The government is making progress in developing the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) lines aimed at easing the traffic congestion in the capital city and its surrounding areas, according to official sources.
Dhaka Metro Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is a new metro rail system being developed by the Dhaka Mass Transit Company (DMTC) in Dhaka. The public transport system is expected to boost the economic and social development of the greater Dhaka area, known for long hours of traffic snarls that cause economic loss and pollution.
There has been a push in completing the detailed design of the 39-87-km MIT Line-1, known as Airport Rail Link stretching from Gazipur to Kamalapur rail station. Authorities expect to start the line by 2026.
This route will have stations in Gazipur, Signboard, Boardbazar, National University, Tongi, Abdullahpur, Uttara, Airport, Airport T3, Khilkhet, Jamuna Future Park, Baridhara, North Badda, South Badda, Merul, Rampura, Khilgaon, Malibagh, Rajarbagh and Kamalapur Railway Station with the depot in Rupganj.
The sources said the basic design of Line-5 (Northern Route) is under way, while a feasibility study forLine-5 (Southern Route) will be done soon.
The 40-km MRT 5 (Northern Route), which is expected to commence within 2028, is from Savar Cantonment to Jalshiri Housing.
Stations on this route are: Savar Cantonment, Savar Golf Course, Jahanginagar University, Radio Colony, Savar City Center, Banktown, Hemayetpur, Modhumoti Housing, Aminbazar, Gabtoli, Darus Salam, Mirpur -1, Mirpur-10, Mirpur-14, Cantonment, Banani, Gulshan-2, Baridhara, Madani Avenue, United City and Jalshiri Housing with the depot in Hemayetpur.
The 17.4- km Line-5 (Southern Route), which is expected to commence within 2027, stretches from Gabtoli to Dasherkandi.
Stations for this route are: Gabtoli, Technical, Kallyanpur, Shyamoli, College Gate, Asad Gate, Russell Square, West Panthapath, Bashundhara City/Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Hatirjheel(FDC), Modhubagh, Niketon, Aftabnagar West, Aftabnagar Center, Aftabnagar East and Dasherkandi with the depot in Dasherkandi.
The MRT lines are being developed under an Action Plan 2030 launched by the government. It aims to a strong network of 128.741 km (67.569 km elevated and 61.172 km underground) with 140 stations (51 surface and 53 underground) under the Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) comprising six metro rail lines.
The construction of the first ever metro rail system (MRT Line-6) is going on in full swing from Uttara 3rd phase to Motijheel.
This will be 20.10 km long with 16 stations and capable of transporting 60,000 passengers per hour through fast, safe, reliable and eco –friendly system.
The overall average progress of this remotely controlled modern public transport system is 61.49 per cent as of March 2021.
According to an official document, activities are underway through DMTCL to start passenger transport in Uttara-Agargaon section of MRT Line-6 by December 2022.
The design and land acquisition activities are underway to extend MRT Line-6 from Motijheel to Kamalapur by 1.16 km as per the directives of the prime minister.
It said that the government is working to build a modern and sustainable highway network.
In tandem with this, implementation of road safety measures, introduction of high-speed public transport system (MRT and BRT) to reduce traffic congestion in Dhaka metropolis and modernization of motor vehicle management is underway.
In the last 12 years, the government has implemented 331 road development projects and adopted 452 new projects.
During this period, a total of 453.07 km of national highways has been upgraded to 4-lane and above.
These include Bangladesh's first Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga Expressway and 4-lane Dhaka- Chittagong National Highway, Dhaka-Mymensingh National Highway and Nabinagar-Chandra Highway.
At present, work is underway to upgrade the Elenga-Hatikumrul-Rangpur Highway, the Dhaka-Sylhet Highway, the Chittagong-Cox's Bazar Highway, etc. to four lanes.
The construction work of Itna-Mitamain-Ashtagram highway project of Kishoreganj district was inaugurated by the Prime Minister in October 2020.
To continue with the momentum of development, 26 large projects are being implemented by the Road Transport and Highways Division, the document added.