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Dhaka Tribune

Metro rail: Tongi to Kamalapur in just 48mins with five new stations

  • New route will carry 500,000 more passengers
  • Why metro rail will go to Tongi-Kamalapur and not Dhaka-Ashulia
  • Controversy over addition of tax on metro rail fares
Update : 19 May 2024, 08:58 PM

The Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) is planning to extend the metro rail’s MRT line-6 from Uttara to Tongi with five new stations.

Once operational, the journey from Tongi to Kamalapur will take just 48 minutes.

The DMTCL Managing Director MAN Siddique announced the development in a branding seminar on Sunday.

The extension project includes extending the metro rail route from Motijheel to Kamalapur railway station and now from Uttara North station to Tongi railway station.

MAN Siddique said the completion of this new route will allow the metro rail to carry an additional 500,000 passengers.

The 7.5km extension from Uttara North to Tongi Railway Station will include five new stations: Diabari Bazar, Sonargaon Janpath Road East, Sonargaon Janpath Road West, Tongi Bazar, and Tongi Railway Station.

Why metro rail will go to Tongi-Kamalapur and not Dhaka-Ashulia?

Previously, the DMTCL MD mentioned that a survey was underway to extend the metro rail from Diabari to Tongi in Uttara.

The connection to Tongi railway station and road junction is expected to significantly benefit the region's residents.

During the construction of MRT line-6, about one kilometre of road was built from Diabari to accommodate future expansions.

Feasibility studies for this extended route are currently underway, with the tender process set to begin soon after finalizing the design.

Initially, there were plans to extend the route up to Ashulia. However, a new decision was made due to the construction of the Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway.

520,000 passengers will travel by metro rail every day

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said at a program in the capital on Sunday that once the complete route is finished, 520,000 passengers will travel on the metro rail.

However, according to DMTCL sources, although the work of the first phase has been completed, the work of the remaining five phases will be completed in stages between 2026, 2028 and 2030.

According to a survey by consulting firm RSTP, if six metro rails are built, about 520,000 passengers will be able to travel daily. As a result, the authorities believe that the pressure on the road will be reduced to a large extent.

According to sources related to the project, six lines of metro rail are being constructed in three phases. Already the first phase of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line-6 ​​from Uttara to Motijheel has been completed which was inaugurated by the prime minister on December 16, 2021.

At present, 150,000 to 200,000 passengers are plying on this route daily.

On the other hand, operations are underway on the route adjacent to Kamalapur. If this station is connected, the number of passengers will increase.

The second phase includes MRT Line-1 and MRT Line-5. These two lines will be completed in 2026 and 2028.

The third phase includes MRT Line-5 southern route, MRT Line-2 and MRT Line-4. These three lines will be completed in 2030.

Controversy over addition of tax on metro rail fares

As per the directives of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) from July 1, there is a directive to implement 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) on passenger services of metro rail.

However, Quader expressed his objection to the imposition of 15% VAT on fares on metro rail.

The minister said: "The NBR has imposed 15% VAT on metro rail. It cannot be done. It is a wrong decision. If VAT is imposed, the reputation of metro rail will be damaged. I have raised the matter in the ministry. The prime minister has assured to review the matter."

However, regarding VAT, Managing Director of DMTCL Managing Director MAN Siddique said: "Those who use metro rail will have to pay VAT. If VAT is not collected, maintaining metro rail will be difficult. Therefore, we will ask the government to review the matter again. I hope the government will consider VAT. "

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