Bangladesh in the new communications era

Shining BD Desk || Shining BD

Published: 12/28/2022 4:48:15 AM

The country’s another dream comes true today with the operation of the much-talked-about project Metro Rail, expecting to bring an end to the capital’s nagging traffic jams that kill valuable working hours and a huge amount of fuel.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the first 11.73-kilomtere portion of the Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (Line 6) stretching from Diabari to Agargaon at Diabari depot in Uttara.

She will be the first person to board the metro rail after buying a ticket herself and step down at Agargaon station.

The train will be driven by a female named Marium Afiza, appointed as a metro train operator after completing her master’s degree from Noakhali Science and Technology University in Chemistry.

The 22-kilometre Diabari-Kamalapur metro rail is a Tk 33,472 crore priority project of the government, which is expected to be completed by 2025.

Basically, it is an indomitable tale of Sheikh Hasina who has made the dream true for millions of Bengalis by constructing the rail tract braving a sea of hurdles.

She opened the country’s largest infrastructure Padma Multipurpose Bridge built with internal resources over the mighty river on June 25, breaking a trend of coming out of the dependency to others in carrying out development programmes.

Some more mega projects, including Karnaphuli Tunnel, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, Padma Rail Link, Matarbari Coal-fired Power Plant and Payra Deep Sea Port, are expecting to be opened soon.

Sources in the government say that the second section from Agargaon to Motijheel and the third section Motijheel to Kamalapur Railway Station will be launched in phases.

A public limited company named Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) will operate the Metro Rail while the DMTCL will be supervised by the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority.

DMTCL Managing Director MAN Siddique said that the second section stretching from Agargaon to Motijheel will be launched in December 2023 while the last portion will be launched later.

The proposed route of the MRT Line-6 is Uttara Third Phase to Kamalapur via Pallabi-Rokeya Sarani-Khamarbari-Farmgate-Hotel Sonargaon-Shahbagh-TSC-Doel Chattar-Topkhana Road and Motijheel.

Experts say that the service will reduce traffic congestions and save working hours and help developing the traffic speed, which has been going down day by day.

Accident Research Centre of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in its recent report said that traffic congestions in Dhaka eat up around 5 million working hour a day and the average speed of vehicles during rush hours has dropped down to 5 kilometre per hour.

The congestion causes an annual loss of between Tk 20,000 crore and Tk 55,000 crore, it claims.

BUET Assistant Professor Kazi Md Shaifunnewaz told the Daily Sun that launch of the metro rail would help reduce traffic jams from Uttara to Agargaon in the capital.

The rail will also save the time of the commuters travelling the route, he added.

A World Bank analysis, published in 2017, mentioned that in the last 10 years, average traffic speed in Dhaka dropped from 21kmph to 7kmph, which was slightly above the average walking speed.

The speed may drop to 4kmph by 2035, slower than the walking speed, it added.

According to the project details, initially some 10-set of train having six coaches will run from Uttara to Agargaon. If one of the 10-set of train goes out of service, the remaining two will run as support.

DMTCL officials say that after the inauguration, the service will not run fully. Commuters will be able to get the service in the morning and in the afternoon in the first week. The train will run on this route in full swing slowly.

However, if a train starts at full speed, one train will run every three and a half minutes. How long the train will stay at a station has not been decided yet.

At each station, the train will wait till the boarding and alighting of passengers is completed. Each train can run at a speed of 100 to 110km with 2,300 passengers. However, the speed will be lower in areas with bends.

There will be nine stations from Diabari to Agargaon and the lowest fare has been fixed at Tk 20. A passenger will have to spend 20 minutes to cross the 11.73 kilomtre. If the service starts fully, it will take only 16 to 17 minutes.

According to the DMTCL, the metro rail will be able to carry 1,800 passengers every four minutes, transiting 60,000 people every hour.

The DMTCL and Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) signed an agreement to provide shuttle services to passengers.

Under the agreement, 50 double-decker buses shuttle passengers from the stations to different destinations.

The government first signed a deal with Japan government in 2013 for carrying out the research and feasibility study and started the work for the design next year.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been constructing the metro rail and providing soft loan to the project. The JICA gave Tk 19,500 crore for the project.



Source: Daily Sun 

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