Khulna: The railway line from Khulna to Bagerhat’s Mongla port has been inaugurated to make transportation of goods easy and affordable. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the project through an online video conference on Wednesday (November 1).
Through this, a new chapter in international communication with Mongla began.
Those concerned say that under the transit facility, transportation of goods from Mongla port to neighboring countries India and Nepal and Bhutan will be easy and affordable. After the inauguration of the Khulna-Mongla railway, the socio-economic progress of the region will further increase. New jobs will be created and the tourism industry of Sundarbans will also develop. Government revenue will increase. The cost of transporting goods by rail will decrease.
Business leaders say that the opportunities that have opened up in the economy of the southern region after the launch of the Padma Bridge will go one step further with the launch of the Khulna-Mongla railway line. Mongla EPZ will come to life. New industrialists will come to the region.
Director of Khulna Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Mofidul Islam Tutul told BanglaNews that due to the establishment of railway connection between Mongla Port and Khulna, the capacity of this port will increase manifold. It will enable neighboring countries India, Nepal and Bhutan to use Mongla port easily by rail. Earlier, the goods of this port were transported by road and river. The cost was high then. Now the cost of transporting goods by rail will be reduced a lot. Which will affect the product price.
Meanwhile, railway officials say that various regions have been brought under the railway network through the Khulna-Mongla railway line. Attracting tourists to enjoy the natural beauty of Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangroves, and comfortable rail travel to Mongla Port.
They hope to make Bangladesh Railway a profitable company by expanding the railway network and increasing revenue through the Khulna-Mongla railway.
Sheikh Ashraf-Uz Zaman, President of the Greater Khulna Development Struggle Coordination Council, said that the Khulna-Mongla railway was a long-standing demand of the people of the southern part of the country. That demand has been fulfilled. Through this railway, new horizons will be opened in the trade and commerce of the southwestern region including Khulna.
Mongla Port Authority Chairman Rear Admiral Mir Ershad Ali told BanglaNews that multimodal communication is very important for any port. So long we have been able to transport goods by river. After the Padma Bridge is being transported by road. This time goods will be transported by rail. This railway line will have the greatest advantage of being able to transport containers especially at low cost. This will increase the use of the port. Import and export of garment products will be easier. Besides, we can transport goods to Nepal-Bhutan through Khulna-Mongla railway line using foreign cargo. We will also establish communication with the northern region. This will boost industrialization. Port revenue will increase.
To facilitate the transportation of goods to India, Nepal and Bhutan under the transit facility, the government undertook the project of establishing a railway from Phultala Railway Station in Khulna to Mongla Port in 2010. The project was supposed to be completed in three years. 13 years have passed since then. The cost of the project also increased with the increase in duration. In the beginning, the cost of the project was 1 thousand 721 crore taka, but it has increased in several phases, now the cost is more than 4 thousand 260 crore taka. Indian contractors Larsen & Turbo and Ircon International have implemented the project under concessional line of credit with loan assistance from the Government of India. The total project cost is 388.92 million dollars.
Under the project, a 5.13 km railway bridge has been constructed over the Rupsa River. About 90 km of railway has been constructed. The railway has nine platforms. 107 minor bridges and nine underpasses have also been constructed under the project. After a long wait, the Khulna-Mongla railway became a commercial link between India, Nepal and Bhutan. This will make Mongla port more dynamic.
In this project, about 65 km of broad gauge railway has been constructed between Mongla Port and the existing rail network in Khulna. Through this, Bangladesh’s second largest port, Mongla, is connected to the broad gauge railway network.
Bangladesh Time: 1431 hours, November 01, 2023