Int’l flight suspension may hit Padma Bridge Rail Link project
Suspension of international flights may hamper the progress of The Padma Bridge Rail Link Project (PBRLP), which is a landmark infrastructure to boost cooperation between Bangladesh and China
PBRLP has been progressing in a full swing under the China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC). It is feared the flight suspension between the two countries might delay the implementation of the project, sources in project said.
CREC as the contractor of Padma Bridge Rail Link Project representing the Chinese companies in Bangladesh, sincerely appeal to the Bangladesh government to reopen flights between China and Bangladesh.
It said the project personnel require to travel frequently between China and Bangladesh. Around 30 persons involved in the projects need to travel between China and Bangladesh every week, including the project managers, safety and quality personnel, and technical construction personnel in key positions.
Due to the outbreak of the pandemic, the project management personnel and the on-site labour organization arrangements have been continuously affected, sources in the project said.
And now, the flight suspension policy has even worsened the project progress. If these personnel cannot return timely to the construction site from China, some working procedures are going to be difficult to implement, and some works will even be forced to be suspended. This will directly affect the progress of the construction.
It is reported that despite the pandemic, trading and other operations between China and Bangladesh have all seen increases in January-February this year. At present, the pandemic situation in China has been effectively controlled.
The Chinese personnel who came to Bangladesh were all vaccinated with two shots, and therefore they will not pose any risk of infection to Bangladesh.
At the same time, the personnel in many key positions said that they would not want to come to Bangladesh again if the Bangladesh government formulates a policy of centralized quarantine in designated places for Chinese personnel who will return to Bangladesh in the future. These factors have seriously affected the progress of the project.
With the deterioration of the pandemic situation in Bangladesh, the suspension of flights led to serious congestion of ships that carry steel beams, steel bars, geotechnical materials, etc., ordered by the project in Chattogram.
Besides the high port demurrage charges, additional port storage charges and fuel charges have caused the project severe financial loss. The mobilization of steel beams, rails, and more also had to be delayed, posing a challenge to the project's material supply.
CREC appreciates the efforts made by Government of Bangladesh to control covid-19 and will follow the epidemic prevention rules of the government.
However, it is worth of mentioning that the smooth execution of PBRLP matters a lot for the well-being of our local subcontractors and 5000 strong families of our local employees.