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Bangladesh in the era of subway now

Mehjabin Bhanu
22 Feb 2023 00:01:13 | Update: 22 Feb 2023 00:01:13
Bangladesh in the era of subway now

Bangladesh's development journey is moving forward despite the economic tension and dollar crisis due to the world situation. After one and a half months of entering the Metrorail era, the subway construction work is starting. Meanwhile, the country's first metro rail is running from Uttara to Agargaon. Trains will run on this route till Motijheel by December this year. The second metro rail will be a combination of air and subway. Its name is Mass Rapid Transit or MRT Line-1. It has two routes – Airport and Purbachal route. The total length of the airport-Kamalapur corridor is 31.24 km. Out of this, the entire length of 19.87 km from the airport to Kamalapur will be subway. There will be 12 stations on this route. These are - Airport, Airport Terminal-3, Khilkhet, Yamuna Future Park, New Bazaar, North Badda, Badda, Hatirjheel, Rampura, Malibagh, Rajarbagh and Kamalapur.

The new Bazar station on the Purbachal route will be Patale on the flyover portion of MRT Line-1. Then the entire flight path will be from Newbazar to Pitalganj in Narayanganj. The length of this corridor is 11.36 km. There are 9 stations on this route. These are – New Market, Jamuna Future Park, Bashundhara, Police Officers Housing Society, Mastul, Purbachal West, Purbachal Centre, Purbachal Terminal and Pitalganj Depot. It is being implemented by Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL). The total estimated cost of this project is Tk 52 thousand 561 crore. Of this, Japan International Cooperation Agency or JICA is giving 39 thousand 450 crores. Bangladesh government will provide the rest of the money. The main depot will be constructed on an area of 88.71 acres in Pitalganj of Rupganj. 607 crore 65 lakh taka will be spent for this. All metro trains plying on airport route and Purbachal route will use the facility of this depot. The contract has already been signed with the contractor for the construction of the depot. About 93 acres of land has been acquired for the construction of underground route. Its construction is scheduled to be completed by December 2026.

All the stations of MRT Line-6 Diabari-Motijheel route are above the road. All stations of MRT Line-1 will be underground. Like ART Line-6, the stations of MRT Line-1 will also be three-storied. The three floors of the station will be underground. Both stations will have lifts, stairs and escalators for getting up and down the platform. It will be constructed using state-of-the-art technology. During construction of the station half of the road will be excavated first by open cut method. All machinery will be lowered through that section. It will then be covered with a thick sheet of steel and opened for traffic. Cars weighing 40 tons can also move on this page. Then the other half will be excavated and worked. This work will take maximum 6 months. Later work will continue underground which cannot be understood from above. Later, when the tunnel will be cut with TVM machine, it will not be understood from the ground. As a result, the suffering of the public in the construction of MRT Line-6 will not happen in this case and the work will also be done quickly.

Metrorail trains started running internationally with 8 coaches. But Uttara-Agargaon metro rail has been started with 6 coaches on MRT line-6. Later 2 more coaches will be increased to 8. MRT Line-1 will start metro service with 8 coaches as per international norms. On the Uttara-Motijheel Line-6 route, trains will arrive at the station every 3 and a half minutes. But the train will run every 100 seconds on Airport-Kamalapur route. About 5 lakh people will travel on the Uttara-Kamalapur route every day. And about eight lakh passengers will travel on Line-1 route every day.

By 2030, entire Dhaka and Narayanganj and Savar will come under metro rail network. Apart from these 2 routes, there will be MRT Line-2, MRT Line-5 South, MRT Line-5 North, MRT Line-4. Although the MRT Line-5 route is planned to be constructed by 2028, the project may be extended to 2030. The southern route of MRT Line-5 will be from Gabtali to Dasherkandi, combining underground and aerial routes. There will be 16 stations along the 17.4 km stretch of this route. Of these, 12 will be underground and 4 will be airborne stations. These will be Gabtali-Technical-Kalyanpur-Shyamli-Collegegate-Asadgate-Russell Square-Panthapath-Hotel Sonargaon Mor-Hatirjheel-Niketan-Rampura-Aftab Nagar (West)-Aftab Nagar (Center)-Aftab Nagar (East)-Dasherkandi and Bhulta. . The initial feasibility of this route has already been verified.

MRT Line-5's answer will be from Hemayetpur in Savar to Bhatara. In this route of 19.6 km, underground route will be 13.5 km and air route will be 6.5 km. There will be a total of 14 stations on this route. Of these, 9 are underground and 6 are aerial. These will be Hemayetpur-Baliarpur-Madhumati-Aminbazar-Gabatli-Darus Salam-Mirpur 1-Mirpur 10-Mirpur 14-Kachukshet-Banani-Gulshan 2-Natun Bazar-Bhatara. In the meantime, the feasibility of MRT Line-5' North route has been verified. Its DPP's-Detail Project Plan has been approved. The estimated cost of its construction will be 41 thousand 261 crores.

Under MRT Line-2, there will be another metro rail route from Gabtali to Chittagong Road by 2030, combining underground and aerial routes. Its length will be 24 km. The probable route of this line will be Gabtali - Basila - Mohammadpur BRTC Bus Stand - Sat Masjid Road - Jigatla - Dhanmondi No. 2 Road - Sciencelab - New Market - Neelkhet - Azimpur - Palashi - Shaheed Minar - Dhaka Medical College - Police Head Quarters - Golapshah  Mazar - Banga Road on the north side of the market - Motijheel - Arambagh - Kamalapur - Mugda - Meradia - Chittagong Road. Apart from this, another metro rail route will be from Kamalapur to Narayanganj by 2030. This route of MRT Line-4 will be underground under the Kamalapur-Narayanganj rail track. Its length will be about 16 km.

It is expected that traffic congestion control in Dhaka will be possible through the implementation of these projects. Passengers can reach their destination very easily. The suffering of bus drivers and auto-rickshaw drivers who now have to endure hour-long traffic jams and fare anarchy will no longer exist. Movement will be comfortable, time and money saving. According to a 2018 study by BUET, traffic congestion in Dhaka city costs an additional 4.4 billion dollars every year, which is about 46 thousand 200 crore rupees. After 5 years this number is more now. According to the World Bank report, 3.8 million or 38 lakh working hours are lost every day in Dhaka due to traffic congestion. Its monetary value is huge. A huge amount of money and man-hours will be saved every year if the Metrorail network is launched. Which will create a big positive impact on the country's economy. In this situation, it can be said that after the metro rail, Bangladesh has entered the era of subway in the development journey.

The writer is a freelance columnist. She can be contacted at [email protected]