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Thursday, February 21, 2013
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Metro rail loan deal signed

Japan to provide $116m this fiscal year; deal for the rest fund later

Bangladesh and Japan yesterday signed separate deals under which Tokyo will provide $792.82 million to implement four projects, including the long-cherished metro rail system.

Of the amount, $784.82 million is soft loan while the rest $8 million is grant. With an interest rate of 0.01 percent, the loan is payable in 40 years including 10 years of grace period.

For the metro rail project, Japan is initially providing $116.32 million.

Japan had earlier agreed to provide 85 percent of the total metro rail cost of $2.7 billion, while the rest of the money will be borne by the government.

Yesterday's deal was for a pre-construction phase. A separate deal for the rest of the funding for the project would be signed at a later date, officials said.

The $116.32 million will be provided within the current fiscal year for a detailed design of metro rail project. The 20.1-kilometre metro rail, the country's first-ever, starts from Uttara Third Phase and touches Pallabi, Mirpur-10, Khamarbari, Farmgate, Sonargaon Hotel, Shahbagh, Doel Chattar and Topkhana Road before ending at Motijheel.

A consultant will be appointed soon to prepare the design, which will take two to three years. This means construction of the metro rail will begin at the end of 2016 and take five years to complete. So, the city commuters are not going to get the service before 2021.

As per a JICA study, metro rail will operate every three minutes and carry 60,000 passengers per hour. There will be 16 stations on the route.

Two other deals signed yesterday were on the development of power transmission network, for which Japan is providing $208 million, and development of Bheramara combined cycle power plant, for which Japan's loan is $460.5 million.

Japan is giving the grant of $8 million for ground water investigation and development of deep groundwater source in urban and rural areas.

Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Abul Kalam Azad and Japan's Ambassador in Dhaka Shiro Sadoshima signed the agreements at the Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in presence of Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Communications Minister Obaidul Quader, PM's Energy Adviser Toufiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury and the Chief Representative of JICA (Japan International Development Cooperation).

POWER TRANSMISSION NETWORK DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
The objectives of this project are to upgrade and enhance capacity of the national power transmission network through construction and expansion of transmission lines as well as sub-stations in Chittagong, Comilla, Lakshmipur, Mymensingh, Barisal, Shariatpur, Jessore, Bogra, Rajshahi and Nilphamari districts.

The JICA assistance will be used for installation of materials, construction and consulting services. The total cost of the project is Tk 2,426 crore and be implemented in five years.

COMBINED POWER PLANT DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
A 360-megawatt power plant will be set up under the project to meet increasing demand for electricity in the country's northwest region at a cost of Tk 4,140 crore. The project was launched in 2010 with a target to complete it by next year.

GROUNDWATER INVESTIGATION PROJECT
The project aims at searching potential safe sources of deep aquifer in the arsenic and saline water prone areas. Big diameter production well using advanced technology will also be dug under it.

Japanese experts will train the Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) staff on the use of geophysical survey equipment for their capacity development on drilling of deep well and groundwater exploration techniques.

The estimated cost of the project is Tk 103 crore. The project will kick off this year and will be completed by 2019, according to official documents.

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There is absolutely no justification of any kind whatsoever to keep the old Dhaka airport in the middle of the city. I even like to see cantonment also move to some other area like Joydevpur etc.

This whole area should be turn to a huge natural park with tropical trees, flowers that was a natural in Bangla. This park should look like central park in New York city. Be rest assure, we will need a modern Dhaka city in about 20 or so years that must compare with the top cities of the world.

I am sick and tired of hearing Dhaka as basti capital and cheap looking apartment city without any planning and almost non-existing sewage treatment plant.

I can hardly dream of seeing green Dhaka, with so many flora, fauna and tropical ecology that I remember witnessing in Dhaka the day Queen Elizabet II in early 1960's

: Iftekhar Hassan

Japan is Bangladesh's biggest single donor country. At a time when we are in financial crunch and Padma Bridge hangs in the balance, Metro Rail project will infuse some ray of hope in the minds of our countrymen. Right from Bangladesh's emergence in 1971, Japan has continued its help in critical situations. JICA may still provide us along with PRC, ADB, IDB the must needed fund for the Padma Bridge. Let us be clean so that no lender/donor can bring charges of kick backs against us in the implementation of projects.

: Reaz Hassan

Comments

  • Samad Sarkar
    Thursday, February 21, 2013 09:01 AM GMT+06:00 (127 weeks ago)

    I was wondering, if Abul Hassan or someone close to AL is the agent of the Japanese company that may end up getting the contract to built this project.

    Considering, most Bangladeshi city planners don't have any real time experience in underground or flyover rail system, this project sounds like would make Dhaka's environmental problem even worse in 2025.

    Most, forward thinking person would go for underground subway system in Dhaka instead of flyover, even though cost of underground will be higher. However, planning of the city must be done, keeping next 100 years in mind, when population of Dhaka alone will be 20 crores, if not more.

  • John Silver
    Thursday, February 21, 2013 06:39 AM GMT+06:00 (127 weeks ago)

    Is it the correct picture of the route for MRT? According to other papers, the route appears to be different.


 

 


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