THE Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) signed loan agreements with the government of Bangladesh in Dhaka to provide Japanese ODA loans worth Yen 165.3bn ($US 1.25bn) for three projects, including a Yen 4.29bn loan for the upgrading of the dual-gauge, single-track line between Joydebpur and Ishurdi.

The project will enhance rail capacity by track-doubling the existing line between Joydebpur and Ishurdi, thereby contributing to Bangladesh’s improved connectivity, both domestically and with neighbouring countries.

Despite having a service capacity of 25 trains a day, the line currently carries 36 trains a day to meet demand, leading to delays.

The loan will have a 30-year repayment period with a 10-year grace period, and a 0.01% annual interest rate.

The funding also includes a Yen 105.36bn loan for the Matarbari Port Development Project and a Yen 55.7bn loan for the Chattogram - Cox’s Bazar Highway Improvement Project.