is also procuring 165 BG tank
wagons with 6 brake vans from Texmaco, India for carrying fuel to
different power plants of Power Development Board and others, he

Following the decision of the joint communiqu‚ signed on January
10, 2010 between Bangladesh and India during Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina's visit to New Delhi, Indian Premier Dr Manmohan Singh
announced the $1 billion LoC for Bangladesh including railway
infrastructure and procurement of broad gauge and meter gauge
rolling stocks.

The loan agreement was signed on August 7 in 2010 between
Bangladesh government and EXIM Bank of India in the presence of
the then Indian finance minister and currently the President, Pranab

As per the delivery schedule, the supply of BG locomotives was
supposed to commence in April 2013 at the rate of two locomotives
per month and BG tank wagon in March-May 2013.

At the request of BR, the delivery schedule has been advanced, and
the first lot of two locomotives and 20 BG tank wagons with brake
van has already been arrived in the last week of February.

These two BG locomotives along with 20 BG tank wagons and one
brake van were put into operation today after the formal inauguration
by the Indian president and Bangladesh premier.