Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday inaugurated the much awaited 102km Chattogram’s Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar Rail Line at a cost of Taka 18034.47 crore opening a new era in railway connectivity in the country.
“Today, the Cox’s Bazar is linked with the railway connectivity. This is the day of feeling proud,” she said while opening the rail line along with the iconic Cox’s Bazar Railway Station unveiling a plaque at the newly constructed rail station in Cox’s Bazar, reports BSS.
The prime minister said she was really very much pleased as she in person could present at the inaugural ceremony of Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar Rail Line.
“I have kept my promise with inaugurating the railway. This was a longstanding demand of this region. The demand was met today,” she added.
The new rail track ushers new hope in strong footing of country’s economy with boosting tourism, industrialisation, business and trade as well.
Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director Edimon Ginting and Secretary of the Railways Ministry Dr. Md. Humayun Kabir spoke at the function.
A number of ministers including Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, senior Awami League (AL) leaders and other dignitaries were present.
A video documentary on the activities of Bangladesh Railway and the Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar Rail Line project was screened at the function.
Earlier, on her arrival at the railway station, the prime minister was welcomed with traditional dance performances by the local artistes.
With the inauguration of the railway station, Cox’s Bazar, having the world’s largest sandy beach, has come under the rail connectivity, 133 years after the first initiative was taken during the British period.
After opening the train line, the premier took a ride on a train from Cox’s Bazar to Ramu.
An intercity train on Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar route will start operation on December 1 as the Bangladesh Railway has already fixed its schedule and fare.
The name of the train has not been fixed yet.
The train will take approximately 8 hours and 10 minutes to reach Cox’s Bazar from Dhaka with stopping at two stations — Dhaka airport and Chattogram.
The train will leave Dhaka at 10:30pm and reach Cox’s Bazar at 6:40am while it will leave Cox’s Bazar at 1:00pm and will reach Dhaka at 9:10pm.
The fare for a non-AC Shovan chair from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar is Tk 345 while the fare for an AC chair is Tk 656.
In the afternoon, the prime minister is also scheduled to open the Matarbari deep seaport’s 14.3-kilometre-long artificial navigation channel stretching from the proposed terminal to the sea and lay the foundation stone of the first terminal of the port which is targeted to start operations in 2026.
She will also inaugurate the 1200-MW power plant’s first unit (600 MW) and Single Point Mooring (SPM) at Matarbari of Maheshkhali upazila.
Sheikh Hasina, also Awami League (AL) president, will join a public meeting at Matarbari Thermal Power Plant Project’s township ground.
Earlier, the premier reached the Cox’s Bazar International Airport from Dhaka around 10:45am by a flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
A festive mood has been prevailing both in Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar. The people of Cox’s Bazar welcomed the prime minister whole heartedly decorating the entire Cox’s Bazar with posters, placards, festoons and banners inscribing various slogans welcoming the premier.
Alongside constructing the rail station in Cox’s Bazar town, seven more stations from Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar have been built while an overpass was also constructed to facilitate the movement of elephants and other wild animals as the rail line crosses a reserved forest area.
The spectacular iconic Cox’s Bazar Railway Station has been constructed on 29 acres of land in the Hajipara area of Jhelongja Union, seven kilometers east-north of Cox’s Bazar Sadar.
The area of the six-storey station building is 1, 82,000 square feet with three platforms of 650 metres in length and 12 metres in width.
Apart from these, a railway residential area has been built next to it. The station has also residential hotels, canteen, lockers and car parking.
As many as 46,000 people can travel through this station a day and tourists can spend time at the beach by keeping their luggage in the station lockers.
The premier earlier on April 3, 2011, laid the foundation stone for the construction of the railway between Dohazari-Ramu-Cox’s Bazar and Ramu-Ghumdhum of Myanmar.