The country’s first-ever and much-awaited metrorail service is going to be opened today (Wednesday).
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to inaugurate the first phase of the highly mordernised new railway system at its Uttara end in the morning.
Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) officials said the Prime Minister will also become the first passenger of the new transport system.
DMTCL has already completed its preparation to hold the colorful opening ceremony at Diabari, Uttara while police and RAB 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 stopping at any station along the route. Commuters will be able to take a trip on the train from the next day (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.
MAN Siddique, Managing Director of DMTCL, 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 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.
The Government of Bangladesh 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 March 29, 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 August 1, 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 June 24, 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 August 2, 2017.
The JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) provided around Taka 16,600 crore as project assistance out of the total cost of Taka 22,000 crore.