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Transportation in Bangladesh


The large number of rivers and the annual flooding hazard make it difficult to build and maintain adequate transportation facilities in Bangladesh. Railways and waterways are the chief means of transportation. The railways are managed by the government and reach most districts of the country. The Bangladesh Railway operated 2,622 km of track in 2008. The quality of service has declined because of the expense of importing new equipment. Enlarging and improving the railway system is also costly, partly because of the number of bridges needed.

The country has two deep water ports: Chittagong, serving the eastern sector, and Chalna, serving the west. There are five main river ports – Dhaka, Narayanganj, Chandpur, Barisal and Khulna – and more than 1,500 smaller ports. In 2011, the inland water system has an estimated 8,370 km of navigable waterways. The ocean-going merchant fleet in 2010 consisted of 62 ships of 1,000 GRT or over.

Road connections are inadequate, but conditions have improved significantly in recent years. There were 21,269 km of roadways in 2010, of which only 1,063 km were paved. A large part of the highway system becomes submerged in the rainy season; bridges, ferries, embankments and dikes are therefore necessary to the inland transportation system. Because of the difficulties of land travel, the number of motor vehicles remains relatively small.

Bangladesh has 18 airports in 2012; 16 with paved runways. Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport is the principal airport, located at Dhaka. Bangladesh Biman is the national airline. It has an extended network connecting major cities and operates international flights from Dhaka. In 2001, airlines carried 1,450,000 domestic and international passengers.


Airports : 18 (2012)
Airports - with paved runways : total: 16
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 4 (2012)
Airports - with unpaved runways

: total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2012)

: 3 (2012)
Pipelines : gas 2,714 km (2010)
Railways : total: 2,622 km
broad gauge: 946 km 1.676-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,676 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Roadways : total: 21,269 km
paved: 1,063 km
unpaved: 20,206 km (2010)
Waterways : 8,370 km (includes up to 3,060 km of main cargo routes; the network is reduced to 5,200 km in the dry season) (2011)
Merchant marine
: total: 62
by type: bulk carrier 25, cargo 28, chemical tanker 1, container 5, petroleum tanker 3
foreign-owned: 8 (China 1, Singapore 7)
registered in other countries: 10 (Comoros 1, Hong Kong 1, Panama 5, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines 1, Sierra Leone 1, Singapore 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals : Chittagong, Mongla Port
Transportation - note : the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of Bangladesh remain a high risk for armed robbery against ships; attacks against vessels increased in 2010 for the second consecutive year; 23 commercial vessels were attacked both at anchor and while underway; crews were robbed and stores or cargoes stolen




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