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June 29, 2015

Bangladesh to receive $505m loan from ADB for rail improvements

The Government of Bangladesh is reportedly set to receive a $505m loan grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to further develop the country's railways, as well as strengthen subregional trade and national economy.

The Government of Bangladesh is reportedly set to receive a $505m loan grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to further develop the country’s railways, as well as strengthen subregional trade and national economy.

Approximately $400m of the total amount will be ordinary capital resources (OCR) and $105m will come from the Asian Development Fund (ADF).

The project will help to upgrade the 72km Akhaura-Laksam section of the Dhaka-Chittagong railway corridor to a double-track, dual-gauge railway line, along with modern signalling equipment.

"The assistance will help railways better serve needs of people and movement of goods, and help improve domestic and subregional trade."

The Akhaura-Laksam section is part of a major sub-regional corridor and of the Trans-Asia Railway network.

ADB Bangladesh Resident Mission country director Kazuhiko Higuchi said: "The assistance will help railways better serve needs of people and movement of goods, and help improve domestic and subregional trade.

"This project will also help improve the overall railway transport system in Bangladesh, and aims to reduce transport costs and improve logistics of strategic corridors, such as Dhaka-Chittagong link, for subregional trade."

Work will also include upgrading the existing track in agreement with the Trans Asia Railways network requirements.

As part of the project, 11 railway stations will be built with special facilities for the elderly, women, children and disabled.

Scheduled to be completed by 2022, the project will also support capacity building for the permanent project management unit to be established in Bangladesh Railway and for accessing climate mitigation funding.

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