Bangladesh Railway (BR) will soon procure 214 carriages and 10 engines with assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as India failed to supply the coaches and locomotives under its $800 million line of credit (LoC) signed between the two countries in 2011, officials said on Sunday.
In fact India does not manufacture metre-gauge (MG) carriages and engines, so BR will have to procure those from other countries with its own fund, or fund from other sources like the ADB. Because under the LoC the all required things should be procured from India.
However BR will buy required number of Broad Gauge (BG) passenger carriages and locomotives from India under the LoC for its Western Railway region, under a separate procurement project.
Bangladesh will procure 214 MG passenger and 50 BG carriages at a cost of Tk 14.06 billion, and 10 MG locomotives, two BG cranes and one simulator at a cost of Tk 7.85 billion under the financial support of the ADB, the official said.
The ADB will provide a loan of $200 million to Bangladesh to finance the procurement project.
After singing the LoC deal BR had prepared two separate project proposals-Procurement of 150 MG passenger carriages and Procurement of 264 MG passenger carriages and two BG inspection cars-under the $800 million Indian LoC.
But subsequently India regretted that they do not make any railway equipment for the metre-gauge lines prompting BR to drop the projects.
Currently, the state-owned BR has 1,165 MG passenger carriages in its fleet, mostly outmoded. Out of the total, nearly 600 coaches have almost expired their economic age having been used over the last 30 years.
Rail officials said they had shortage of passenger carriages and engines to serve passengers on the 2,877 kilometres of rail-routes across the country.
They said the shortages of locomotives, carriages and manpower have been affecting their plan to improve rail services-most economical transport facilities for passengers and freights.