Construction of circular rail-line around Dhaka city

Md. Monirul Islam Firozi Director (Procurement) Bangladesh Railway

Railway transport is one of the two main land-based transport modes in Bangladesh; and the other is road transport. Railways are inherently more environmentally efficient than road transport. Railways emit less greenhouse gas; require less fuel and less land per unit operation. Even with these greater efficiencies, railway operation employs more people than roads, adding to the economic impact of transport activities and providing sustenance for more families. Railway is the backbones of transport system of a country. Based on the reality government has set a mission to connect all the districts in railway network and construct circular rail-line around Dhaka city.

Background of the project
Dhaka is the capital city of Bangladesh. This city is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. About 18 million people live in this mega city. Though the city is expanding every year in terms of area and population but its transportation system has failed to cope with the pressure. Hence, tremendous traffic congestion has become part and parcel of city life. For this reason every day millions of working hour are lost. Traffic congestion is eating away the comfort of city dwellers and siphoning off the economy of the city as well as the country.

Efficient and reliable transport system is the life line of any densely populated capital city like Dhaka. Approved Strategic Plan (STP) adopted different surface system of transportation for Dhaka like MRT, BRT and Railway etc. to reduce the traffic congestion. An organized transport system should be developed with particular emphasis on public transport carrier. The rapid population growth of Dhaka city warrants better, comfortable and reliable public transport system. Circular rail can meet this demand in a better and efficient manner. People from one corner of the city will be able to travel to other corner without even entering main business corridor of the city. This will reduce unintentional intrusion of people into the busy area of Dhaka city. This will also facilitate easy entry and exit of sub-urban people of Gazipur, Narayangonj, Keranigonj, Savar and Munshigonj.

Recognizing these facts, government has decided to build a circular rail around Dhaka city using mainly flood protection dam, i.e. Eastern By-Pass. Hon’able Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already given direction to incorporate Rail Line in the Eastern Bypass. The proposed circular rail-line will use Eastern Bypass as its eastern alignment. Construction of circular rail-line around Dhaka city will not only reduce traffic congestion but also enhance the economic growth, eventually increasing GDP of the country.

Circular rail-line will be a mega project and foreign assistance may be needed in order to implement the project. Before implementing the project study should be done to assess the capital cost, scope and viability of the project. As it is an important project and at this stage arranging foreign funding would be difficult and time consuming which will defer the implementation of the project. For this reason the feasibility study is going on under the GOB fund.

Project Title: Feasibility Study for Construction of Circular Rail-Line around Dhaka City
Sponsoring Ministry: Ministry of Railways (MOR)
Executing Agency: Bangladesh Railway (BR)
Project Period: 01 May 2019 to 30 April 2020
Total Project Cost: BDT 2972.38 Lakh [GOB 2056.51 (F.E 1381.99)]
Source of Fund: GOB

Contract Signing of Consultancy Services for Feasibility Study for Construction of Circular Rail -Line around Dhaka city. Railway Minister Adv. Md. Nurul Islam Sujan, MP, Railway Secretary Md. Mofazzel Hossain and Director General of BR Engr. Qazi Md. Rafiqul Alam are seen present among other high officials of the concerned organizations.

Proposed location of the station
Tongi, Termuk, Purbachal Road, Beraid, Kayatpara, Demra, Shiddirgonj, Chowdhury Bari, Chashara, Fatulla, Shyampur, Shadarghat, Nawabgonj, Sankar, Gabtoli, Dhaka National Zoo, Birulia, Uttara, Dhour then Tongi.
Project objectives: The Proposed feasibility study is to determine the viability of construction of circular rail-line around Dhaka city so that an investment project can be taken in hand at later stage, if it is found viable, in the socio-economic condition of Bangladesh. The specific objectives of the Feasibility Study for construction of Circular Rail- Line around Dhaka city are to:
w Find out best possible alignment for the Circular Rail Line from the alternatives.
w Device a pragmatic system to run the Circular Rail Line.
w Identify appropriate technology for Civil, Mechanical, Electrical & signaling Procurement.
w Enumerate specifications for civil construction materials, Rolling stocks, Electric traction etc. (i.e. for all Civil, Mechanical, Electrical & Electronics materials and signaling system.)
w Find out whether the project will be economically, socially and financially viable.
w Provide an organizational structure to run the Circular Rail Line.

Project outcome: Preparation of Development Project Proposal for Construction of Circular Rail Line around Dhaka City.

Salient features of the ongoing consultancy work
Contract title: Consultancy Services for Feasibility Study for Construction of Circular Rail Line around Dhaka City.
Consultant: China Railway SIY-UAN Survey and Design Group Co., Ltd. (SIYUAN), China in Joint Venture with BETS Consulting Services Ltd., (BETS), Bangladesh and Engineers & Advisors Ltd. (EAL), Bangladesh
Contract value: USD 11, 58,080.00 and BDT 14,86,16,396.57 (Equivalent to BDT 24,56,63,500.57) inclusive of Tax-VAT & Provisional Sum
Contract type : Lump-Sum
Source of fund : GOB
Contract period: Twelve (12) Months
Consultants’ inputs: International Experts- 81 person-months and National Experts – 114 person-months
Scope of Services: The Consultant shall perform, but not limited to, the following tasks:
(i) Feasibility Study along with Social and Environmental Study
w Technical Feasibility
w Economic and Financial Feasibility
w Topographic,Geotechnical, Hydrological and other necessary survey and investigation
w Traffic Study
w Social Assessment and Analysis
w Land Acquisition Plan
w Resettlement Plan
w Environmental and Social Safeguards etc.

(ii) Conceptual design and cost estimate
w Investigations and Conceptual Engineering Design
w Project Preparation
w Cost Estimate, BOQ and Bid Documents Preparation etc.

(iii) Preparation of DPP for the investment project.