Published: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Metro rail in 6 years

Deal signed with design consultant

Dhaka would be free of its terrible traffic jams in six years, with the opening of the first metro rail service, said government officials after signing a deal with consultants for design and construction yesterday.
The construction of 20-kilometre metro rail from north of Uttara Model Town to Bangladesh Bank was expected to be completed by 2019, said Communications Minister Obaidul Quader.
Secretary to the roads division MAN Siddique too said that the citizens of Dhaka, world’s ninth densely populated city with 44,000 people living in per square-kilometre, would be able to travel by metro rail in six years.
“The metro rail will come at people’s doorsteps,” said Takao Toda, chief representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), adding that the service would drastically reduce the private cars on roads and thus decrease traffic congestion and environment pollution.
It would save Bangladesh an annual economic loss of Tk 200 billion, equivalent to the country’s 1.5 percent gross domestic production and 17 percent of the total tax revenue, he said.
The Jica boss said the metro rail would carry an estimated 60,000 passengers per hour to and from Uttara and Motijheel, significantly reducing travel time from one end to the other to 36 minutes from at least two hours at present.
The Japan government through Jica will provide Tk 16,600 crore of the total project cost of Tk 22,000 crore ($ 2.5 billion) as loan at 0.01 percent interest rate. The rest will have to be managed by Bangladesh government.
However, half of the project cost will be the consultancy fees.
Nippon Koei Ltd of Japan will lead the consortium of consultants with partners Nippon Koei India Ltd, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd, Mott MacDonald Ltd India, Mott MacDonald Ltd UK and Development Design Consultants Ltd Bangladesh.
The consortium will prepare metro’s detailed design, supervise construction work and help manage Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project, the official name of the metro scheme, with Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) as its implementing agency.
Md Aftabuddin Talukder, executive director of DTCA and Yoshiko Tsunoda, chairman of Nippon Koei Ltd, yesterday signed the consultancy deal in the capital.
In December last year,  the Executive Committee on National Economic Council had approved the scheme and Jica signed the loan agreement with Bangladesh in February this year.
Since, Jica requested the government time and again to expedite the       appointment of the metro rail project director and the managing director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Ltd, which will own, operate and maintain the metro rail.
Otherwise known as Mass Rapid Transit-6, the metro rail will have 16 stations at Uttara, Mirpur, Rokeya Sarani, Khamarbari, Farmgate, Sonargaon Hotel, Shahbagh, Doel Chattar and on Topkhana Road.

  • nds

    I think the year will be counted as consisting of 1000 days each. All are election time gossips.