BANGLADESH Railways (BR) has received proposals from 21 international companies in response to a tender to conduct a feasibility study for construction of a new 200km railway between Dhaka and Chittangong.
The Ministry of Railways and the Economics Relations Division (ERD) are currently scrutinising the proposals, and the ministry is set to shortlist five or six companies for the Taka 1bn ($US 12.42m) feasibility and Taka 360m consultancy contracts “soon.” Work on the feasibility study is expected to be completed by December 2018.
The line will run on a new alignment via Narayangani, Comilla, Laksham, and Feni. The Dhaka - Narayangani section will follow the existing railway, while the Narayangani - Daudkandi section will run on an elevated alignment. The line will require dozens of new bridges, including two large spans across the Shitalakkhya and Meghna rivers.
The new line is expected to cut journey times between Bangladesh’s two largest cities by over five hours compared with the seven-10-hour journey on the existing 320km line between the two cities.