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Monday, December 3, 2012
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Japan okays metro rail funding

In a major breakthrough in building the country's first metro rail system in Dhaka, Japan has approved $2.1 billion in soft loan for the $2.7 billion project.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith disclosed this yesterday at his secretariat office after Japanese Ambassador in Dhaka Shiro Sadoshima handed over the approval letter to him.

"Japan government has approved the loan. They will give us $133 million within the current fiscal year," he told journalists.

Construction of the metro rail will begin by June next year and end in 2017, Muhith said

Metro rail will help reduce the perennial traffic congestion in the capital and facilitate quick movement of commuters. Implementation of this project will be a historic step, he said.

Officials of Bangladesh government and Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) will start negotiations on the approved loan by the end of this month. They expect an agreement in this regard would be signed next month, communications ministry sources said.

"The government is now ready to start loan negotiation with Jica as both the sides are very sincere about moving fast with building the 20.1 kilometre metro rail starting from Uttara Third Phase to Motijheel," said an official of the ministry.

The project recently gained momentum after a nearly three-year delay over change of route of the metro rail with the government deciding to appoint a consultant to prepare a detailed design of it.

Several international companies short-listed for the job now await approval of Jica. They have been asked to submit their technical and financial proposals for the job of preparing the detailed design and supervising the construction.

Meanwhile, the three-year delay has increased the project cost to $2.7 billion from $1.7 billion.

The metro rail project, the country's second largest infrastructure project next to the $2.9 billion Padma bridge project, became uncertain last year when the proposed rail route was modified for the second time following objections from the air force. The route running across Bijoy Sarani was diverted towards Khamarbari, which irked Jica.

A change in the route was first made in 2010 to avoid overlapping with the under-construction Gulistan-Jatrabari flyover.

Jica, however, did not desert the project and waited for the government to finalise the route, find a place for a depot and form a company that will eventually operate the metro rail.

Earlier, Jica had conducted a study on metro rail. The study said the metro rail will operate every three minutes and carry 60,000 passengers an hour.

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In the situation of never-ending jam that we have been facing severely making great loss to our economy since last two decades, it is a happy moment to know the confirmatory negotiation between officials of Bangladesh government and Jaica towards finalizing the metro rail fund.While we are eagerly waiting for Padma Bridge which experienced corruption conspiracy leading itself delay to be on ground, we must not have the same fortune what Padma Bridge faced.We are hopeful no anti-graft body will be need to begin metro rail construction and no mismanagement will run causing accident to grasp innocent lives like Chittagong fly over to minimize our daily sufferings in Dhaka city.

Al-Amin Rehman

: Al-Amin Rehman

Let us hope that it is not another Padma bridge!

: Selma

Comments

  • neutral
    Monday, December 3, 2012 02:25 AM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    The traffic jam of Dhaka will never be solved with any kind of transportation system in use unless an immediate decentralisation plan to decentralise politics, policy and development activities are decentralised with regions being empowered to take decisions of local issues and initiative, balanced growth of revenues and distribution giving a sound foundation of local government which would make the capital city inconsequential to the welfare of the people in upzila, district and region[ division].

  • rch
    Monday, December 3, 2012 02:59 AM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    To AL --please no corruption in this...If you do good work you will win! Unfortunately, both BNP and AL usually forget this most easy way to get re-elected.

  • Mizan Rahman
    Monday, December 3, 2012 04:16 AM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    Thanks to our honourable Finance Minister. Very good news for this government. Great achievement. Please try to start the physical work.

  • suahmed
    Monday, December 3, 2012 05:36 AM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    It is very unfortunate for delaying the project. Who will now pay for the huge extra cost caused due to delay.

  • Shabbir A Bashar
    Monday, December 3, 2012 07:00 AM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    This is great news indeed! Air force or any of the defence forces have no business taking up huge spaces in an overcrowded mega city: your job is to defend the country and not obstruct its natural development. What right do your officer's have in acquiring government land to build housing when everyone else has to buy land at the market price? Frankly, the metro rail is far more important that the air force in a tiny and densely populated country like Bangladesh. May be it is time to abolish the air force and integrate it with the navy and the army. Only practical thinking and not emotional pride will pave the way to unleashing the huge human productivity capital of 160 million people.

  • Reaz Hassan
    Monday, December 3, 2012 10:11 AM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    I wish to see Japan-the lead lender in this case-take a proactive role in the execution of the project from start to finish so that the work is completed in time and the construction is of world class. We do not trust our bureaucrats, technocrats, contractors or most of all- the mighty politicians who makes the decisions for us only at incremental value. Lender agencies and countries must ensure that only white money flows into such projects. WB is doing a good job-and we need more such hammers till we learn the lesson of honesty and patriotism.

  • Reaz Hassan
    Monday, December 3, 2012 10:12 AM GMT+06:00 (95 weeks ago)

    I wish to see Japan-the lead lender in this case-take a proactive role in the execution of the project from start to finish so that the work is completed in time and the construction is of world class. We do not trust our bureaucrats, technocrats, contractors or most of all- the mighty politicians who makes the decisions for us only at incremental value. Lender agencies and countries must ensure that only white money flows into such projects. WB is doing a good job-and we need more such hammers till we learn the lesson of honesty and patriotism.


 

 


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