Bangladesh ratifies intergovernmental agreement on Trans-Asian Railway network

Bangladesh’s cabinet has ratified the intergovernmental agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway (TAR) network aimed at connecting Asian nations with Europe, said the country’s railway chief on Tuesday.

Director General of state-run Bangladesh Railway Belayet Hossain told Xinhua on Tuesday, the ratification to the agreement, which the South Asian country signed in 2007, came at the cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair held here on Monday.

He said the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) launched a project in 1992 aiming to establish communication network by constructing the Asian Highway, TAR as well as developing the land transport system between Asia and European countries.

Virtually, Hossain said the then UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Far-East (ECAFE), replaced later by UNESCAP, in 1960 initiated the TAR project with the objective of providing a continuous 14,000-km rail link between Singapore and Turkey, via South-East Asia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Iran.

He said the intergovernmental agreement on TAR network as part of effort of the UNESCAP also extends the scope to link main ports of the signatory countries.

So far 22 countries, out of the 28 member countries served by the TAR network, have signed the Intergovernmental Agreement, Hossain said, adding that the cabinet division’s nod to the deal is a way forward for the project.

Under the project, he said there would be three Trans-Asian Networks, Northern Region, Middle Region and Southern Region, and Bangladesh is under the southern region network.

Hossain said the UNESCAP could launch implementation of its TAR project as soon as all the member countries approve the agreement.

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