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Wednesday, December 19, 2012
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Metro rail gets go-ahead

Japan to provide 76pc cost of Tk 21,985cr project aimed to improve Dhaka's public transport

In a major breakthrough following a nearly three-year hiatus, the government yesterday approved a project to set up the country's first metro rail system in Dhaka at a cost of Tk 21,985 crore.

A 20.1 kilometre elevated railway track will be built on Uttara-Motijheel route via Pallabi and Sonargaon Hotel area under the project, which will be implemented in three phases, according to a planning ministry statement.

In the first phase, 11 km of railway track will be laid from Pallabi to Sonargaon Hotel by 2019; in the second phase, 4.4 km line will be installed from Sonargaon Hotel to Bangladesh Bank at Motijheel by 2020; and in the third phase, 4.7 km track from Uttara to Pallabi will be set up by 2022.

The project will start this year and end in fiscal year 2023-24.

The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the project in a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Japan will bear 76 percent (Tk 16,595 crore) cost of the project while the remaining 24 percent would come from government funds. Japan has already approved $133 million for the project in the current fiscal year.

The project aims to reduce traffic jam through the installation of an elevated metro rail system, which will be the first of its kind in the capital, said the ministry statement.

The project seeks to promote a massive socioeconomic development through the modernisation of public transport system, it said.

The project gained momentum recently after a nearly three-year delay over the change of route of the metro rail. The delay increased the project cost to $2.7 billion from $1.7 billion.

Several international companies have been short-listed for preparing detailed design and supervising the construction. They have been asked to submit technical and financial proposals to the government. The companies now await approval of Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).

The metro rail project, the country's second largest infrastructure project after 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 set up 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.

The Ecnec also approved another project for Tk 1,230 crore to build climate resilient infrastructures in 12 coastal districts of the country's south-western region, said the planning ministry statement.

The project, which involves development of rural road network and market facility enhancement, will help lift the living standard of rural people.

The Ecnec approved a total of eight projects involving Tk 26,271 crore, said the statement.

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Great. it will decrease the traffic jam a lot... :)

: fahim

Picture in the news paper look beautiful but can not be implemented, and surely will not bring any change in Dhaka's status of inhabitable city for population pressure and centralized economic and political planning which are sure to continue having no sign of bold leadership to initiate a decentralized plan of action for economic and political decentralization with equity and use of human and natural resources for constructive development and not destructive politics. Think not twice but as many time as one has before going for this ultimate dead rail line hanging in the sky.

: neutral


  • Roney
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 01:31 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    20 km metro-rail at the cost of 21,985cr taka! In this country, regional disparity is most obvious reality. It is throttling back development of the county as a whole. Dhaka-based ruling elites do not care a fig for decentralization. Let splendor and grandeur of Dhaka along with media-constructed hyper-reality pull more jobless people to cram in as long as Dhaka manages to sustain it.

  • rajib das
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 02:00 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    A new era is coming soon for the Bengali. As a result we will go forward for 50 years at least.

  • Concerned citizen
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 02:02 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    The whole nation is paying bill for Dhaka's development although we could have easily spent it for other 'soft' projects such as education, healthcare, law enforcement etc. that would benefit many more people and in a more effective manner. Even if it was about infrastructure project, we could have built another Padma bridge or, separate rail track for Dhaka-Chittagong corridor or, access-controlled expressway between DHK and CTG or, setting up rail link between CTG-Gongdoon as part of connection between CTG and Kunming; such projects would cost same as the proposed metro project would do, but, benefit many more people than what the proposed project could.

  • Munir Ahmed
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 02:24 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    Just think of the construction mess it will bring to this overcrowded city for long 12 years. By the time it is finished population of Dhaka will be 10 times more.

  • Nasirullah Mridha,USA
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 02:24 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    For three years delays it costs extra $1 billion. Can you imagine if it implemented by 12 years how much cost would be gone through the roofs? We need to pragmatic and ought to complete this project in minimal time. This cost-effective project could undermine the other project if it headed in snail's pace.

  • Ronnie
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 02:25 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    Really good news! This will help a lot of people to commute from one point to the other without any delay. Really big thanks to Japan for coming forward and helping us out.

  • Dr. Abu Reza
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 02:55 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    The project implementation period envisaged perhaps reflect the speed with which the concerned BD governments dealt with the project in the past. It is entirely possible to shorten the implementation period, given the length and the technology adopted, for the project. Hopefully the JICA and Bangladesh government will make a fresh assessment of the entire situation.

  • Barkat
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 03:00 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    Wish and hope there is no corruption and red tape involved. Or else this project will be more of a suffering instead of reducing the suffering.

  • Selma
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 03:13 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    Let us hope that this project will not sink like Padma Bridge.

