The government would soon appoint a consultant for designing the double-line dual-gauge 4.8-km "Bangabandhu Railway Bridge Construction" project across the Jamuna River. "The project has been undertaken to construct a separate railway bridge across the Jamuna River, a parallel to the existing Bangabandhu Bridge, to facilitate the smooth railway communication," Railways Minister M Mazibul Hoque told media on Wednesday. He has said once the "Bangabandhu Railway Bridge Construction" project is completed, dedicated railway network will be set up between the Northern Bangladesh and rest of the country.
The minister said the railway bridge would also have a positive impact on the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and the government has also approved a 20-year master plan to improve the railway sector, reports BSS. According to the project details, Bangladesh Railway (BR) would implement the proposed mega project at an estimated cost of Tk 9,734.07 crore, of which Tk 7,724.325 crore would come from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as project assistance under a soft loan agreement.
It said BR selected a Japanese consultant firm through price and technical negotiation from a shortlist of suitable responsive bidders for the much-talked about railway bridge project. "After the proposal for consultant appointment is passed in the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP), the government would issue notification of award (NoA) for the consultant firm," a senior official said.
Earlier the shortlist was prepared through expression of interest (EoI) and the government issued request for proposal (RFP) for submitting financial and technical offers, he said adding that the consultant would prepare design and tender documents for construction of the bridge. Meanwhile, BR conducted a feasibility study with financial support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for undertaking this project, also included in the 37th Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan package signed between Japan and Bangladesh on June 29 last year. The planned railway bridge is expected to be completed by 2023.