The first set of metro trains will begin its journey on 20 February from the Kobe port of Japan to reach the temporary jetty set up at Ashulia via Mongla port.
On its arrival at the Uttara depot in April, it will be examined before a trial run. The manufacturer Kawasaki-Mitshubishi Consortium will send two other metro trains in April and June.
If everything goes as planned, the first metro train will start shuttling with passengers in Dhaka after finishing the trial run in this year, said Managing Director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) MAN Siddique.
At least three stations should be built for the trial run and five stations have already been built under MRT Line-6 while about 57% of the construction work of 20.10km is complete.
Meanwhile, more than 80% work of the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) Line from Uttara to Agargaon has been done.
At a press briefing on Thursday at the DMTCL, Siddique said under the MRT-6 project from Uttara to Agargaon, the construction of viaducts had been completed on 11.58km of 11.73km.
Sub-structures have been set up at nine stations. Concourse roofs have been built at four stations and the work of steel structure is ongoing at three stations. Work is also going on to install power sub-stations and signaling and to build telecommunication and station controller rooms.
Siddique did not respond directly when asked about the possibility of the inauguration of the metro rail on 16 December.
He, however, said the trial run would take a maximum 6 months. A metro train is subject to 19 types of tests. The trial run will begin in July, and the metro rail will start operating commercially if everything goes well.
"Our target is to launch metro rail services on 16 December. We will try our best to do so."
To begin the operation of metro rail from Uttara to Motijheel, 24 trains have to run. Not as many trains will be required for the distance from Uttara to Agargaon.
If the infrastructure is ready, the authority will begin the operation of metro rail, even for a smaller distance.
Passengers will be given services, with the available trains. With time, new trains will join the fleet.
Japanese company tasked with trial run
The Japan Inspection Company Limited has got the charge of conducting the trial run of the locomotives although a third party was supposed to do the task as local engineers could not go there. The company has been hired by the contractor company, Mitsubishi Kawasaki Consortium.
When asked if the Japanese company can meet third-party requirements, MAN Siddique said the company has been hired through a tender and it has a worldwide reputation for providing world-class services.
In 2012, a project involving Tk22,000 crore was approved to build over a 20km metro rail track from Uttara to Motijheel. As per a directive from the prime minister, the project will be extended to Kamalapur. The length of the extended part will constitute an extra 1.16km.
In this regard, the DMTCL managing director said preliminary survey and design work of this part has already begun. Negotiations are also underway with stakeholders.
He expects that if everything goes well, it will be possible to start work on this part in June.
No need to demolish Kamalapur Railway Station
DMTCL officials think that there is no need to demolish the existing railway station at Kamalapur to implement the ongoing MRT Line-6 project.
MAN Siddique said the proposed station of the metro rail will be on the existing road. There will be a space of about 30 metres between the station and its building. Besides, the height of the metro railway station will be equal to the existing one. The metro station building will be modelled on the current railway station building.
So, there is no necessity to relocate the Kamalapur railway station building for the metro rail. Even the CNG station next to it will remain intact, he added.
He also thinks that there may be other reasons for dismantling the structure.
Progress of other metro rail tracks
All kinds of studies, surveys and preliminary designs have been completed for the construction of MRT Line-1 from the airport to Kamalapur via Natun Bazar and Natun Bazar to Purbachal.
Some 65% of work on the detailed design has been done. About 93 acres of land is under acquisition in this part.
He further said on completion of the feasibility study for the construction of the MRT-5 (north route) from Hemayetpur to Bhatara via Mirpur-10, preliminary design work is now underway.