The Korean government through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) has completed the pre-survey mission on introducing metro rail in Chattogram.
The pre-survey mission team from South Korea, who visited Bangladesh from 6 February to 15 February, finished an "Implementation Study" for a two-year project titled "Transport Master Plan and Preliminary Feasibility Study for Urban Metro Rail Transit Construction of Chattogram Metropolitan Area".
The purpose of this project is to prepare the basis for urban transport infrastructure according to the concentration of population, urban expansion, and traffic congestion in Bangladesh's megacity.
The work was done in collaboration with Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA), Road Transport and Highways Division (RTHD), and the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges. DTCA, under the Road Transport and Highways Division, will partner with Koica to implement this project.
The Koica team participated in a wrap-up meeting of the pre-survey mission with Nazrul Islam, secretary of RTHD, including officials from RTHD and DTCA, read a press release.
Koica mentioned that they would provide $6 million grant aid to develop the master plan and basic plan, dispatch of experts for pre-F/S, preliminary concept design, and strengthen the capacity of Bangladeshi officers. The stipulated project period is 2022 to 2024.
After the field survey, the team presented the result of the survey mission on 15 February 2022 with the secretary of RTHD.
The team leader mentioned that the main objectives of this project are to reduce congestion and improve the quality of citizens' life in Chattogram by eco-friendly urban metro systems, contribute sustainable economic development by providing high-quality public transit services, and enhance the institutional capacity of DTCA for road and traffic management.
The Koica expert team had a series of discussions with all the relevant stakeholders and the team also visited Chattogram city's different road intersections to see the current condition.
Young-Ah Doh, country director of Koica Bangladesh office, hopes that this project will support the Bangladesh government in developing a transport master plan for mass transit and reducing traffic congestion in the port city, the second-largest city in Bangladesh.
The Secretary of RTHD, Nazrul Islam, expressed his gratitude to Koica for this much-needed intervention in the transportation system in Chattogram. He hopes that this project will symbolise Korea and Bangladesh's long friendship.