Almost 90% work of Uttara-Agargaon Metro Rail construction in the capital has been completed and various tests are now being carried out with seven sets of metro trains brought from Japan.
After completing the tests by September next year, the government wants to start operating metro rail from Uttara to Agargaon in December, the month of victory.
MAN Siddique, managing director at the Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), the implementing agency of the metro rail, presented the progress before journalists at a function in Diabari, Uttara.
"Currently, the Covid situation is normal. It will be possible to operate the metro train in December next year if there are no new external challenges," he added.
Representatives from various Japanese contractors highlighted the details of the Metro MRT Line-6 project at the function organised at Diabari Depot Metro Rail Exhibition and Information Center.
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki said a single metro rail line would not play a major role in reducing traffic congestion in the Dhaka metropolis.
In view of this, Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is financing ART Line-1 and MRT Line-5 (North) projects, he added.
The Japanese envoy said that once the work of Metro Rail is completed, the appearance of the Dhaka metropolis will change.
Japanese technology will change the way people live in the city, he added.
Yuho Hayakawa, chief representative of Jica, said Bangladesh is now a model of steady economic growth.
"The country will play a good role in the global supply chain. The country needs better infrastructure and good public transportation. The metro rail is very important for Bangladesh to achieve the new stage of development," added the Jica official.
After a briefing, journalists visited the metro train at Uttara North Station.
Former national cricket team captain Habibul Bashar Sumon, former cricketers Abdur Razzak and Mehidy Hasan Miraz were also present on the occasion.
Then, the metro train left Diabari depot and travelled at 100km per hour to cross the Uttara North station.
The train stopped at the North station after returning at a speed of 25kmph via Pallabi station.
The representatives from DMTCL, the embassy of Japan, Jica and contractors boarded one of the bogies of the six-car train.
ABM Arifur Rahman, manager at (CP-08) of the MRT Line-6 Project, said the bogie could carry 370 passengers and has a seating arrangement for 48 of them. This means that most of the passengers have to travel standing.
At the event, Habibul Bashar Suman said traffic jam causes barriers to following the timing and termed the metro rail project as a fantastic work.
"The people in the city will be able to make their work plans, knowing that they will reach a place by the metro rail on time. The project will make the life of the city dwellers easy."