Metro Rail extending to Kamalapur instead of Motijheel...

Dhaka, Thursday   29 October 2020

Metro Rail extending to Kamalapur instead of Motijheel

 Staff Correspondent

 Published: 01:02 PM, 14 October 2020   Updated: 01:03 PM, 14 October 2020

Recent photo of Metro Rail project; Photo: Daily Bangladesh

Recent photo of Metro Rail project; Photo: Daily Bangladesh

On the recommendation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the metro rail will extend to Kamalapur instead of Motijheel for the convenience of the passengers. As a result, the usefulness of the metro rail will increase to a great extent.

According to the concerned people, a large number of passengers from different parts of the country travel to Kamalapur. From there, passengers need buses, CNG or autorickshaws to go to different places in Dhaka. However, these are often less than needed. So, the train passengers coming to and leaving Dhaka will get the opportunity to use Metro Rail. As a result, the utility of this project will increase. 

The cost of the project will also be increased due to increasing the length of the Metro Rail. The increased length of the Kamalapur section from Motijheel will be 1.16 km. 

The Metro-rail project was approved in December 2012, but construction began in June 2016 after the design was finalized. 
The country’s first metro rail (MRT line-6) is being constructed from Diabari (Uttara) to Motijheel.

In October last year, the Prime Minister expressed her intention to extend the Metrorail to Kamalapur instead of Motijheel. 

Recently, the Ministry of Road Transport and Railways sat in a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office where the decision was taken by the Chief Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Chief Coordinator for SDGs.

According to sources, the construction of Metro Rail is going on in two parts. The progress of the Uttara-Agargaon section has been about 74 percent till August. The Agargaon-Motijheel section has made about 48 percent progress. However, Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), the project implementing agency, took the initiative to extend the Metro Rail line to Kamalapur following the directive of the Prime Minister. Feasibility has been verified for this.

Currently, the length of the metro rail is about 20 km. As the Motijheel-Kamalapur section increases, the length of the project will be a little more than 21 km. Besides, there were 16 stations on the Metro Rail under construction (elevated). However, with the addition of Kamalapur, this number will stand to 17. So, DMTCL is working to ensure that the extended portion does not interfere with the original metro rail construction plan.

According to project sources, a meeting was held recently to extend the metro rail to Kamalapur. DMTCL Managing Director MAN Siddique said, “On the recommendation of the Prime Minister, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been requested for a social survey for the construction of the metro rail station at Kamalapur end.”

He added that the government-approved Revised Strategic Transport Plan (RSTP) 2015-2035 has recommended extending MRT Line-6 to Kamalapur after examining the feasibility of MRT Line-1 in 2018. 

With the approval of the Prime Minister, a social survey has been started for the extension of Metro Rail to Kamalapur on November 17, 2019. It is currently in its final stages. The social survey will be completed within a month after the station’s location is finalized.

It was also informed at the meeting that the technical team of DMTCL and Railways held a meeting on August 18 to construct a metro rail station in the Kamalapur area. There are some recommendations from the railways.

The managing director of DMTCL said that the current location of MRT Line-6 station at Kamalapur as per option-1 has started from the last end of the curve section. It is not possible to build a ‘Caesar crossover’ before the station. It is essential to build a ‘Caesar Crossover’ after the station to run the train smoothly.

The government is planning to launch Uttara-Motijheel Metro Rail on the golden jubilee of Independence in December 2021. However, due to coronavirus, the process is likely to be delayed.

It is worth to be mentioned that the construction cost of the metro rail was estimated at Tk 21,985.07 crore. JICA already provided a loan of Tk 16,594.59 crore. The remaining Tk 5,390.48 crore will be provided from government funds. However, there is a probability of increasing expenditure due to other reasons including coronavirus.