The first shipment of metro rail coaches from Japan reached Dhaka on Wednesday.
MAN Siddique, managing director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited,who was present at the temporary jetty in Ashulia, adjacent to the metro rail deport, to receive the consignment, said, "We have started to unload the accessories and it will be completed by today. Then coaches of the first shipment will be taken to the depot by tomorrow after unloading."
SPM BANGKOK, a general cargo, started its journey with the first set of metro rail having six coaches from the Kobey port of Japan on March 4 and reached the Mongla seaport on March 30.
The Kawasaki-Mitshubishi Consortium of Japan started construction of 24 sets of metro train with six coaches each and one rescue train for MRT-6 in April 2019 under a Tk2,870crore deal signed in 2017. The deal is valid until December next year.
The construction of the first full-fledged metro train was completed in April last year and the second in September.
Reusable aluminium alloy has been used to build the bodies of the compartments andthe window glasseshave been made bulletproof.
The compartments weighing 22-28 tonnesare about three metres in width and 20 metres in length, and have a long-line seating arrangement.
Each of the coaches will have two air-conditioning units, with four doors for passengers.
The train will run at a maximum speed of 100 kilometres per hour. Regenerative electric brakes are being used in the trains.
The metro trains will be operated using an automated radio communication system, even without any driver.
Some 83.82% work on the first part (from Uttara to Agargaon) of the metro rail project has been done. In another part, from Agargaon-Matijheel, 57% work has been completed so far.
Overall, the Tk22,000-crore MRT-6 project from Abdullahpur to Matijheel has had 62% progress. The route is 20.10 kilometrelong.The installation of seven-kilometre rail track has already been completed. Now,the electric and mechanical work is going on and the construction of side walls on both sides of the viaduct is underway.
A total of 13.80 kilometres of the viaduct has been installed so far. The rail track installation inside the depot has also been completed.
But the government initiative to launch the operation of the Uttara-Agargaon metro rail in December this year has become uncertain mainly because of the latest surge in Covid-19 cases.
"Without observing the Covid-19 situation, it cannot be said for certain that the operation will kick off by 16 December," MAN Siddique said.
An integrated test will have to be done in the presence of domestic and foreign experts, he said, adding thattrial runs wouldbegin aftersuccessful integrated test.