The entire 11.73km metro rail line from Uttara's Diabari to Agargaon is now visible from today following the installation of the last segment of the final span in Agargaon.
The last span of the line was installed at around 11:20am on Sunday.
MAN Siddique, Managing Director of Dhaka Mass Transport Company Limited, was present in Agargaon in the installation programme.
Over 80% of the physical work of the metro rail line from Diabari to Agargaon has been completed.
To build an effective transport system in Dhaka that will reduce traffic congestion, the Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (MRT Line-6) was approved in 2012 at an estimated cost of Tk22,000 crore with Japanese assistance under the Strategic Transport Plan.
As part of the project, a 20.1km metro rail line will be constructed from Diabari to Motijheel by 2024. But considering the golden jubilee of independence, the government has decided to open the first part stretching up to Agargaon earlier.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed officials to further extend the metro line from Motijheel to Kamalapur. The length of the line will then be 21.7km.
Siddique told The Business Standard that projects were rarely completed on schedule in Bangladesh.
"We are trying to complete the metro rail project even before schedule. So, there is no possibility of costs increasing," he said.
Project officials said over 80% of the physical work of the metro rail line from Diabari to Agargaon had been completed. Rail tracks stretching for around seven kilometres have been installed in this part. The length of the track installed in the depot area is about 11km.
Overhead catenary wire has been installed over a 7.5km stretch up to Kazipara to power the metro train. Following land development in the depot area, the construction of nine infrastructures has been completed while that of other installations is making fast progress.
Project officials hope trains will run by December.
Siddique said the government wanted to open the metro rail to the public by December but project work had been hampered by the absence of foreign experts due to the pandemic.
"Even then, we are trying to finish the work within the target," he said.
Officials said sub-structures of all nine stations from Diabari to Agargaon had been constructed. The construction of the concourse roofs of four stations has been done and this work is underway in four other stations.
Siddique said about 22 types of services, utilities and systems would be installed in the station building, and they would then be integrated with the main system.
He thinks this integration will be a challenge.
Locals in the project areas, including Agargaon, Taltala, Shewrapara and Mirpur, began suffering after the project's field survey started, with noise and air pollution increasing and traffic congestion worsening. Traders on both sides of the main roads were also affected as sales of their wares declined.
A survey conducted by the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division under the Ministry of Planning said 68% of traders in the project areas had been affected due to several factors, including traffic jams and noise and air pollution.
At the same time, 76% of those living in the project areas believe their earnings will grow once the project is completed, while 67% think travel will be easier.