The Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (metro rail project), is being implemented in the capital, aiming to ensure an effective, safe and environment-friendly mass transportation system for the city’s dwellers.
The project, when completed, would also contribute in easing the traffic congestion plaguing the city for decades.
Piling is being done across Dhaka, along with the construction of depots and rail stations.
The residents of Dhaka had braced themselves for another period of inconvenience, which they usually face during the construction of flyovers.
However, various people-oriented initiatives taken by the authorities have ensured minimal hassle while construction is in progress.
Impact of project construction on public
The correspondent has visited Uttara, Mirpur and Agargaon areas to get a firsthand view of the impact of the ongoing construction around the city.
According to project insiders, four lanes have been kept open on roads to minimize road congestion. Hard barriers (fences made of concrete and steel) have been installed around construction areas to contain dust pollution.
Water is being sprayed around the construction site to keep the air breathable. Soil, which pile up after digging, is being taken to a dumping site in Uttara.
The project construction perimeter fences are minimizing public inconvenience.
Construction has picked up momentum in several key areas of Dhaka, such as Mirpur 12, 10, Kazipara, Shewrapara, Taltola and Agargaon.
In Agargaon, cranes and excavators have been brought in for piling work.
Construction workers are actively working to help prevent traffic congestion near construction zones. At least eight to nine workers have been tasked with this duty at every kilometre.
A temporary project office has also been built in front of the Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University.
Musa, a local rickshaw puller, said: “Vehicle traffic continues on roads despite the fencing that has been installed around the project site. The level of inconvenience is much lower than the troubles we face during flyover constructions.”
Meanwhile, an insider from the Road Transport and Bridges Ministry said: “The contractor firms have been directed to finish construction within the permitted scheduled.
“Bangladesh has already signed a deal with Japanese firm Kawasaki Mitsubishi Consortium, for procuring metro rail coaches.
The insider revealed that Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader is directly supervising the metro rail project.
Uttara to Motijheel in 37 minutes
Speaking to the correspondent, Project Director Md Aftabuddin Talukder said: “After the project is completed, a transit from Uttara to Motijheel will take only 37 minutes.
“The electric trains, each having six compartments, will move at a speed of 32km per hour.”
He continued: “Each train can carry up to 1,696 passengers at a time. Out of which, 942 of them will be able to sit, and the rest can stand. There will be a train every four minutes.
“A total of 60,000 passengers from the both sides of the city will be able to commute every hour. Bangladesh is inching forward to realizing this project.”
Construction from Uttara third project to Agargaon is scheduled to be completed by 2019. Nine rail stations will be constructed in this route.
A total of 16 stations will be built from Uttara third project to Motijheel. Designs for the stations have also been finalized.
Soil testing from 40-feet deep underground is being carried out in sites chosen for building these stations.
The progress of the project is visible from the Rokeya Sarani to Mirpur, much to the satisfaction of the city dwellers.
Metro rail project at a glance
Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina formally inaugurated the metro rail project line-six construction on June 26, 2017.
The project, which is scheduled to be fully implement by 2024, has a projected budget of Tk21,985 crore.
Of the budget, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide Tk16,595, while the government exchequer will provide Tk5,390 crore.
The project is making good progress, and additional activities such as soil testing and shifting of utility services are being continued without any major setbacks.
Project construction from Uttara third phase to Agargaon is scheduled to be completed by December, 2019.
Meanwhile, project construction from Uttara third phase to Bangladesh Bank is set to end by 2020.
The 16 stations will be built in these areas- Uttara-North, Uttara-Centre, Uttara-South, Pallabi, Mirpur-11, Mirpur-10, Kazipara, Shewrapara, Agargaon, Bijoy Sarani, Farmgate, Karwan Bazar,
Shahbagh, Dhaka University, Bangladesh Secretariat and Motijheel.
When contacted, the project’s Chief Engineer (Civil) Abdul Baki Mia declined to comment on the overall status of the project, saying: “We cannot discuss the project status with the media, because we have been told not to.”
This article was first published on banglatribune.com