  • asif
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 03:38 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    Don't make it like Padma bridge.

  • rfk
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 04:13 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    I would like to thank the current government for its initiative for metro rail. This initiative should have taken by past government, because the necessity was already there and today's traffic situation could have improved if they made the right decision that time.

  • Yusuf Sheikh
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 04:48 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    It is a good project for us but the route should be connected with Airport and it has to be finish in National Rail Station. As a result the route will be proper utilized and will be comfortable communication across the crowd city. If we look at the well organized city of the world most of the rail route try connected with Airport and others important things. However ultimately I would like to say that, it's a better plan.

  • Mofi
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 05:12 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    Very good observation, Observer. I concur with you. Please put Secretariat on your list of establishments needs to take out of Dhaka.

  • Sheikh Monirul Islam, Opee
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 05:34 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    Awami League's road to success; hope it is not an election gimmick and a political cash-cow. Not a bad idea at all. Go ahead. We are behind you and make sure you return for a second term to finish the Padma Bridge, Railway project, Nuclear power station, new international airport, deep sea port, stable stock market and nonetheless the war crime tribunal.

  • Misbah Uddin Sumon
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 06:33 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    This Metro rail service will create a new chapter in our railway industry as well as remedy for traffic jam in Dhaka city. This was a need of many commuters and now it is coming to reality. We wish this project will finish as soon as possible.

  • zerosopher
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 07:33 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    Well done! I think along with overhead Metro, an underground system is also needed.

  • Abdur Rahman
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 07:49 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    It is necessary to ease traffic in Dhaka city, but it is a matter of great concern that how the project will be implemented. Moreover corruption is another matter, if corruption is not contained the fate would be the same as the Padma bridge project.

  • Alamin Ahmed
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 09:48 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    Some guy writes in comment to move Dhaka University from Dhaka. Anyway, this is wonderful news and we need to go with metro. Every developing country needs it. This is only way to remove congestion.

  • ItWouldBeALotEasierTo
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 10:51 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    Phase out all labor intensive industries from Dhaka, Including Ready Made Garments industries, the Military as someone here put, airports, Watershed blocking land developments. It would be a lot less painful.

  • ziaush shams
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 11:09 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    What a relief! We thought the military establishment of Bangladesh, whose officials' perks are financed by our tax payers' money, finally could sabotage the project. We are grateful to JICA for being so patient and coming up with extra money (about one billion dollars). GOB should do two things now, we think. The project should be implemented in 5 years instead of 10 years for traffic situation of the metropolis will become intolerable by 2020. And every year $200 million should be subtracted from the military budget until $ 1 billion is gathered to fund the extra billion dollars that will be needed to complete the metro rail project in 5 years rather than 10 years.

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 12:23 PM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    Again this project will stop, corruption take more money to govt.... can't improve the country until the world end...!!!!

  • Begum Rokeya
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 01:04 PM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    Did we get the nod from Delhi? I have my doubts if the project will ever get a ground break ceremony unless the contract goes to TATA Jamshedpur consortium.

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 04:36 PM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    Who knows what will bring us 2024. But for now it is a good news.

  • Reaz Hassan
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 12:30 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    The government merely wasted four valuable years resulting in unnecessary cost escalation. Dhaka traffic as it is, we no more like to question the sagacity of the route change but the sooner it is taken up and completed the better for the exasperated citizens of the metropolis. If undertaken on an emergency basis, the project can definitely be completed in five years instead of ten years. It reminds me of Napoleon Bonaparte who once commanded a group of scientists to complete a project in 15 months when they asked for 15 years and the work was done. Here we are projecting a time frame of 10 years for 20 kilometers! What a shame for a developing country with only 735 US dollar per capita income, just about half that of India.

  • H M Sharifu Islam Jagannath University
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 12:36 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    How can it possible? Because all over country's project is accused of corruption. I think it is great project for all people in Dhaka city.

  • ShamimH
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 12:59 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    Bangladesh is moving up and good news in the month of December - the month of our Liberation in '71.

  • An Observer
    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 01:02 AM GMT+06:00 (164 weeks ago)

    Make Dhaka small and manageable by removing cantonment, military HQS and other related establishments in different districts instead of building this silly metro rail. This same amount would help Dhaka to be small and beautiful. Dhaka university could be moved out of Dhaka too to make more space for the capital city. Take it to Turgipara if necessary but this metro project is nothing but wasting public fund and it would make Dhaka more miserable I can say without giving a second thought. If the project starts this year and ends in 2024 Dhaka would be a hell for long 10-15 years (during the project implementation time) and after 2024, it would be yet another type of hell to live in. However, metro will give some people to earn quick money and for some people to lay the foundation stone.





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