Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Company Ltd (DMTCL) is now advancing with a plan to create a combined network of five metro rail routes to ease nagging traffic gridlock in the capital.
DMTCL, tasked with construction of the metro rails, placed a progress report and a time-bound action plan in this regard at its annual general meeting held at its office last week.
The routes are Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line-1, MRT line-2, MRT line-4, MRT line-5 and ongoing Uttara-Motijheel Metro Rail MRT line-6.
MRT line-1: This route will be constructed from the airport to the Purbachal area with a total length of 31.241km. This route is divided into two parts: Airport route and Purbachal route, which are expected to be complete by 2026 at a cost of Tk 50,000 crore.
The 19.87km airport route from the airport to Kamalapur via Badda will be the country’s first ungrounded metro rail, while the length of elevated Purbachal route will be 11.37km from Notun Bazar and Jamuna Future Park to Purbachal city.
There will be an interchange at Notun Bazar, allowing route shifting to airport or Purbachal or vice-versa.
Khan Md Mizanul Islam, deputy project director cum public relations officer of DMTCL, informed the daily sun that feasibility study of this route has already been done.
A loan contract of 5,593 million yen was signed with JICA on June 29 last year for providing engineering service for both the routes, he said, adding that another technical assistance scheme has been undertaken for the route at a cost of Tk 579 crore.
“The appointed consultant firm has already started detail designing of the project since 09 December this year and the project proposal is under process with the help of JICA,” the DMTCL official said.
MRT Line-2: this route will start from Gabtali and end in Chattogram Road after travelling 24 kilometres through Gabtali, Mohammadpur, Sat Masjid Road, Nilkhet, Gulistan and Motijheel. It will be a mixture of underground and elevated routes.
The government has set a target to complete the route by 2030. DMTCL officials informed that Bangladesh and Japan signed a memorandum on 15 June 2017 to construct the line on the government to government basis and public-private partnership (PPP) basis.
Cabinet committee on economic affairs in early November this year approved in principle to the undertaking of ’Detailed design, construction, operation and maintenance of MRT Line-2’ project.
A proposal for conducting a feasibility study on the route has been sent to PPP authority for approval on 23 December, metro rail officials said.
MRT line-4: The government also plans to set up a 16km metro rail route from Kamalapur to Narayanganj by 2030. It is likely to be set up as an underground route beneath the existing Kamalapur-Narayanganj rail line. At present, search for the project financier is underway.
MRT Line-5: A 19.60km metro rail will be constructed from Hemayetpur to Vatara, which will be a mix of 13.60km underground rail and 6km elevated railway.
The government signed a loan agreement of 7,358m yen with JICA on 14 June this year for engineering service. The cost of the route has been estimated at Tk 45,000 crore.
MRT Line-6: this is the first metro rail of the country stretching from Uttara to Motijheel via Mirpur. Its construction is underway and it witnessed overall physical progress of 22 per cent.
The government has cut the project duration to December 2020 while the original deadline was 2024. Agargaon section is expected to be complete by next December and Agargaon Motijheel section in the following year.
The 11.73km Agargaon section has so far seen 25.82 per cent progress with making 990m viaduct visible, while utility shifting is going on for 8.12km Agargaon-Motijheel section that saw only 4 per cent progress so far.
The physical work of collection of rolling stock and depot equipment started in September last year, according to official sources.