Loan negotiation for metro rail, BRT from next week

The government is set to begin negotiation with donors to secure funding for the metro rail and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects from the next week.

Funding for construction of three new bridges will also be finalised by the end of this month. The bridges are: Kanchpur, Meghna and Meghna-Gumti.

“Negotiation for Jica’s Tk 16,594 crore loan will start on December 9. We are expecting to sign a draft loan agreement by December,” Obaidul Quader disclosed this while briefing journalists about the activities of his one year tenure as the communications minister at his ministry on Wednesday.

Japan recently approved its loan saying it will lend US $133 million within the current fiscal year.

Obaidul hoped that the construction of the country’s first-ever metro rail system that stretches from Uttara Third Phase to Motijheel will start at the end of the current fiscal.

He said route of the metro rail has already been finalised.

The Tk 22,000 crore metro rail project was delayed by three years due to route modifications twice.

Loan negotiation for Tk 2,040 crore BRT will begin on December 12.

Asian Development Bank and France are providing Tk 1,651 crore to construct the 20- kilometer BRT from Joydevpur, Gazipur to airport.

“We are expecting to finalise the loan negotiation within December,” said Obaidul, adding that the World Bank is conducting a study on the BRT route from airport to Sadarghat.

The two projects are crucial as they will help reduce the perennial traffic congestion in the capital and facilitate quick movement of commuters.

Meanwhile, the government is scheduled to sit with Jica for a final round discussion on funding a project of Tk 9,055 crore under which three bridges will be built alongside the existing Kanchpur, Meghna and Meghna-Gumti bridges.

“Japan has primarily agreed to finance construction of the bridges,” the communications minister informed journalists.

Obaidul said he has many successes but those are yet to be visible. “I have also some failures,” he said, without mentioning those.

He said Gulistan-Jatrabari and Banani-Mirpur flyovers will be opened during the tenure of the present government which will help reduce traffic congestion.

Asked about the fate of the Padma Bridge, he said he would talk about the issue tomorrow (Thursday) in a briefing at the Setu Bhaban.

Acting Communications Secretary MAN Siddiquee and senior officials of Roads and Highways Department, Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) and Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) were present.

Source: The Daily Star

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