Metro rail test run by Jan

The test run of metro rail in the capital will be conducted in January next year as the work on the project is progressing fast, officials said.

“We’re confident that we’ll be able to carry out trial run of metro rail at the beginning of the next year,” said a top official of the project requesting anonymity. 

The officials said making of five sets of rail coaches in Japan is expected to be completed by December this year. 

"Manufacturing of metro rail coaches is going on in Japan. These coaches will be brought here immediately after the resumption of communications between Bangladesh and Japan,” Md Abu Naser, Deputy Chief Information Officer of Road Transport and Highways Division, told Bangladesh Post.

The coaches will be brought in the country on priority basis for conducting the test run, according to officials.

Metro rail authorities said about 80 percent of the work on its 12-kilometre portion from Uttara to Agargaon has already been completed.  

Visiting the metro rail construction area, this correspondent found that rail tracks in the Uttara-Diabari section have been fully installed.

There are nine stations in the Uttara-Agargaon portion of the metro rail. Sub-structures of the stations have been completed while the construction of concourse or roof of Uttara Centre and Uttara South stations is also almost complete, according to project officials.

They said the work of Concourse Hall of Uttara North, Pallabi, Kazipara, and Shewrapara stations is going on while the construction of platforms at Uttara North and Uttara South and Uttara Centre stations is underway. 

Besides, the work on installing steel structure of Uttara South station has progressed much while mechanical, electrical and pumping work of Uttara Center and Uttara South Station has started, according to them. 

Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) Managing Director MAN Siddique earlier said more than half of the ongoing project has been completed.

"Most of the equipment in the system has arrived at our depot. Work on two metro trains has already been completed. And almost half of the three are almost finished. Once it is done, we will be able to bring them to the country," he said. 

If the current pace of the construction of the metro rail keeps on going, officials concerned are optimistic that the rail project must be completed by 2022. 

The metro rail project is being constructed at a cost of Tk 219.85 billion, of which Japan's aid agency JICA will provide Tk 165 billion. 

The construction of the 20-kilometre metro rail from Uttara to Motijheel via Mirpur under package 6 of the Mass Rapid Transit or MRT project began in June 2016. 

The metro rail will take a commuter 40 minutes to reach Kamalapur from Uttara. The stations will be as high as three-storey buildings and be accessed by escalators and lifts.