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BR fails to utilise 38pc funds this FY

Poor project performance

Munima Sultana | March 15, 2019 00:00:00

The state-owned Bangladesh Railway (BR) is unable to spend 38 per cent of the funds allocated for nine donor-aided projects this fiscal year (FY) due to a poor pace of implementation.

Sources said in the Revised Annual Development Programme (RADP), the BR sought Tk 40 billion as an estimated Tk 24 billion might lie unspent by the end of FY '19.

The budgetary allocation for the foreign-aided railway projects was Tk 64.25 billion.

Sources said the state-owned rail operator could use only 13 per cent of the funds by January.

They spoke of poor performance in implementing the Padma rail link, Dohazari-Cox's Bazar-Gundum rail track development and Khulna-Mongla Port line construction projects.

Project offices have surrendered Tk 13 billion, Tk 4.75 billion and Tk 2.0 billion respectively from the allocated funds of Tk 30 billion, Tk 9.75 billion and Tk 8.0 billion.

Of them, the first two are fast-track projects.

Due to technical reasons, officials said, these major railway projects fell behind schedule.

Source said the Padma rail link project was delayed due to its inability to confirm design as its first test pilings failed.

The Dohazari-Cox's Bazar-Gundum rail track project fell behind schedule for complications in land acquisition.

The Khulna-Mongla Port rail line project is grappling with problems of procurement and price variation as it has been delayed for years.

The BR also sought Tk 5.6 billion against Tk 7.0 billion allocated for dual-gauge double rail line and conversion of existing rail line into dual gauge between Akhaura and Laksam.

Other projects include rehabilitation of Kulaura-Shahbazpur section, third and fourth dual-gauge line on Dhaka-Tongi and dual-gauge on Dhaka-Joydevpur section.

The BR projects also include procurement of locomotives, relief cranes and locomotive simulator and 20 MG locomotives and 150 MG passenger carriages.


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