Railway minister Nurul Islam Sujan said that 55 per cent of the construction work of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge has been completed.
“As the work is going on in full swing, it will open to traffic before its scheduled time of August 2024,” he said while talking to reporters after visiting the east side of the bridge construction project today.
The minister said that 1.15 km of the 4.8 km long bridge over the Jamuna River is already visible. Engineers have so far installed 11 spans on 12 pillars. The overall progress of the construction work is satisfactory, he added.
While replying to a question, Sujan said the bridge has a double-gauge dual-line structure. The trains will run at a speed of 120 kmph on broad gauge and will take five minutes to cross the new rail bridge - the current rail connection takes around 40 minutes. As a result, the time will be reduced a lot.
He further said that the communication with Trans Asian Railway will be established through this bridge. Besides, train communication with neighboring countries India, Nepal and Bhutan will improve. It will be possible to run more trains which will increase the number of domestic trains as well as inter-city trains and direct freight trains from India, added the minister.
The 4.8km-long dedicated railway bridge is being built parallel to the existing Bangabandhu Bridge to relieve pressure on the bridge and provide hassle-free rail communications between the capital and the western zone of Bangladesh Railway.
With over one thousand engineers, officials, staff, and workers working round-the-clock, project officials are confident that the project will be completed by 2024, according to the project details.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge on 29 November, 2020.
The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Rail Bridge project, being built with the financial assistance of JICA, will also help boost the economy of the northern region of the country in addition to improving train services.
Local lawmaker Tanvir Hasan, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge Project Director Al Fattah Md Masudur Rahman and senior officials concerned were present at the time.