After the country's first metro rail from Uttara to Motijheel, which is now under implementation, the government is planning to build another metro rail from the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur linking Purbachal to make Dhaka’s road transport system more safe, modern and environment-friendly.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges has mooted a plan to construct the 27-kilometre metro rail to be known as MRT-1 from the airport to Kamalapur Railway Station via Purbachal new town.
"To materialize this mega initiative, the Planning Commission has already received a proposal from the ministry to frame the design of the proposed line with an estimated cost of Taka 710 crore," said a senior commission official.
The official told BSS that Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited has been assigned to implement the project for framing the design of the MRT Line-1 by December 2021 with Tk405 crore loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
Officials at the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges said the traffic congestion in the capital is growing day by day due to the increased population and growing number of vehicles.
They said the registered number of vehicles in the city increased to 95,400 in 2013 which was only 20,500 in 2001.
"To address this situation, the government approved the revised strategic transport plan (RSTP) on August 29, 2016 which suggested setting up five MRT lines and two BRT lines in the capital to build a strong transportation network," said a senior ministry official.
The official said the feasibility study for the project has already been completed where the route has been proposed at Airport-Khilkhet-Natun Bazar-Badda-Malibagh-Kamalapur while another route would go to Jamuna Future Park-Bashundhara-Purbachal.
The main project operations include consultation services for system design of the 27-kilometre route as a consulting firm will be appointed by the Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited to conduct the operations of detailed engineering design tender assistance.
The Pre Evaluation Committee meeting on the proposed project has already been held where the Planning Commission recommended for considering the project by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council subject to fulfilment of some suggestions.
The metro rail project (MRT Line 6) is already under implementation with the assistance from JICA as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the mega project on June 26, 2016 with an estimated cost of Tk21,985 crore.
The government has already set a plan to complete the metro rail work from Uttara Third Phase to Agargaon by December 2019 while up to Bangladesh Bank by December 2020.
The MRT Line 6 Project will have 16 stations while some 28 sets of trains will run on this route.