The third metro rail project of the country is being prepared for its physical work to begin from 2023, as the authority is set to sign a contract with a consortium of agencies, both foreign and Bangladeshi, today for general consultancy services.
Under the contract, the consortium, led by famous Japanese firm Nippon Koei, will prepare detailed designs, tender documents to procure a contractor and supervise the construction works of the Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (Line-5: Northern Route), officials said.
The contract, which would be around Tk 1,123 crore without VAT, is scheduled to be signed at 11:00am today virtually due to this prevailing situation, Project Director Aftab Hossain Khan said. “This is major progress for the project,” he told The Daily Star on Monday.
The MRT-5 (northern route), from Savar’s Hemayetpur to Bhatara via Gabtoli, Mirpur and Gulshan, would be implemented at an estimated cost of Tk 41,239 crore.
The 20km line with 14 stations will consist of underground and elevated sections. The project commits to a 2028 deadline. This would be the first east-west MRT corridor in Bangladesh.
The physical works of MRT-6, country’s first metro rail project, from Uttara third phase to Motijheel, is going on, while the construction of MRT-1, which would be the country’s first underground metro rail, from Airport road to Kamalapur, is expected to begin in December this year.
The government will construct six metro rails in the capital and its adjacent areas to ease traffic congestion and reduce environmental pollution. The six lines will create a 128.74km metro rail network, which will have 104 stations — 53 underground and 51 elevated, according to Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited, the agency implementing the project.
MRT-5 CONSTRUCTION IN 2023
Aftab Hossain said the consortium comprises seven companies from Japan, France, India and Bangladesh. Most of these companies are involved in another consortium, which is giving general consultancy services for the MRT-6 project, he said.
Once the contract is signed, they would start preparing a detailed design for the project. “As air communication remains suspended, they would start the paperwork and will come to Bangladesh once airlines resume operation,” he said.
In the meantime, they would start the process of acquiring land and procuring a contractor, he said, adding, “We are hopeful about starting the physical work of the project in 2023 and complete it by 2028,” he said.
He further said that 13.5 kilometers of the line would be underground and 6.50 would be elevated. The design of MRT-1, which will also have an elevated portion from Natun Bazar to Purbachal, is almost complete. “Such structure is new in Bangladesh. However, designing [MRT-1] will help us,” he added.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) in October last year approved the projects.
Aftab said that once they start land acquisition, they would require a huge amount of money. But they are going to get around Tk 700 crore from Annual Development Programme for the next fiscal year, which is less than half their demand, he added.
A total of Tk 2,000 crore would be needed for land acquisition and would start it once the consultants mobilised their workforce, some of which may face delay due to the pandemic situation.