The construction work of the country's first ever metro rail is progressing fast as the authorities have completed overall 72.12 percent work so far of the project from Uttara to Agargaon as per the revised plan.
"The overall physical progress of the first phase construction from Uttara to Agargaon is 72.12 percent," Managing Director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) MAN Siddique told BSS here today.
He said the progress of the second phase of construction from Agargaon to Motijheel is 39.73 percent.
"More than 10.26 out of a total 20.1 km of Dhaka metro rail line is now visible, as the government plans to inaugurate the country's first-ever metro on the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh's independence in December 2021," Siddique said.
According to the DMTCL's progress report, 93 per cent of metro rail's main deck between Agargaon and Uttara has been completed. The integrated progress including Electrical and Mechanical System and Rolling Stock (Rail Coach) and Depot Equipment is 29.80 percent.
The Prime Minister has consented to extend the MRT Line-6 from Motijheel to Kamalapur. Consequently, social survey of extended 1.16 kilometre is ongoing.
"We have given order to Japanese metro train company for manufacturing second, third and fourth set of passenger trains, as the first passenger train was ready for shipment," the managing director said.
He said the DMTCL, an autonomous body under the transport and bridges ministry, is executing the project.
Siddique said construction work is going following the prescribed health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The authorities said the trains for the metro rail will have the capacity to transport 60,000 passengers per hour from Uttara, a northern suburb of the capital, to Motijheel.
The authorities said there will be sound proofing walls along the tracts.
To bring a realistic solution to Dhaka city's traffic congestion, the Awami League government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina initiated the mega project.
The project is divided into eight construction packages which will cost Taka 219.85 billion. Of them, Japan's aid agency JICA will provide 165 billion.
The metro rail will have 16 stations – at Uttara North, Central Uttara, Uttara South, Pallabi, Mirpur-11, Mirpur-10, Kazipara, Shewrapara, Agargaon, Bijoy Sharani, Farmgate, Karwan Bazar, Shahbag, Dhaka University, the secretariat and Motijheel.
The metro rail will take 35 minutes to reach Motijheel from Uttara. The station will be high as a three-storey building and will be accessed by escalators and lifts.
Ticket counter and other facilities will be available on the second floor.
The authorities said 12 trains will run on the routes.
The DMTCL managing director said foreigners and also local experts will also be taken under 14 days quarantine aimed at preventing coronavirus spread. The COVID-19 epidemic has not heavily affected the metro rail project.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader earlier said the total metro-rail project is being done in eight packages, adding, "Construction work of Mass-Rapid Transport (MRT) Line-6, the country's first elevated metro rail system in Dhaka city, is going on in full swing targeting to complete it by the end 2021."
According to project details, under fifth packages, 3.2-kilometre viaduct and three metro stations are being built from Agargaon to Karwarbazar while 4.9-kilometer metro-rail from Karwanbazar to Motijheel having four stations is being constructed under the sixth package.