MRT-5 works begin soon

The government has taken up an initiative to implement the fifth part of mass rapid transit project. In this regard, Road Transport and Highways Division (RTHD) has sent a proposal to Finance Ministry recently, seeking Tk 1,000 crore allocation for the implementation of Mass Rapid Transit-5 (MRT-5) under Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (DMTDP), said officials.

RTHD sources said the amount would be spent in acquiring land for the project. In a pre-budget meeting with media, Finance Minister AHM Mostafa Kamal few days ago said, ‘‘We all are aware of the problem of Dhaka city. The number of vehicles is excessive here. To reduce the traffic jam in Dhaka, circular train service surrounding the city would be introduced besides the metro rail. To implement the metro rail project, all sorts of allocation will be included in the next budget.’’

Mentionable, at present DMPDT is implementing MRT-6 from Uttara to Motijheel. The government is now wishing to carry out the implementation of MRT-5; its route would be Hemayetpur-Gabtoli-Technical-Mirpur 1- Mirpur 10-Mirpur 14-Kachukhet-Banani-Gulshan 2-Natun Bazar-Bhatara. In total six kilometres portion of the route, Hemayetpur to Amin Bazar and Notun Bazar to Bhatara parts would be elevated. From Aminbazar to Notun Bazar portion would be constructed underground. In total, the route would be 19.5 kilometres long.

In RTHD’s letter to the finance ministry, it was mentioned that development project proposal (DPP) for Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project-5 (MRT-5), to be implemented by Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited, has been finalised. The proposal is expected to be approved by Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in June next.

After the approval of DPP, land acquirement works has to be started in fixed time. For this land acquirement process, Tk 1,000 crore has to be allotted in the revenue budget of 2019-20 fiscal year. The letter requested the finance ministry to allocate the amount. Related sources said construction of the 19.6 km long MRT-5 is scheduled to end by 2025. Tk 17,344 crore would be spent to implement the project.

Development partner Japan International Cooperation Agency is conducting the feasibility study of the project. JICA and ADB have primarily agreed to finance the project. Sources said an underground station would be constructed at the north of Gabtoli bus terminal for the proposed MRT-5, following open-cut method. A top finance ministry official said we have received the RTHD proposal. The government is implementing the metro rail project to reduce traffic jam in Dhaka city. Positive decision would be taken in favour of MRT-5 proposal. The expected allocation might be made in the next revenue budget.