Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Dhaka-Chattogram rail tracks suitable for operating high-speed train, says ADB

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-02-01 21:28:15 BdST


The existing infrastructure for the Dhaka-Chattogram railway can be used to operate the high-speed train service, the Asian Development Bank or ADB has said.

Planning Minister MA Mannan spoke to journalists following a meeting with  ADB Country Director in Bangladesh Manmohan Parkash on Thursday.

“The high-speed train can be operated on the existing Dhaka-Chattogram rail tracks,” the minister told journalists citing the ADB country director.

The government plans to reduce the Dhaka-Chattogram train travel time from 8 hours to 2 hours by introducing high-speed train.

Bangladesh Railway has signed an MoU with a consultant firm to do a feasibility study and prepare design for high-speed railway.

“The high-speed service can be provided based on the existing tracks, which I was not aware of. ADB said they already have a survey done on the issue,” the minister said.

ADB has expressed its interest and the government will look into their proposal, he said.

The Manila-based development bank has questioned the speed of project implementation in Bangladesh.

“I told him to let us know at which point they want us to speed up,” Mannan said.

“They want a speedier implementation of projects in the country. The prime minister wants it and so do I.”

The ADB country director called Bangladesh the ‘top most’ debtor, he said.

According to ADB, it gave Bangladesh $5.8 billion in loan after India which received $4.6 billion in credit.

Acting High Commissioner of India in Bangladesh Adarsh Swaika also met the planning minister.

“They too urged us to speed up the implementation of the projects running under the finance of Indian line of credit,” said Mannan.