Bangladesh Railway today signed a deal with an Indonesian company to procure 200 meter gauge passenger coaches involving Tk 579.38 crore to provide modern, safe and comfortable passenger service.
Md Shamsuzzaman, additional director general of (rolling stock) of Bangladesh Railway and R Agus H Purnomo, president director of PT Industri Kereta Api (Persero), Indonesia, signed the agreement on their organisations’ behalf at Railway Bhaban in the capital.
Delivery of the carriages will be started in 20 months from the effective date of contract and to be completed in 33 months, according to the contract.
Funded by Asian Development Bank and Bangladesh government, procurement of 200 meter gauge passenger carriages -- with stainless steel body, high speed bogie, roof mounted air conditioning system and automatic air brake system -- will create positive impact on mass transport, Bangladesh Railway officials said.
A huge number of passengers will get the opportunity of safe, speedy and comfortable train journey resulting in enhancement of commercial and economical activities, they said.
At present, the railway has 1,193 meter gauge passenger carriages, out of which 567 carriages are overaged and crossed economic life (35 years) and 166 carriages are of around 31 to 35 years old.
Moreover, passengers’ demand is increasing significantly for which additional carriages are required to add to the existing fleet of passenger carriages.
“Newly procured meter gauge carriages will be used to replace the overaged carriages of existing intercity trains to fulfil the demand of the passengers with additional safety and modern amenities as well as to introduce new trains.”
Railway Minister Mazibul Hoque, Indonesian Ambassador to Bangladesh Rina P Soemarno, Kamal Krishna Bhattacharyya, addition secretary (planning and development) of the ministry, and Amzad Hossain, director general of the BR, spoke at the programme.