From Dhaka airport to Kamalapur in 24 minutes

The upcoming launch of the country’s first metro system, in Dhaka, promises to cut travel time between Hazrat Shahjal International Airport and Kamalapur from over an hour to just 24 minutes.

Once the metro line is in service, the trains will run at 90 km/h and will be able to carry 800,000 passengers every day.

“The underground metro line will be more comfortable than bus services because it can move without interruption,” said prominent transport expert Professor Hadiuzzaman.

Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) will implement the mega project by 2026.

According to the DMTCL, the civil works of the Tk52,561.43 crore MRT Line 1 project is expected to start in December this year with the construction of a depot. DMTCL has contracted with a joint venture led by Nippon Koei Company Ltd of Japan for construction supervision consultancy.

The joint venture consisted of eight companies from Japan, France, India and Bangladesh. The JV company will receive Tk 1,517.24 crore for its services.

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader was present as the chief guest at the contract signing ceremony at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center on Sunday.

Physical works on MRT Line 1 were originally scheduled to start in December 2020 but were postponed to June 2021 and then again by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and design disputes with others megaprojects.

Quader said a six-track metro system would be completed by 2030.

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the country’s first skytrain (MRT Line 6) from Uttara to Agargaon in December. After the inauguration of Padma Bridge, people are waiting for the metro,” he said.

The works of the entire MRT 6 will be completed by December next year, the minister added.

MRT 1

Dhaka Grandstand

The 31.24 km MRT Line 1 will have two parts – about 19.87 km from Dhaka Airport to Kamalapur, including 16.4 km underground, and about 11.36 km elevated from Notun Bazar to Purbachal. Notun Bazar station will serve as an interchange.

It will take only 24 minutes to travel from Dhaka Airport to Kamalapur, with stops at 12 metro stations along the route (Dhaka Airport, Kuril, Natunbazar, Badda, Rampura, Malibagh, Rajarbag and Kamalapur).

A total of 25 trains, each of which will carry 3,088 passengers, will run on the route each day.

The journey on the elevated part of the Purbachal line will take 20 minutes, with trains traveling at 100 km/h apart from breaks at seven stations.

There will be a 2.5-minute break between each train on the Airport-Kamalapur line, and the waiting time between trains on the Notun Bazar-Purbachal line will be 4.4 minutes.

According to the DMTCL, the MRT Line 1 project will be carried out in 12 lots, of which the land development at the depot will be the first.

The depot will be constructed on 92.97 acres of land near the Pitalganj and Brammonkhali areas in the Rupganj of Narayangaj.

“The land acquisition for the depot is almost complete. The process of appointing a contractor is at the final stage,” said MAN Siddique, Managing Director of DMTCL.

“The detailed design of the project has already been done,” he added.

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