Underground metro rail in the offing

$33.26m ADB loan for feasibility study and design

As the incumbent government is developing all sectors, especially communications, construction of the underground metro rail MRT-5 line will start soon.

In this regard, the Manila-based multilateral lender Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $33.26 million for conducting detailed feasibility study, engineering designs and procurement documentation for the 17.4 kilometres line from Gabtoli in the West and Dasherkandi in the East. 

The government will also need $11.32 million for the purpose. This task is expected to be completed by 2023.

Interest rate for the loan will be 2 percent and the amount will be repaid in 25 years after a five-year grace period.

Almost 13km of the line, including 12 stations, would be underground while the rest would be elevated with four stations.

The MRT-5 project estimated cost is Tk 41,238.54 crore which was approved in October by the executive committee of the national economic council (ECNEC).

JICA will give Tk 29,117.05 crore while Tk 12,121.49 crore will come from the government exchequer for the project aimed at completion 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 design of the underground rail has been prepared.

The first part of the project, 16.4km long, will be the airport route stretching from the terminal 3 of the airport to Kamalapur via Khilkhet, Jamuna Future Park, Notun Bazar, Badda, Hatirjheel, Rampura, Malibagh and Razarbagh. 

The second part will be the Purbachal route stretching from Notun Bazar to Purbachal Depot via Jamuna Future Park.

The project 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.

The interest rate of the JICA loan will be 0.95 percent payable in 30 years. Japan is also funding the country's first elevated metro rail, MRT Line-6, from Uttara to Motijheel. 

A loan agreement was signed between the Economic Relations Division and the ADB.

Work on 20.1km MRT Line-6 from Uttara and Motijheel is going on in full swing. It is expected to be opened on the golden jubilee of the country's Liberation War victory on December 16 in 2021.

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 authorities have recently decided to extend the Line-6 from Motijheel to Kamalapur Railway Station to help travellers.