Zarif Mahmud: Works of the country’s first metro rail construction project is moving fast to free the people of Dhaka from traffic jams. Work on the 11.63 km section from Diabari in Uttara to Agargaon is almost complete. Metrorail will be inaugurated in this part in December this year. Work is underway on the rest of the project.
According to the preliminary plan, the construction period of about 20 km metro rail from Uttara to Motijheel is till December 2024. Approved expenditure is Tk 21,975 crore. However, the work of the project has increased as the metro rail route from Motijheel to Kamalapur has been extended. Metrorail route from Motijheel to Kamalapur with a length of 1.17 km stands at 21.28 km. Expenditure has also increased due to increase in work.
That is why the Department of Road Transport and Highways of the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges has sent to the Planning Commission to amend the present Development Project Proposal (DPP). The second amendment proposal of the DPP has estimated the estimated expenditure at Tk 33,461.92 crore. In other words, the new expenditure of the project is increasing by Tk 1,146 crore 92 lakh. According to the previous project proposal, Tk 18,595 crore was loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The rest of the money is from government funds. A loan of Tk 3,071.11 crore will be sought from JICA to meet the new rising cost. And Tk 8,405 crore 81 lakh will be given from government funds. If JICA gives new money, their debt will be Tk 19,085 crore 60 lakh. And the cost of government funds in this project will be Tk 13,696 crore 29 lakh.
The initial duration of the project under implementation of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) was from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2024. However, due to the increase in work, it will take another year and six months to complete the project. In that case, it has been proposed to extend its term till June 2025.
Economic Relations Department (ERD) sources said that the work has been increased from Motijheel to Kamalapur with the permission of JICA. If the Planning Commission amends the DPP, ERD will propose additional loans along with JICA. Those concerned are hopeful that the company will agree to provide additional loans.
A senior ERD official told that the DPP of the Metrorail project was being revised.
However, the Planning Commission has not yet finalized the amendment. Additional loans will be offered along with JICA if they are finally amended. JICA is very generous. I think if you send them an offer, they will accept it. But before that the project has to be properly modified and come into our hands.
In the context of additional loan proposals from JICA Planning Commission Physical Infrastructure Department (Secretary) Member. Mamun-al-Rashid told, “The PEC (Project Evaluation Committee) meeting of the project will be held in the future. ERD representatives will also be present at the meeting. We will have a meeting with the DPP of the project. I will check whether it is reasonable to increase the cost and time. If it makes sense, I would recommend increasing the cost and time. After that, the project will be approached along with JICA through ERD for additional loan.
Reasons for revising project
In the context of revising the project proposal by increasing the time and cost, those concerned say that land acquisition, construction and collection of E&M system will be done in the additional 1.16 km section from Motijheel to Kamalapur. In addition, land allocation and design for transit-oriented development (TOD), power consumption of train operation and enterprise resource management system will be collected.
In addition, elevators, escalators and stairs will be constructed at the station, construction of sidewalks, consultancy expenses and ancillary activities will be carried out. Due to all this, time and cost of project implementation is increasing.
Besides, construction of a Transport Oriented Hub (TOD) around Uttara Center Station, acquisition of new land for construction of various infrastructures including Station Plaza. These plans, however, were not in the original DPP of the project.
DMTCL also cited the customs and VAT sector as one of the reasons behind the increase in the cost of construction of Metrorail. The agency added that a large portion of the project’s expenditure goes to paying taxes to the government for the purchase of various products, construction materials and services. Apart from this, there is a huge cost behind land acquisition. According to the revised DPP proposal, about 23 per cent of the total cost of the project will be spent on customs and land acquisition. Expenditure on consultancy will also increase.
New sector of expenditure
As per the revised development project proposal of Metrorail, Tk 135 crore in consultancy sector, Tk 100 crore in utility connectivity sector, Tk 100 crore in license fee renewal sector, Tk 50 lakh in digital archive software sector, Tk 50 crore 14 lakh in rolling stocks (Motijheel to Kamalapur) sector, civil works. (Motijheel to Kamalapur) sector including 1160 meters will cost Tk 614.56 crore, construction of station plaza will cost Tk 92.60 crore and electricity bill sector will cost Tk 200 crore.
Land acquisition and purchase in the project is being increased by 17.69 hectares. As a result, the total amount of project-oriented land will be 45.69 hectares. The total expenditure in this sector has been estimated at Tk 5,084.61 crore. The general consultancy services sector is increasing by 13,544 people per month, the expenditure in this sector is increasing by Tk 57.69 crore. Besides, the CD VAT sector under the project is increasing by Tk 1,173.34 crore.
Stations to be 16
According to the initial plan, there were to be 16 stations on the Metrorail. Now a new station will be built at Kamalapur. Station locations are Uttara North, Uttara Center, Uttara South, Pallabi, Mirpur-11, Mirpur-10, Kazipara, Shewrapara, Agargaon, Vijay Sarani, Farmgate, Karwan Bazar, Shahbag, Dhaka University, Bangladesh Secretariat and Motijheel.
Regarding the latest progress of the project, DMTCL sources said that the latest average progress of Metro Rail from Uttara to Kamalapur of Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (Line-6) is 74.04 percent. From the third phase of Uttara scheduled for construction in the first phase, the progress of construction work in Agargaon section is 90.06 percent. The progress of construction work from Agargaon to Motijheel section scheduled for construction in the second phase is 63.08 percent.
Electrical and Mechanical Systems and Rolling Stock (Rail Coach) and Depot Equipment Procurement Progress is 60.91 percent. Already 10 metro trains have arrived in Bangladesh. The government plans to launch 11.63 km route from Uttara to Agargaon in December.
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