More metrorails on the cards

The government has undertaken five more metro rail projects in addition to the ongoing one. 

The projects have been taken to ease the traffic snarl and facilitate communications between the capital city of Dhaka and its surrounding fringes and outskirts as well as to reduce public sufferings. 

Work on the ongoing Metrorail project is going on in full swing and is expected to be opened to traffic by June 2022 while the five other projects are expected to be completed by 2030. 

The total length of the Metrorail under these six projects is 128 kilometres and these projects will connect the capital with the Purbachal City, Gazipur, Ashulia of Savar and Narayanganj through Metrorail. 

Under the Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited, the 128.741 km- long project will have 67.569 km flyover and the rest 61.172 km will be underground. The project will have a total of 104 stations under a strong network. Of these stations, 51 will be installed on the flyover and the rest 53 under the ground. The cost of the first project, which is already progressing fast, has been estimated at Tk 22,000 crore.

Roads and Highways Secretary Md Nazrul Islam said various action plans have been taken to   improve the communications system further. This includes the Metrorail project as it plays a big role in commuting more people easily. That is why, the Metrorail project is being given more importance.

According to officials concerned, work on the country's first Metro-6 Railway with about 21 km length from Diabari to Kamalapur via Motijheel in the capital is on progress even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The overall average progress of this project, which is running at a cost of Tk 22,000 crore, is 56.94 percent. 

They said the Dhaka Mass Transit Company (DMTCL) in its latest project progress report said  the progress of the construction work from Uttara to Agargaon portion is 80.21 percent while the progress from Agargaon to Motijheel portion is 51 percent. Besides, the combined progress of electrical and mechanical systems and rolling stock rail coaches and depot equipment work is 46 per cent.

DMTCL managing director M.A.N. Siddique said work on the first phase of the Metrorail project from Uttara to Agargaon was scheduled to be completed and opened to traffic by June last year. But the duration of the project has been extended as it was not possible to complete the work within the target period due to Corona pandemic. 

“To ensure medical care for all those working on the project, two separate field hospitals with 14 beds have been constructed at Panchabati Construction Yard in Uttara and 10 beds at Gabtali Construction Yard”, he said.

According to officials, one of these six Metrorail projects named MRT Line-1 will be the country’s first underground railway project with a length of 31.241 km. This project will have two parts. The length of one of the parts from Dhaka Airport to Kamalapur will be 19.872 kms and the number of stations will be 12 at Airport, Airport Terminal-3, Khilkhet, Jamuna Future Park, Natunbazar, North Badda, Badda, Hatirjheel, Rampura, Malibagh, Rajarbagh and Kamalapur.

Besides, the length of the second part will be 11.369kms from Natunbazar to Pitalganj Depot. There will be a total of nine stations at Natunbazar, Jamuna Future Park, Basundhara, Police Officers’ Housing Society, Mastul, Purbachal Centre, Purbachal Sector-7 and Purbachal Depot. This project is expected to be completed by 2026 at a cost of Tk 51,900 crore.

The length of another project named MRT Line-2 will be 24 kms from Gabtoli to Chattogram Road via Mohammadpur, Jigatola, Dhanmondi, Science Lab, Newmarket, Azimpr, Palashi, Dhaka Medical College, Golapshah Mazar, Bangabhaban, Motijheel, Arambagh, Kamalapur, Mughda, Manda and Demra.

Accordingly, MRT Line-4 project with a length of 16 km from Kamalapur to Narayanganj is expected to be completed by 2030. This project also will be a  underground one. 

The MRT Line-5 project will be completed by 2028. With a length of 20 km- railway, the route will start from Hemayetpur in Savar to Bhatara. This project will have 14 stations and cost has been estimated at Tk 41,261 crore. This route starting from Hemayetpur will run through Baliapur, Madhumoti, Aminbazar, Gabtoli, Darussalam, Mirpur Section-1, Mirpur Section-10, Mirpur Section-14, Kachukhet, Banani, Gulshan-2, Natunbazar and Bhatara. 

Another Metrorail project named MRT Line-5 (South) will start from Gabtoli to Daserkandi. With a length of 17.40km and 16 stations, this project is expected to be completed by 2030. Starting from Gabtoli, this route will run through Technical, Kalyanpur, Shyamoli, College Gate, Asadgate, Russell Square, Panthapath, Hatirjheel, Niketan, Rampura, Aftabnagar and Daserkandi.