Dhaka : The under-construction rail line between Chattogram and Cox's Bazar would be operational by December 2022, said Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan on September 22.
He visited the project site at the Cox's Bazar end and said the rail line would be open on December 16, 2022, said a press release issued from his ministry.
The deadline of the project is June 2022 but the pandemic-related problems and delay in getting lands from some government agencies have delayed the project implementation, he added.
"So, the date to inaugurate the line has been set in December next year, deferring the deadline for six months," the press release quoted the minister as saying.
This 100-km single line dual-gauge rail line is a part of the Trans-Asian Railway. "If Myanmar constructs a rail line up to Gundum in future, we will build a line up to that point," the minister added.
The minister visited under-construction station at Cox's Bazar and a part of embankment where around 6km of the line have already been installed.
However, the current deadline for the project is June 2022, including one-year defect liability period, but the project authorities have sought a two-year extension, citing several reasons.
The physical work of the project started in March 2018, around eight years after approval in July 2010, with 62 per cent progress so far.
If the Bangladesh Railway (BR) wants to open the rail line by December 2022, the project authorities have to complete the rest of the work (38 per cent) several months before the deadline.
"Because other works, including installing the signalling system, appointing manpower, preparing stations and carrying out a trial run, have to be done to make the line operational," a rail official said.
"We are trying our best to complete at least the civil work by December 2022. But it may take up to June 2023 to complete all of it. Then the one-year defect liability period would start," said a project official.
Please Subscribe and get updates in your inbox. Thank you.