Govt to sign Metro Rail deal with JICA

The government is set to sign a loan deal with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Wednesday to finance the Metro Rail Project in the capital.

Communications Minister Obaidul Quader informed the reporters about the decision while inspecting the repair works of the Meghna and Gomti Bridges in Narayanganj on Tuesday.

Of the total cost of Tk 220 billion, JICA, the agency that coordinates development assistance on behalf of the Government of Japan, will provide Tk 165.95 billion, while the Bangladesh Government will take care of the remaining Tk 53.90 billion.

The 20.1-kilometer-long Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line-6 will run from Uttara Third Phase and pass through Pallabi, the west side of Rokeya Square and Farmgate, Hotel Sonargaon, Ruposhi Bangla, TSC of Dhaka University, Doel Intersection, Topkhana Road and Bangladesh Bank.

Later, the route will be extended up to Saidabad from Bangladesh Bank through Atish Dipankar Road.

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), the country’s top economic policymaking body, on Dec 18 approved the overland metro rail service project – Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line-6 to ease the city’s cluttered traffic.

The project will be implemented in three phases by 2022.

A survey was conducted during the caretaker government regime to construct the metro rail or elevated expressway across the capital, which got momentum after the Hasina government took office in January 2009.

But the project got stuck after Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) raised objections to the first design of the proposed metro rail route through Bijoy Sarani stating that its height would hinder air traffic at Tejgaon.

JICA, the main funding agency of the project, then expressed its dissatisfaction over the delay in the project.

After the government revised the design of the overland metro project by excluding Bijoy Sarani from the original design, the JICA agreed to provide the necessary fund at a meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Dec 2 last year.

The government said that once the ‘Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project’ was implemented, some 60,000 commuters would be able to travel every hour.

According to the Planning Division, the rail track would be constructed in three phases. The Pallabi-Sonargaon Hotel route (11 kilometres) would be completed by 2019 and the Sonargaon-Bangladesh Bank route (4.4 kilometres) by 2020. The remaining Uttara-Pallabi route (4.7 kilometres) was expected to be completed by 2022.

Acquisition of an additional 22 hectares of land from private owners at Uttara Third Phase was necessary for the project as Rajuk declined to provide it. There will be 16 stations and one maintenance depot under the project.

Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) will implement the project under the supervision of the Roads and Highways Division of the Ministry of Communications. DTCA was formed with the aim of modernising the transport system in the capital.

Leave a Reply