The government plans to build six metro-rail routes in the capital city by 2030
An agreement has been signed for Dhaka city’s northern metro-rail route-5 between Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Company Ltd and Japanese company Nippon Koei Co Ltd.
The signing ceremony was held through a videoconference on Wednesday due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader and Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Naoki Ito had joined it along with other officials concerned, reports BSS.
Joining the videoconference, Quader said the government was going to build six metro-rail routes in the city by 2030, aiming to reduce traffic congestion in the capital and adjacent areas.
As part of the construction, he said the agreement was signed for appointing the consultant as the consultant would supervise and make design of 20-kilometre metro-rail route from Hemayetpur to Bhatara via Gabtoli-Mirpur 10-Kochukhet-Banani-Gulshan 2.
The newly constructed route — with 13 kilometres underground and 6.50 kilometres flyover — would connect the eastern and west parts of the city.
The total cost for construction of the route is nearly Tk41,000 crore — where the Japanese government will finance nearly Tk29,000 crore, the minister said.
Meanwhile, he added, almost 45% work of metro rail route-6 from Uttara to Mothijheel has already been completed. One-kilometre rail line and 10-kilometre viaduct have also been installed on the route.
The agreement involving nearly Tk1,600 crore was jointly signed by Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited Managing Director MAN Siddique, Nippon Koei Co Ltd Acting Director Ken Nisino, and Oriental Consultants Global Company President Eiji Yonezawa.
Road Transport and Highway Division Secretary M Nazrul Islam, Japan International Cooperation Agency representative in Bangladesh, project directors of different metro-rail projects, engineers, officials and representatives from consulting agencies, among others, had joined the videoconference.
‘Budget will be pro-people’
Obaidul Quader, also general secretary of ruling Awami League, on Wednesday also said that the national budget for 2020-21 financial year, which is scheduled to be presented in parliament on Thursday, will be pro-people and welfare-oriented.
The government will give maximum priority to the lives and livelihoods of the people, he said.
He also rejected BNP Secretary General Fakhrul Islam Alamgir’s allegation that the government took no advice before preparing the budget. “It is absolutely wrong.”
Before giving the budget, Quader said, experts’ opinions, economists’ experiences, research and party manifesto were taken into account.
Referring to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was taking all necessary decisions after consulting with the experts, and added that at the same time, views and advices of the participants were also taken pretty earlier.
Zone-wise Covid-19 lockdown
Regarding the government’s decision on imposing area or zone-wise lockdown, Quader said the government would take further strict measures if the novel coronavirus infections spike in the country.
Urging the people to follow the health guidelines, he said “We have to follow all the decisions suggested by the prime minister to overcome this worst situation, otherwise the government will enforce strict measures if the infections rise in these areas where lockdown so far has not been imposed.”
Quader urged the people to follow the government decision with patience as the decision to impose fresh lockdown was taken considering the people’s welfare.
He said the prime minister takes any decision after considering the opinions of all concerned, adding: “She usually takes decision after discussing with all inside the government and the party as well.”
He also informed that the construction work of the multipurpose Padma Bridge was proceeding ahead by following all the health guidelines amid the Covid-19 pandemic.