PM inaugurates part yesterday
Syed Nasir Hossain: The construction project of about 20 km long Metrorail (MRT Line-6) from Uttara to Motijheel was taken up at the end of 2012. At that time the duration of the project was estimated to be 11.5 years. That is, the duration of the project is considered till June 2024. However, it was later reduced and the metro rail was inaugurated in 2021. But in the end, it took about 11 years to build the Uttara-Motijheel section.
Meanwhile, last year it was decided to amend the project and extend it to Kamalapur instead of Motijheel. The extended 1.16 km section is targeted for completion in 2024. However, due to faulty planning and implementation delays, the construction cost of the metro rail has increased by more than 52 percent.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has inaugurated the Agargaon to Motijheel section of MRT Line-6 yesterday (November 4). At the same time, she has also inaugurated the construction of MRT-5’s northern route to establish the first east-west link of Dhaka metropolis.
According to the information, the MRT-6 (Mass Rapid Transit-6) project was initially supposed to build a 20 km long metro rail from Uttara to Motijheel. However, the project was revised in July last year. Instead of Motijheel, the metro rail will go to Kamalapur. Besides, station plaza will be added to metro rail station area to increase revenue. The transfer to the station requires acquisition of land/houses next to footpaths, which was not in the initial plan. Due to these reasons the cost of the project has increased.
The first MRT-6 construction project was approved in December 2012. At that time its cost was estimated at Tk 21,985.07 crore. However, as revised, the cost of constructing metro rail from Uttara to Kamalapur has increased to Tk 33,471.99 crore. That is, the cost of construction of metro rail has increased by Tk 11,486.92 crore or 52.25 percent.
Although the project was approved on December 18, 2012, it took about four years to hire consultants, prepare detailed designs and hire contractors. On June 26, 2016, the construction of the Metrorail depot was officially inaugurated. And in 2018, it was announced that on 16 December 2021, the metro rail will be inaugurated on the entire route from Uttara to Motijheel. However, due to various reasons including Corona, its construction was delayed. In this last year, on December 29, the Diabari to Agargaon section of Uttara was inaugurated.
Metro rail service will be inaugurated from Agargaon to Motijheel section of MRT Line-6 yesterday. However, the train will not run at full capacity right now on the entire route. Metro rail will run on Agargaon-Motijheel and Uttara-Agargaon section from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm Sunday.
Meanwhile, the train service has started till Motijheel, but initially after Agargaon, the train will stop at Farmgate, Secretariat and Motijheel station. Because the work of TSC, Shahbagh and Karwan Bazar stations has not been completed yet. These three stations are scheduled to be operational in the next three months.
According to the source, the metro rail fare will be Tk 20 from Agargaon to Farmgate, Tk 30 from Farmgate to Secretariat, Tk 20 from Secretariat to Motijheel, Tk 30 to Farmgate to Motijheel, and Tk 100 to Motijheel from Uttara. However, if you take a permanent pass, you will get 10 percent discount.
Metrorail authorities have said that it will take some more time to be fully operational as some construction and ancillary works are pending. At present metro rail is running from Agargaon to Uttara. It carries an average of 85,000 passengers every day. 60,000 passengers per hour and 677,000 passengers per day will be able to travel by train if it is fully operational till Motijheel-Kamalapur.
On the other hand, the Prime Minister has also inaugurate the construction of MRT Line-5 (Northern Route) yesterday. This line will be 20 km from Hemayetpur via Bhatara to Gabtali, Mirpur-10, Gulshan. The project of Tk 41,239 crore is scheduled to be completed in 2028.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said that 1.16 km road from Motijheel to Kamalapur has been extended considering the convenience of the people. The extended part will be completed by June 2024.
Note that the metro rail is being constructed with the support of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). JICA is lending Tk 19,718 crore to the project. The rest of the money is given from the government fund.
Special Correspondent: President of the Bangladesh Insurance Forum (BIF), BM Yusuf Ali, ha…