Dhaka enters metro era next year

52 lakh people expected to commute daily


The capital city of Dhaka will enter the metro rail era next year as the construction work of metro rail and subway continued despite the coronavirus crisis.

It is expected that metro rail and subway project will ensure smooth and easy transportation for city-dwellers and save their travel time as well.

It is likely to ease the nagging traffic snarl to a great extent.
The residents of the mega city who experience a daily nightmare of traffic gridlock, will heave a sigh of relief with the completion of all projects in 2026, 2028, and 2030 as an estimated 52 lakh passengers will be able to commute every day in the city.

As per the government schedule, the capital city will enter the metro era in December 2021. Afterwards five more metro lines will be constructed in phases till 2030. A total of 128.741 kilometers of metro rail including the metro subway will be constructed in Dhaka. There will be a total of 104 stations. The construction of the entire railway will continue until 2030.

These projects will help the city dwellers comfortable commuting with smooth transportation from one place to another.
The government will set up a total of six metro rail lines, one of which (Line-6) is under construction, to reduce traffic congestion in Dhaka, bring human commuting within reach, and save time and working hours. Besides, another project called ‘Bus Rapid Transit’ is being implemented from Gazipur to Shahjalal International Airport.

According to Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) information, the first phase is Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line-6 that will cover the area from Uttara to Motijheel scheduled to be inaugurated on 16th December 2021 while the full-phase is assumed to be completed by 2024.

DMTCL managing director MAN Siddique in a recent webinar meeting said, “As some of our workers and consultant are infected with the deadly virus, our work pace has slowed down. On the other hand, we are waiting for the return of a Japanese consultant. When they will arrive here, we will be able to start construction work in full swing”.

Once completed, the 20.10km metro rail service with 16 stations will be capable of carrying 60,000 passengers an hour, reducing travel time from Uttara to Motijheel from at least two hours to less than an hour.

The MRT-5 project’s estimated cost is Tk 41,238.54 crore which was approved in October by the executive committee of the national economic council (ECNEC). Almost 13km of the line, including 12 stations, would be underground while the rest would be elevated with four stations.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will give Tk 29,117.05 crores while Tk 12,121.49 crore will come from the government exchequer for the project aimed at completing it from July 2019 to December 2028.

About 20km new metro rail route from Hemayetpur to Bhatara will have a 14km underground part, sources said adding that 14 stations will be constructed in the route.

The ECNEC also approved MRT Line-1 in October. The line will have two parts -- around 19.87km from Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur with 16.4km underground, and around 11.36km of elevated rail from Notun Bazar to Purbachal.

The estimated cost for MRT-1 has been set at Tk 52,561.43 crore. JICA will give Tk 39,450.32 crore while Tk 13,111.11 crore will come from the government exchequer. The project will be completed from September 2019 to December 2026.