The Khulna-Mongla Port Rail Line project is expected to be completed within December this year and be opened to traffic.
Construction works of the 64-kilometre broad gauge line from Khulna to Mongla have seen a progress of 90%.
Speaking with The Business Standard, Project Director (PD) Arifuzzaman said: "Around 90% of the project has already been completed.
"Efforts are underway to complete everything by December despite delays caused by Covid-19."
"Besides, we had to call for tenders twice for the signalling system. A local contractor, within our budget, is implementing the installation works," he added.
Bangladesh Railway (BR) Director General (DG) Dhirendra Nath Majumder said, "Ecnec approved this project on December 21, 2010, in a bid to improve communication and increase imports and exports through the Mongla port.
"The cost of the entire project, with multiple extensions, now stands at over Tk4,200 crore."
Balram Dey, an official of Ircon International Ltd, an Indian state-owned construction company working on the project, said that total 31 bridges and 108 culverts have been built for the train link.
Contacted, Mongla Port Authority Chairman Rear Admiral Mohammad Musa said, "After the rail link is established, it will be easier to import-export goods to and from India, Nepal and Bhutan at low cost."
The Khulna-Mongla Port Rail Line project was taken in December 2010 with a decade-long time period. The 64.75 km long broad-gauge rail line was supposed to be completed by June 2021.
But due to the slow pace of work, the project has been going on for more than a decade. It got an extension for one year and a half years and now the project is supposed to be completed by December 2022.
Along with the time extension, the revised project cost has also increased from the initial estimation of Tk3,801 crore to Tk4,261 crore.
A large portion of the financing for the project is coming from the Indian line of credit (LoC). Due to revising the project cost, the LoC assistance has increased from Tk2,371 crore to Tk2,946 crore.