Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Bogra-Sirajganj rail project to cut travel time to Dhaka by 3 hours

  • Construction to begin next year
  • India will provide a loan of Tk3,146.59 crore
Update : 22 Feb 2024, 01:45 PM

After a long wait, the Bogra-Sirajganj rail line project is going to end the long-standing suffering of the people of the northern districts of Bangladesh. 

Once implemented, the distance between the capital and Bogra will be reduced by 112 kilometers and it will save the commuters' travel time to over three to four hours.

The project is also expected to enhance the trade and commerce of the country. 

About five and a half years after the approval of the project, the Bogra district administration started the land acquisition process for the construction of this railway.

Officials related to the project told Dhaka Tribune that the Bogra-Sirajganj railway line is no longer a dream of the people of the northern region, as construction will begin early next year. 

According to the project officials and railway sources, there is no direct railway line between Bogra and Sirajganj, despite the distance between the two districts being only 72 kilometers.

Due to that, trains in this region have to travel about 120 kilometers through Santahar, Natore and Ishwardi in Pabna to reach their destinations. 

From Bogra, where it takes six hours to reach Dhaka by road, it takes over 10 hours to go by train.

In this regard, Senior Sub-Assistant Engineer (Loco) of the West zone of Bangladesh Railway Kazi Sumon said: "At present, Rangpur Express and Lalmoni Express run directly to Dhaka via Bogra.

“The 14-coach Lalmonirhat train requires 2.15 litres of diesel per kilometre. As a result, if the train route from Bogra to Dhaka is reduced by 112 kilometres, the cost of fuel (diesel Tk125 per litre) will be reduced annually. Then the cost of two trains’ fuel will be reduced by at least Tk4.33 crore by saving fuel.”

Masudur Rahman Milon, president of the Bogra Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the direct railway line from Bogra to Sirajganj will improve the communication system of at least eight districts of Rangpur region. 

Trade and commerce of Joypurhat and Naogaon of Rajshahi division will also improve greatly. The Bogra-Sirajganj railway project will change the face of the region. 

Project details

The project was approved at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on October 30, 2018. 

District administration officials said 960 acres of land will need to be acquired for the construction of an 85km dual gauge (broad gauge and meter gauge) new railway line from Bogra to Sirajganj.

Of this, 479.15 acres will be acquired up to the border of Bogra. The remaining 420.68 acres of land will be acquired in Sirajganj district. For land acquisition, Tk1,921 crore has been allocated.

It was decided to implement the project with money from Bangladesh and a loan from India. The estimated cost of the project is Tk5,579.70 crore. Of this, India will provide a loan of Tk3,146.59 crore. 

The project was initially scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2023. However, it was not possible due to the delay in appointing a consultant and finalizing the design. After appointing a consultant on September 27, 2021, the Indian authorities prepared the final design on June 30, 2023.

Junction stations will be constructed at Kahalu upazila of Bogra, city station and Ranirhat of Shajahanpur Upazila. Bogra-Sirajganj railway will be completed if these three junction stations are constructed.

Apart from the three junctions, seven stations — Bogra's Ranirhat, Aria Bazar, Sherpur, Chandaikona and Sirajganj's Raigonj, Krishandia and Sadanandapur — will be set up.

Gazi Muyeedur Rahman, land acquisition officer of Bogra district administration, told Dhaka Tribune that the land owners were served a notice on February 11 to implement the project. 

Meanwhile, Sirajganj Deputy Commissioner's Office Senior Assistant Commissioner Sueching Mong Marma said that notices will be issued to the land owners under section 4. 

"We will soon issue a notice to the land owners proposing to acquire the required land for the railway construction project,” he said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina promised to build the Bogra-Sirajganj railway while addressing a public meeting in Bogra in 2011. 

When the premier visited Bogra in 2015, she ordered the construction of the railway. In 2017, initiatives were taken to implement India's third line of credit loan scheme. 

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