A metro train will make a trial run from Uttara to Agargaon on Sunday (12 December) as construction work on the route has been completed. Earlier, on 29 August, the first trial run of a metro train was conducted from Uttara's Diabari to Pallabi.
MAN Siddique, managing director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company (DMTCL), said on Thursday at a press briefing that the setting up of viaducts and rail lines on this route has been completed, including the electric lines. The construction work of nine stations is also done.
He said about 90% of the physical work for the metro rail on the Uttara to Agargaon route has been completed so far. "Meanwhile, the work from Agargaon to Motijheel is about 72% complete. Around 69% of electrical and mechanical works, rail coaches, and depot equipment collection, has been completed."
"The overall progress of the MRT Line-6 project, which has an estimated cost of more than Tk22,000 crore, is about 73% done. Under the project, 20.10 kms of elevated metro rail was supposed to be constructed, but due to the decision to extend the line to Kamalapur, the length will be increased another 1.16 km," he added.
MAN Siddique said, "Seven sets of metro trains with six bogies each have already arrived at the Uttara depot from Japan. Another set of trains will arrive at the depot in the next one or two days. Two more sets are also on their way to the country."
The DMTCL Managing Director said the authorities are now focusing on manpower recruitment to operate the metro trains, their training and safety measures, as the construction work is almost completed.
"There has been some delay in the recruitment process due to the pandemic, but those who have been recruited are being trained. Of them, 34 workers are taking advanced training abroad."
To ensure the safety of the metro rail, an MRT police team 357 person strong will be formed. The proposal is now in the cabinet division following approval from the home ministry and finance ministry, he said.
MAN Siddique said the target is to run the metro rail from Uttara to Motijheel by December 2023.
Asked how passengers would get to their destinations from Agargaon station, he said DMTCL is working with BRTC on the issue.
"It is expected that about 200 passengers would get off at Agargaon from each train and at least four BRTC buses would be waiting at the station before the train arrives. When these buses with passengers leave, four other buses will be there. An MoU will soon be signed with BRTC in this regard."
He also said the detailed design work and land acquisition has started to extend the Uttara- Motijheel line to Kamalapur as per the directions of the Prime Minister.
"No more elevated metro rail will be built in places with too much infrastructure here already, to avoid any further suffering. The MRT Line-1 will be underground from the Airport to Kamalapur. However, an elevated line will be constructed from Notun Bazar to Jamuna Future Park," he added.
He further said that more elevated lines will be constructed from Hemayetpur to Aminbazar for MRT-Line-5, and from Notun Bazar to Bhatara, after an underground line ends there from the Turag river.
After completing all the surveys and preliminary design for MRT Line-1, the detailed design work has been completed 8 percent, he said, adding that construction of 31.24 km rail lines will start next year.
The construction work of 31.24 km MRT Line-1 will start next year since about 87% of the detailed design and survey work has been completed, the DMTCL managing director said during the press conference.