The first rail link to Cox’s Bazar and an iconic station in the beach city will open on Saturday, fulfilling a dream of the residents of the district, and tourists in other parts of the country.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the 102 kilometres long single line dual gauge rail lines from Chattogram’s Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar at the station in Jhilongja in the morning.
She will travel by the first train from the station to Ramu in the afternoon.
Businesses and entrepreneurs believe the new rail link will facilitate agricultural products and fish, along with connection to megaprojects that are crucial for industries and export-import operations.
Cox’s Bazar has been covered with banners and festoons while the seashell-shaped station has been decorated extensively.
For many in Cox’s Bazar, this will be the first train they will see in their life.
“The rail link to Cox’s Bazar is the reflection of the prime minister’s visionary approach,” said Abdul Morshed Chowdhury, president of the Cox’s Bazar Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
“Today, a country’s economy depends on connectivity. This railway will connect Cox’s Bazar to 45 other districts. An international airport and deep seaport are being built here. We’re entering the era of multimodal transport,” he said.
Morshed said road transport and hotel-restaurant businesses in the district will get a boost while the tourists will get such facilities at the station that are available in good hotels only.
“Besides these, salt and fish of Cox’s Bazar will reach all other parts of the country at a lower cost. Goods will arrive in Cox’s Bazar easily.”
Abu Taher, president of Cox’s Bazar Press Club, said the rail link will help tourists visit the beach throughout the year.
Tofayel Ahmed, president of Tour Operator Owners Association of Cox’s Bazar, agreed with Taher. “Many cannot visit Cox’s Bazar because of high plane and bus fares. That problem will be gone.”
Besides the rail link, Hasina will inaugurate the channel of Matarbari Deep Seaport in the district’s Moheshkhali and launch the construction of the port’s terminal in the afternoon.
She will also officiate the 1,200 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Matarbari and a project to Kutubdia island to the national grid through submarine cable.