Physical work on Bangladesh's first underground metro rail, formerly known as Mass Rapid Transit Line-1, or MRT-1, will begin within September this year, said MAN Siddique, managing director at Dhaka Mass Transit Company Ltd, said on Wednesday.
The 31.24km MRT Line-1 will start from Shahjalal International Airport and will end at Kamalapur via Natun Bazar, he said at a seminar at Bangabandhu International Convention Centre in Dhaka after receiving the MRT-1 licence from Road Transport and Highways Division Secretary Amin Ullah Nuri.
The MRT Line-1 will have two parts – around 19.87km from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur with 16.4km underground lines and around 11.37km elevated lines from Natun Bazar to Purbachal.
The line will have 21 stations – 12 underground and nine elevated. Besides, 25 trains will operate daily on the line. It will take only 24 minutes and 30 seconds to go from Dhaka airport to Kamalapur, 20 minutes and 35 seconds from Natun Bazar to Purbachal, and 40 minutes from Kamalapur to Purbachal.
A passenger will be able to catch a train every 2 and a half minutes on the Dhaka airport-Kamalapur route, while the wait time between trains on the Natun Bazar-Purbachal route will be 4 minutes and 35 seconds.
The project, which is expected to be completed in 2026, will cost around Tk 52,000 crore.
MAN Siddique said they have sought Jica's permission to start the main work on the underground metro rail depot. That can be in the first quarter (July-September) of the next fiscal year, subject to the approval. The prime minister will then inaugurate the construction.