MRT Line 1, Bangladesh’s first underground metro rail line, is officially gearing up for construction more than a year after work on its scheduled to be inaugurated. The Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) confirmed the route alignment of the rail line to the Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) at a license handover ceremony on June 15, 2022. Obaidul Quader, Road Transport and Bridges Division Minister was present on the event as Chief Guest.
The government plans to start construction of MRT Line 1 in mid-August of 2022. It will slide from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur at Dhaka, capital city of the country. “The project is going to be implemented under 12 packages. Such as: land development at the depot is the first one, work on the depot will start by mid-August,” said Md A Alim Khan, Project Manager of MRT Line 1. However, he added, “Land acquisition for the depot is almost made. The procedures of appointing a contractor is at the final stage.”
The internal report says on MRT line 1 that the progress of the detailed design is at 97%, when the progress of land acquisition was at 94% as of May 31, 2022. Officials cofirmed that the deal will be signed with the contractor for land development work by July 2022.
The 31.24km MRT Line-1 has two parts which are around 19.87km from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur, with 16.4km underground. Also, approximately 11.36km is elevated from Notun Bazar to Purbachal of Dhaka. The Notun Bazar station will be served as an interchange. When the underground line is up and running, trains will move at 90kmph and can carry 800,000 passengers in a regular basis.
It can take only 24 minutes to travel from Dhaka airport to Kamalapur, apart from breaks, at 12 underground stations on the route. The routes are: Dhaka airport, Kuril, Natunbazar, Badda, Rampura, Malibagh, Rajarbag, and Kamalapur. Among 25 trains, each will carry 3,088 passengers. It will operate through the Purbachal route, taking 20 minutes, with the trains moving at 100kmph apart from the breaks at seven stations.
Moreover, there will be a 2.5-minute break between each train on the Airport-Kamalapur route, and the waiting time between trains on the Notun Bazar-Purbachal route will be 4.4 minutes. In October 2021, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council approved the Tk52,561.43 crore project to be implemented between September 2019 and December 2026. The government will give Tk13,111crore while JIica will provide Tk39,450 crore.
The government has adopted a time-bound Action Plan to create an integrated metro rail system of 129.901km (68.729km elevated and 61.172km underground) with 105 stations. The system will be implemented by Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL). The plan comprises six metro rail lines to lessen traffic congestion and improve the environment of Dhaka metropolitan city and the surrounding areas by 2030.
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