The government is expected to finalise the date to commence the commercial journey of the much-anticipated metro rail service [Uttara-Agargaon] in the capital on Sunday.
Top officials of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) – the project implementing company and the Road Transport and Highways Division will hold a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Sunday (20 November) in this regard.
Confirming the matter to The Business Standard on Saturday, DMTCL Managing Director MAN Siddique said all preparations for launching the metro rail on the 11.73 km line will be completed by 15 December. The final inauguration date will be set by the prime minister.
According to the DMTCL official, about 94.57% of the construction work on the metro rail's Uttara-Agargaon portion has been completed up to 31 October. Concluding integrated test by November, trial operation of trains to start in early December. But all work will be concluded by 15 December.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina earlier hinted that the landmark infrastructure will be inaugurated after the country's Victory Day (16 December).
In 2012, the mass rapid transit (MRT) Line 6 project worth Tk22,000 crore was approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) to develop the 20.1km long metro rail from Uttara to Motijheel. The cost of the project rose to Tk33,472 crore after including another 1.16 km extension from Motijheel to Kamalapur.
The metro line, which will come into full operation in June 2024, will be able to transport nearly five lakh passengers a day or 16,000 per hour in any one direction.
As the inauguration of the metro service at the Uttara-Agargaon portion nears, DTMCL signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the BRTC to operate shuttle bus services from Agargaon to Motijheel, to reduce the hassles of metro rail passengers.
In September, the government declared the fare chart of the metro rail at TK5 for each kilometre with a minimum fare of Tk20. Metro rail commuters will get a 10% discount by paying fares on the rapid pass or MRT pass which will be issued by the DMTCL.