PM opposes import of DEMU train

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:22, Jul 17,2019


Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday blocked a proposal of Bangladesh Railway to import six Diesel Electric Multiple Unit trains as 20 DEMUs procured in 2013 at Tk 20 crore each failed to cater the need of passengers.

Many DEMU trains remained out of order, said the prime minister while presiding over a meeting of the executive committee of the National Economic Council at planning commission.

So, DEMU trains to be imported no more in the country, she said.

The prime minister directed Bangladesh Railway to revise the proposal of collecting the DEMU trains with other trains.

Bangladesh Railway proposed importing the DEMU sets at a cost of Tk 451 crore by 2022 for facilitating passengers’ movement to newly-built hi-tech park at Kaliakair from its nearby cities including the capital.     

Planning secretary Md Nurul Amin revealed the prime minister’s directives at a briefing after the ECNEC meeting.

He said the prime minister directed Bangladesh Railway to launch train service between Dhaka and Kaliakair and ensure interval of trains running on others routes via Kaliakair.   

The country imported 20 sets of DEMU supplied by Tangshan Railway Vehicle Co Ltd of China at the suppliers’ credit of US$ 58.31 million in early 2013.

But it was reported that the much-hyped DEMU failed to meet passengers’ need for the lack of toilet facilities, inadequate space and poor ventilation. Bangladesh Railway introduced the DEMUs on 12 routes including Dhaka, Chittagong, Rangpur, Cumilla and Mymensingh.

The DEMU railcar, with two engines at both ends, provides comfortable space for 300 passengers — 149 seating and 151 standing – and costs Tk 20 crore.

They have 460 horsepower engine with a life span of 30 years

The prime minister also directed Cox’s Bazar Development Authority and district administration to draf master plans for ensuring planned development of the tourism town, he said.

Nurul Amin said the prime minister wanted giving training to butchers so that hide of slaughtering animals could be separated in perfect manner during the upcoming Eid festival.

He said the ECNEC meeting approved eight projects to be carried out at Tk 5,142 crore.

The projects included widening of roads in upazilas and unions under Dhaka Division at a cost of Tk 2,606 crore as part of the government new plan to transform villages to cities.

Local government division would implement the projects from June 2019 to 2024.

The ECNEC approved revision of the World Bank driven ‘Export Competitiveness for Jobs’ project by Tk 71 crore from its original proposal of Tk 941 crore in 2017 for inclusion of new components.

World Bank was providing loan of Tk 840 while the ministry of commerce was implementing the project to be concluded in 2023 with the aims of increasing competitiveness of the country’s export products against the backdrop that 84 per cent of the country’s export income coming from the readymade garment sector.

Other approved projects include widening roads in Cox’s Bazar at a cost of Tk 258 crore, expansion of telecommunication in Chattogram by spending Tk 61 crore, development of infrastructure helping to the Kaliakair hi-tech park at Tk 344 crore and establishment of six stadiums at six upazila at Tk 119 crore.

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