Bangladesh is set to enter a modern metro rail system as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is going to open the first phase of the country’s first-ever metro rail service in the morning.
“By cutting the red ribbon, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will become the first passenger of the city’s most modern transport system,” said an official of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), reports BSS.
DMTCL has already completed its preparation to hold the colorful opening function at Diabari, Uttara at 11 am and police-RAB (Rapid Action Battalion) personnel have taken all measures to ensure security of the event.
After the opening, the metro rail will run straight from Uttara to Agargaon without any stopping at any intermediate station along the route. Commuters will be able to take a trip on the train from Thursday.
A train will wait for passengers at each platform for 10 minutes for the first few days as city dwellers are not familiar with this new transport system.
Initially, some 10-set of train having six coaches will run from Uttara to Agargaon. For the time being, the train will run on this route slowly. It will run from 8 am to 12 pm, the time will be extended later and the number of trains will be increased as per demand.
Talking to news agency BSS, managing director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), MAN Siddique, said metro rail will be a first-time experience for people in Bangladesh so passengers would have to acquire experiences about the ticketing system and using the service.
“We will increase the number of trips, trains and stoppages at intermediate stations when people become familiar with the metro rail,” he said.
Dhaka is the second largest city in South Asia and the seventh largest in the world in terms of population. And the capital city is going to get the most modern transportation system with metro rail for commuters, Siddique said.
He said the metro rail will reduce public sufferings, since it will transport more passengers within a less time with comfortable means.
“This project will contribute to the achievement of SDGs Goal 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and 13 (Climate Action),” the managing director said.
Common people believe that the inauguration of the metro rail will not only reduce traffic congestion in the city but also increase the overall revenue collection of the government.
However, if the train starts at full speed, one train will run every three-and-a-half minutes’ interval. How long the train will stay at one station has not been decided as yet.
At each station, the train will wait till the boarding and alighting of passengers are completed. Each train can run at a speed of 100 to 110 km per hour with 2,300 passengers. However, the speed will be lower in areas with bends.
Abdul Kuddus, a commuter of Dhaka city, said three political parties have ruled the country for several periods after independence. None of the parties made much progress at the district or divisional level. As a result, the country’s major industries have developed in the capital. Every year, thousands of common people rush to Dhaka from villages for livelihood.
The Bangladesh government has formulated the following Time-bound Action Plan in order to establish a state-of-the-art strong Network of public transport system to be implemented by DMTCL consisting of metro rail routes covering the distance of 128.741 kilometers having 104 Stations in Dhaka city and its adjoining areas.
On 29 March, 2022 Japan and Bangladesh signed “Exchange of Notes” and “Loan Agreement” for the 5th tranche of loans worth 18,285 million Japanese Yen for financing the Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project.
The metro rail is projected to carry 60,000 passengers per hour by travelling the entire route of 21.26 km from Uttara to Motijheel-Kamalapur railway station in less than 40 minutes.
Earlier, on 1 August, 2017, the implementation agency started installing the viaduct for the rail project. Within April this year they were scheduled to clean the occupied roads under the project areas, MAN Siddique said.
The 20.1-kilometre long metro rail line lies through Uttara Phase-3 and the Bangladesh Bank in Motijheel via Pallabi, Rokeya Sarani, Khamarbari, Farmgate, Karwanbazar, Shahbagh, Dhaka University’s Teacher-Student Centre, Doyel Chatwar and Jatiya Press Club.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the construction work of the metro rail project, also known as the MRT Line-6, on 24 June, 2016.
Later, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader inaugurated the construction work of the first part of the elevated viaducts and nine stations of the MRT Line-6 at Agargaon point in the city on 2 August, 2017.
The JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) provided around Tk 166 billion as project assistance out of the total cost of Tk 220 billion.