BANGLADESH: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina officially launched construction of a rail link to the southern coastal town of Cox's Bazar on April 3.

First planned in 1890, the 100 km metre gauge line will start from the current railhead at Dohazari, southeast of Chittagong, and run to Satkania, Dulahazra, Chakarin, Edgaon, Ramu and Cox's Bazar, with four major river bridges. A 28 km branch will run from Ramu to Gundum.

The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013, with the government meeting 6·7bn taka of the 11·8bn taka cost and the rest provided as international aid.