Staff Correspondent, Cox’s Bazar
The train whistle mingled with the silence of the mountains, the sound of the wind blowing through the trees, the vast blue sky and the continuous roar of the sea. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina officially inaugurated the operation of this train at Cox’s Bazar, the world’s largest beach, on Saturday (November 11).
Earlier, the Prime Minister inaugurated the iconic railway station in Cox’s Bazar. With this, Cox’s Bazar has been added as the 48th district of the country’s railway network. Later, after purchasing a ticket from the ticket counter of that station, the Prime Minister boarded the train and traveled to Ramu.
According to Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS), The much awaited 102km Chattogram’s Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar Rail Line was constructed at a cost of Taka 18034.47 crore opening a new era in railway connectivity in the country.
The train started journey after the premier blew whistle and waved flags.
While giving interviews with the news media, the prime minister said her government has been doing every development projects including the mega schemes to ensure a beautiful and prosperous Bangladesh for the future generations.
She, as well, extended pleasantries to her co-passengers during the train journey.
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 inaugural 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.
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.