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Metrorail: A new dimension of development

Dr. Md. Shafiqul Islam
11 Jan 2023 00:03:39 | Update: 11 Jan 2023 00:03:39
Metrorail: A new dimension of development

Maybe our forefathers never thought there would be a Metrorail in Bangladesh. But that has become possible during the current government. The work of the dream Metrorail is almost finished. It was inaugurated on 28th December, and our dream will be realized. It is an important project taken by the government for our country. In other words, there will be a massive change in the communication system through this project. Metrorail will have a positive impact on our economy. The general people will benefit from it.

Metrorail is the most modernized, fastest, and most popular urban communication. Dhaka is one of the most populous mega cities in the world. The Metrorail project was a timely step in solving the traffic congestion problem in Dhaka city. Thanks to the current government for that. Bangladesh entered the modern transport system through implementing the Metrorail, which is a massive achievement for the people of Bangladesh in 51 years of independence.

According to a study by the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development, the average speed of vehicles on Dhaka roads was around 21.2 km per hour in 2004, but in 2015 it decreased to 6.8 km per hour. It took 3-4 hours to go from Uttara to Motijheel by bus. Which now takes 40 minutes because of the metro rail, there will be no traffic jams. It will change people’s lifestyles and increase workers’ work productivity, which will play an essential role in the country’s economic growth.

Traffic jams cause a lot of economic damage to the country. In 2018, a BUET survey found that traffic congestion in Dhaka city costs an additional $4.4 billion annually, which is more than 15 percent of the country’s overall budget. In addition, according to the World Bank report in 2017, 3.8 million working hours are lost daily. Due to the loss of working hours, the country’s economy has had a substantial negative impact. Due to the Metrorail, these adverse effects will transform into positive ones.

The electrified train on the Uttara-Motijheel route is officially known as Mass Rapid Transit Line-6 or MRT Line-6. The Metrorail will significantly reduce the number of other vehicles and thus reduce carbon emissions by 2.02 lakh tonness anually, which will significantly impact the climate. All cars on Dhaka’s roads rely on fossil fuels, which contribute significantly to environmental pollution. Also, significant development initiatives are underway in and around Dhaka. As a result, Dhaka has consistently topped the list of the world’s most polluted cities in recent years. Metrorail will have a positive impact on the environment of the capital.

If the Metrorail starts, Dhaka city’s population density will reduce. People’s house rent costs will decrease. People can live outside the city at a much lower cost and easily come to Dhaka for office and other work. For example, people living in Gazipur or Narayanganj areas can reach the Capital city in less than an hour if all routes are completed. Every Metrorail route has scope for future expansion. Thus, the entire transit system can extend to nearby cities. Currently, people living in these areas can attend work in the capital even if they do not live in the main town. As a result, there will be a significant change in the lifestyle of poor people.

Moreover, on the other hand, there will be a lot of commercial development, and housing rents in those areas will increase due to the amenities around the route, which will significantly accelerate the housing business. Second, residential buildings will redevelop for commercial use. As a result, people living in those areas will be forced to move to low-rent places, and eventually, people will decentralize from the central city. Decentralization of capital will be possible due to Metrorail, which will be a breakthrough step.

Metrorail will usher the population of our country into a new era of technological advancement. Other developed countries have combined Metrorail and public transportation modes to create an advanced route system so that people can travel to their destinations with just one payment card. In Bangladesh, steps have already been taken regarding this new system in Metrorail. The system can gradually extend to all forms of public transport. It will help bring digitization to the country’s transport system and progressively move towards a cashless economy, which is an outstanding and commendable initiative.

I learned from the media to facilitate the movement of women passengers on metro rail, one compartment of each train will be reserved for women passengers only. The train will be able to carry a maximum of 390 women passengers at a time. Female passengers can also travel in other coaches if they wish. Metro stations have separate bathrooms for female passengers and special facilities for changing baby diapers. Seats will be reserved in metro train coaches for pregnant women and elderly passengers. That is, it is a women-friendly metro rail project, which will help in reducing the harassment and suffering of women.

Experts believe through the survey results, once MRT Line-6 is operational, it will save Tk 8.38 crore in travel time and Tk 1.18 crore in vehicle operating cost per day, saving Tk 3489.40 crore annually. As a result, it will play a positive role in the country’s economic development and increase the GDP growth rate.

If continuous development continues like this, Bangladesh will be able to stand tall in the world arena once again. That is, because of this development, sustainable development will be possible in the country. The government should take initiatives so that Bangladesh can move towards sustainable development by implementing such projects. Padma Bridge and Metrorail will bring a new touch of development to Bangladesh. The wheels of the economy of Bangladesh will change. This will have a clear impact on GDP growth. Metrorail will increase the GDP and play a significant role in the socio-economic development of the country’s people. At the same time, Metrorail will increase the country’s potential many times. Metrorail made Bangladesh unique, and Bangabandhu’s dream of Bangladesh was achieved.

The writer is Associate Professor, Dept. of Accounting & Information Systems, Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Bangladesh. He can be contacted at [email protected]