Bangladesh Railway today signed a contract with a South Korean joint-venture firm to procure 150 meter-gauge passenger carriages to replace the old ones and increase the number of trains.
Under the contract, the firm -- Sung Shin RST and POSCO International -- will supply the carriages within 18 to 30 months of contract signing at the cost of Tk 658.31 crore.
Financed by the EXIM Bank of South Korea, the carriages are being procured under the project titled "Procurement of 20 nos. meter gauge diesel-electric locomotives and 150 nos. meter gauge passenger carriages for Bangladesh railway".
Project Director Hassan Mansur and Jong Bum Lee, country manager of Posco International, signed the contract on behalf of the respective sides at Railway Bhaban in presence of Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan.
Talking at the programme, the minister said South Korea is an important development partner of Bangladesh, which has been assisting different sectors of Bangladesh, including railways.
"Once the carriages are added to the existing fleet, the railway will be able to give more services and passengers will get the benefit of it," he said and asked the contractor to maintain quality of the carriages as per the contract.
The minister also said the carriages will be made of stainless steel with bio-toilet, automatic air-break and automatic sliding doors.
Railways Ministry Secretary Salim Reza and BR's Director General Md Shamsuzzaman were, among others, present at the contract signing ceremony.