The government is going to construct the country's first ever underground rail line imitating the design of the subway system in Osaka city.
The underground rail line will be constructed in the capital without any kind of hassle, sources said. The land of Dhaka is similar to that of Osaka city in Japan. So, the authority concerned has decided to construct the underground metro rail emulating Osaka city's subway services.
Officials of Road Transport and Bridge ministry said, the government will construct underground rail digging 20-25 metres deep. The authority will use modern tunnel boring equipment to construct the underground rail route in the capital. There will be no environmental disaster during the construction of the underground rail line.
In this connection, Road Transport and Bridge Minister, Obaidul Quader, had recently said, after finalizing, we have sent the Development Project Proposal (DPP) to the planning commission for approval. We have completed all of the tasks to start the construction. The minister also said, there would be no hassle for the city commuters when the construction of the underground rail starts as all works will be under the ground.
Sources said, the government has already signed a loan agreement of Tk 4000 crore for the construction of a portion of the underground rail line. The first part of the MRT-1 project will be the airport route. It will stretch from the terminal 3 of Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur via Khilkhet, Jamuna Future Park, Notun Bazar, Badda, Hatirjheel, Rampura, Malibagh and Razarbagh. It will be 16.4 kilometres long.
The second part of the underground rail will be the Purbachal route. It will stretch from Notun Bazar to Purbachal Depot via Jamuna Future Park. This route will cover 10.2 kilometres. 31.24-kilometre underground rail line will be from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur.
The government plans to construct five metro rail service across the capital with a view to easing the traffic congestion. Japan has agreed to provide loans for Bangladesh to build its first underground rail line, sources also said. Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited will implement the project.
The authority has completed the feasibility study of the rail line. The detailed design of the project is in last stage. The 31.24km MRT Line-1 will have two parts -- around 19.87km from Airport to Kamalapur with 16.4km underground, and around 11.36km of elevated rail from Notun Bazar to Purbachal.
The interest rate will be 0.95 percent and the loan has to be repaid within 30 years. The estimated project cost has been set at Tk 53,000 crore, which will come from the government exchequer, but the actual amount will be known after the design is finalised, according to the ERD. Japan is also funding the country's first elevated metro rail, MRT Line-6, from Uttara to Motijheel. Construction of the 20.1km track is now underway and may be completed by this year.
The government wants to build all the five metro lines -- one elevated, one underground, and three underground plus elevated -- in the capital and its adjacent areas by 2030 to ease traffic and reduce pollution, the two major problems facing the mega city of more than 1.5 crore residents. Of its total length, 3.65km would be for transition from underground to elevated and vice versa.