Padma Bridge Rail Link

Chinese contractor alleges delay in fund release

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:50, Feb 24,2021


Fund crisis has slowed down the implementation of the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project, said China Railway Group Limited on Wednesday.

China Railway Group Limited, known as CREC, also said that it was facing fund crisis since it did not get $400 million dues from Bangladesh Railway.

In a press release issued by its media partner Forethought PR, Asiatic 360, CREC said that it could not procure necessary materials and clear arrears to its sub-contractors due to shortage of fund.

The project execution has slowed down which might lead to cost escalation, said CREC.

Contacted, railways minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan said that there might be some arrears because of cost escalation of different project components.   

According to him, such arrears are not unusual in a multi-billion dollar project.

Since the project is funded by the Chinese EXIM Bank, the BR officials have to follow due process to clear arrears, he said.

Quoting the project director of the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project, Nurul Islam said the matter was not as serious as the way described by the construction firm.

The Padma Bridge Rail Link Project is a mega fast-track project being implemented since 2016 at a cost of Tk 39,246.9 crore, of which Chinese EXIM Bank is providing loan of Tk 21,036.6 crore and rest Tk 18,210.1 crore by the government of Bangladesh.   

The project is scheduled to end in 2024 as per the first revision done in 2018.

The government has set a target of opening both rail and road on the Padma Bridge on the same day as per the deferred deadline of June 2022.

CREC in its release, titled ‘Fund crisis causing delay in mega venture Padma Bridge Rail Link Project’ also said that ‘time consuming’ by BR to clear the arrears also caused delay in fund release by the Chinese EXIM Bank.

It also said BR was yet to give any requisition for getting supply of 100 coaches under the project although a deadline in this regard was June 2020.

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