Metrorail to be operational in December

Publish: 8:05 PM, November 23, 2022 | Update: 6:55:PM, November 24, 2022
Metrorail ran a ‘performance run’ from Uttara depot to Pallabi, Mirpur, Dhaka on 29 August, 2021. File photo.

The country’s first metro rail will be opened to the public in the last week of December this year. “Initially it will run from Uttara to Agargaon”, said Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) Managing Director (MD) M. A. N. Siddique. He said it to reporters after signing an agreement on the land development of the Metrorail (MRT Line-1) depot area at a hotel in the capital on Wednesday (November 23).

Mr Siddique said, “We have not fixed any date for the inauguration of the Metrorail. However, we are expecting the last week of December when city dwellers will ride the first ever Metrorail of the country.”

“Initially 11.73 kilometers viaduct from Uttara to Agargaon will be opened. There will be 9 stations to pass this way. Construction material of metro rail, especially concrete and steel road traffic barriers, from Uttara to Agargaon has already been cleared which caused the pedestrians to suffer a lot.”- he said.

According to DMTCL, Metrorail (MRT Line-6) fare is fixed at Tk 5 and the minimum fare is Tk 20 per km. The fare from Uttara to Kamalapur will be Tk 100. There will be a waiver for the freedom fighters.

He stated at the time that the construction of Bangladesh’s first metro rail from Uttara to Kamalapur, with a length of 21.26 km at an estimated cost of Tk 33 thousand 472 crores, is progressing in full swing in accordance with the timed work plan 2030. The overall average progress till September 30 of this year is 83.13 percent. The progress of completing the first phase, from Agargaon section to Uttara third phase, is 94.22 percent.

Stating the progress of the Agargaon to Motijheel section, scheduled for the second phase, is 84.34 percent, he said, “The cumulative progress of procurement of electrical and mechanical systems and rolling stock (rail coaches) and depot equipment is 83.81 percent.

In accordance with the PM’s instruction, all the activities up to the design have been completed to extend 1.16 km from Motijheel to Kamalapur. The land acquisition process is in its final stage. The work of verifying the service of this part has been started.”

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said last September that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate this MRT Line-6 ​​in the month of our victory next December.

When asked why this section cannot be opened on December 16, Mr Siddique said, “There are many programs in December. That is why it will be done in the last week of December.”

Informing about the work plan for the Subway in the capital he said, “PM Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate MRT Line-1 of Metrorail in the last week of January or the first week of February next year. Subway construction work will start after that.”

“The construction of the Subway from Kamalapur to the Airport will start in the current financial year. The Subway construction work will be completed through ten packages. We are already working on different parts of each package. And after a few days, we can tell when we can start the underground work through the TVM machine.”- said Mr Siddique.

He said, “We will dig under 30 meters to even 70 meters in some places to go from Airport to Kamalapur. When the TVM machine cuts the soil underground, it cannot be understood from above that the work is going on below. There are a total of 12 stations on this route, which have to be worked on using an open cut method. These 12 stations will take a maximum of six months to complete and go down under the open cut method. During this time, half of the road will be fully operational. And we will work on the remaining part and fill it later.”

A maximum of six months of traffic diversion may be required at the location of stations. However, traffic management will not be required at any other places, he said.

Regarding the fear of damage to the utility lines, he said, “We will work at least 30 meters below. No utility line in Bangladesh is so low. As a result, we will not need to move any utility lines along the entire route alignment. We will use the latest technology in the station area, where it will be required, and go down leaving the utility lines as they are.