Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today launched the construction of Bangladesh’s first underground metro rail – hailing it as yet another milestone in the country’s journey towards progress under her leadership.
“We are launching the construction work of underground metro rail. With this, another milestone has been achieved in Bangladesh’s development journey,” she said.
The PM was addressing a civic rally arranged at Purbachal, on the outskirts of Dhaka city, to mark the inauguration of Mass Rapid Transit Line-1 (MRT-1) – country’s first underground metro project – construction work.
She launched the construction work of the 31.24 km MRT Line-1, unveiling its inaugural plaque in Rupganj under Narayanganj.
The MRT Line-1 – having both underground and elevated facilities – will be constructed at an estimated cost of Tk 52,561.43 crore by 2026.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is progressing at an indomitable speed as per the slogan “Bangladesh on the march towards prosperity” – announced in her party’s 2018 election manifesto.
“We keep our promises one by one,” she said, adding that her government implemented the Vision-2021 as well as metro rail to ease traffic congestion as per its commitment announced before the 2008 national election.
“If Awami League makes a promise, it keeps it,” she said.
AL gets votes, winning hearts of the people through work, she said.
Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League president, said the BNP-Jamaat alliance secured only 30 seats out of 300 in the 2008 parliamentary election.
“We have ensured people’s wellbeing. So, they are are voting for us. We have earned the trust and confidence of the people. We are getting votes, winning the hearts of people through our work,” she added.
Referring to Wednesday’s by-elections, she said the ‘boat’ – electoral symbol of Awami League – won in by-polls in Bogura and Chapainawabganj.
Also read: PM opens construction work of country's first-ever underground metro rail
The AL chief extended sincere thanks to those who voted for the ‘boat’.
The first underground metro line will have two parts – a 19.87 km part from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur (Airport route) and an around 11.37 km elevated line from Natun Bazar to Purbachal (Purbachal route).
The airport route includes 16.4 km underground with 12 stations, while the Purbachal route includes seven stations.
To implement the MRT Line-1, Japan International Cooperation (JICA) will finance Tk 39,450.32 crore, while the rest Tk 13,111.11 crore will be drawn from the government’s fund.
Some eight lakh passengers will be able to travel through the MRT Line-1 every day. It will take commuters only 25 minutes to travel from Dhaka airport to Kamalapur with breaks at 12 underground stations and 21 minutes from Natunbazar to Purbachal with breaks at seven stations.
Besides, commuters will be able to reach Purbachal from Kamalapur with an interchange in Natunbazar station within only 40 minutes with breaks at 16 stations.
A total of six metro rail routes will be inaugurated in the capital city Dhaka by 2030.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the MRT line-1 project at Tk 52,561.43 crore in 2019.
On December 28 last year the prime minister opened the operation of the country’s first metro rail service on the Uttara-Agargaon part of MRT Line-6 (Uttara-Agargaon-Farmgate-TSC-Motijheel-Kamalapur). The work of MRT-6 line till Motijheel will be completed by December 2023 and will be extended to Kamalapur by June 2025.
The construction work of MRT-5 (northern route) will be inaugurated in July 2023. MRT-5 (northern route) line will be from Savar’s Hemayetpur to Bhatara via Gabtoli, Mirpur and Gulshan.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader presided over the event, while Textiles and Jute Minister and local MP Golam Dastagir Gazi, Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Iwama Kiminori, Secretary of Road Transport and Highways Division ABM Amin Ullah Nuri, Managing Director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) MAN Siddique and Chief Representative of JICA Bangladesh Ichiguchi Tomohide spoke on the occasion. Narayanganj City Corporation Mayor Selina Hayat Ivy, Bagerhat-1 MP Sk Helal Uddin, Narayanganj MPs Shamim Osman, AKM Salim Osman, Nazrul Islam Babu and Leakat Hossain Khoka were also present at the event.