The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) has approved two metro rail projects, with an estimated cost of Tk93,800 crore, to ease Dhaka's traffic congestion.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) will provide Tk68,567 crore as a loan for the projects, which is about 73 per cent of the total cost.
One the metro rail routes will be built from Hemayetpur to Bhatara, another from the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur with an extension from Natun Bazar to Purbachal.
Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the conference. Where Planning Minister MA Mannan announced the approval at a press briefing, held at the National Economic Council Conference Room on Tuesday.
Mannan said a total of 10 projects, with an estimated cost of Tk1,00,025.23 crore, were approved.
"Of the total project cost, Tk30,466.02 crore will be provided from the government's fund. While Tk515.84 crore will come from the implementing agencies' fund. The rest of Tk69,043.37 crore will come from external sources as project assistance," said Mannan.
Scheduled to be completed by December 2028, the projects will be constructed at an estimated cost of over Tk41,238 crores, of which Tk29,117 crores will come from the Japan International co-operation Agency.
The MRT 5 Northern Route will be between Hemayetpur of Savar and Bhatara via Baliyarpur, Modhumoti, Amin Bazar, Gabtoli, Dar-Us-Salam, Mirpur 1, Mirpur 10, Mirpur 14, Kochukhet, Banani, Gulshan 2 and Natun Bazar.
Expected to be completed by December 2028, the MRT 5 is 20 kilometres long. Of which 6.50 kilometre would be elevated from Hemayetpur to Aminbazar, and 13.50 kilometres from Aminbazar to Bhatara would be underground.
Out of the 31.24km MRT Line 1, around 16.21km would go underground from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur, while around 11.36 kilometres from Kuril to Purbachal Depot would be elevated.
The work of the MRT Line 1 will be completed by December 2026, with an estimated cost of Tk52,561.43 crore, of which Jica will provide Tk39,450.32 crore.
Cost of metro rail construction, per kilometre, is Tk1,683 for MRT Line 1 and Tk2,063 for MRT line 5, which is up to six times higher than that of India.
To implement a project, the government of Bangladesh follows a policy of acquiring land at a cost three times higher than the market price, said Mannan.
The government also has the policy to compensate for physical infrastructure and resettle affected people, Mannan explained.