National, Front Page

Afiza to operate country’s first-ever Metro Rail

Published : 27 Dec 2022 10:07 PM | Updated : 28 Dec 2022 06:31 PM

The formal beginning of the country’s first ever and much awaited metro-rail today (December 28) will be written in history for two obvious reasons - its inauguration, at the same time, the first commercial metro train will be operated by a female operator.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the metro rail which is scheduled to start operation, partially in the city from Uttara to Agargaon. Mariam Afiza will be in the driving seat to steer the train developed under Mass Rapid Transit line-6 project.

Six women were appointed as metro rail operators among others and Dhaka Mass Transit Company has already completed their training.

Afiza has completed her master's degree from Noakhali Science and Technology University in Chemistry. She was appointed as an operator of metro rail on November 2 last year.

“She received a two-month long training at Bangladesh Railway Training Academy in Chattogram's Halishahar. She returned to Dhaka and completed another four months of training,” said MAN Siddique, Managing Director of Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL).

“Now she is taking technical and practical training at the metro rail depot in Uttara's Diabari. She received training round the year,” he informed.

“Experts from metro rail construction company Mitsubishi-Kawasaki of Japan are also giving training to the operators on technical and practical issues at the metro rail depot in Uttara's Diabari,” he added.

MAN Siddique also said that Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) will operate 50 double-decker buses to transport passengers to and from metro stations.

BRTC signed an agreement with Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) in this regard recently. BRTC will provide bus service from Diabaria-Uttara House Building and Motijheel-Agargaon, he said.

“In the first phase, a limited number of trains carrying fewer passengers will operate for a short period in the morning and afternoon and the speed will be slower than usual for three months, as a period to get accustomed,” Siddique mentioned.

He said that the trains will wait for a bit longer than usual at the stations at first to help passengers become accustomed with the new seating and ticketing system. With the increase in the number of trains the trains will wait for less time at stations cutting the travel time.

“In the beginning, the trains will not stop at all stations. Each train will leave the Uttara station and stop at Pallabi, and then it will go to Agargaon without stopping. Stopping of trains at intermediate stations will start later,” the official explained.

Up to 17,000 passengers can travel daily initially, said DMTCL, and they can easily travel standing in the 9.5 feet wide space between the seats at both sides.

According to a Revised Strategic Transport Plan (RSTP), DMTCL plans to introduce six metro rail routes in Dhaka by 2030, with a total length of 128.74km serving a network of 104 stations - 53 underground and 51 elevated. Construction on the six metro rail lines is underway accordingly.

Meanwhile, a MRT police unit will be formed to ensure the security of the entire network in future, when up to 5 million passengers will use the service every day.

Related Topics