After the Mass Rapid Transit Line 6 (metro rail) in the capital, the government plans to implement two more metro rail projects, MRT Line 1 and MRT Line 5, involving Taka 93,800 crore to tackle the traffic congestion.
"The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) is likely to consider two separate projects to this end tomorrow (Tuesday)," said a Senior Planning Commission official.
The official told BSS that ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will preside over the ECNEC meeting to be held at the NEC Conference Room in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.
Of the total cost of the two projects, Taka 25,232.60 crore will come from the state exchequer including grant amount while Taka 68,567.32 crore will be available as project assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited will implement both the projects.
Planning Commission officials said since Dhaka is one of the most populous cities in the world, the number of registered vehicles in this city in 2001 was 20,600 which rose to 95,400 in 2013.
"In order to address the growing traffic congestion in the capital, the Revised Strategic Transport Plan (RSTP) was approved by the government in 2016 in line with the 6th Five Year Plan," added the official.
This plan had suggested setting up five MRT lines in the capital as a mode of public transportation network to address the acute traffic congestion in the capital. The work of MRT Line 6 is ongoing.
Another official at the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges said that the work for MRT Line 1 Project will be completed by December 2026 with an estimated cost of Taka 52,561.43 crore. Of the amount, Taka 13,111.11 crore will come from the Government of Bangladesh portion while the rest of Taka 39,450.32 crore will come as project assistance from JICA.
Out of the 31.24 kilometer MRT Line 1, around 16.21 kilometers would be underground from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur while around 11.36 kilometers from Kuril to Purbachal Depot would be elevated. Besides, there will be 3.65 kilometer underground transition line from Natun Bazar to Kuril.
On the other hand, the MRT Line 5 has been divided into two routes- northern and southern. The total cost for the MRT Line 5 project has been estimated at Taka 41,238.54 crore of which Taka 12,121.49 crore will come from the state exchequer and grants while Taka 29,117 crore as project assistance from JICA.
The length of the northern route is 20 kilometers of which 6.50 kilometer would be elevated from Hemayetpur to Aminbazar while 13.50 kilometers from Aminbazar to Bhatara would be underground. This project is expected to be completed by December 2028.
The MRT Line 5 would start from Hemayetpur and end at Vatara via Aminbazar, Gabtoli, Mirpur-1, Mirpur-10, Kochukhet, Banani, Gulshan-1, and Natunbazar.
The Road Transport and Bridges Division official noted that the MRT Line 1 and MRT Line 5 projects would ease the traffic congestion in the capital to a great extent and establish an environment-friendly, modern and safe public transportation system and thus ensure socio-economic development of the projects sites.