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Metrorail construction

Uttara-Agargaon part unlikely to be ready by December

Entire line may miss deadline too

FHM Humayan Kabir | January 24, 2019 00:00:00

The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line from Uttara to Agargaon is unlikely to start operations by December next as the company concerned completed only a quarter of its physical work until last month, insiders said on Wednesday.

The entire 20.1 kilometre-MRT line up to Motijheel may also miss the deadline of December 2020 as the contractors are yet to begin work on main line from the Agargaon-Motijheel part, they said.

Meanwhile, the Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), the implementing agency of the metro-rail, has sought a cut in its fund requirement by 39 per cent in the revised Annual Development Programme (RADP) for the fiscal year 2018-19 due to the poor progress in its work.

The company started work on the country's first MRT line between Uttara and Motijheel in July 2012 with financial support from Japan.

The government is attaching the top most priority to the MRT, which is on the list of "fast-track" projects.

In the first phase, the company began work on the MRT Section running between Uttara and Agargaon from mid-2017 as it targeted completing the construction by December 2019.

While the company has shifted utility lines along the MRT route between Agargaon and Motijheel, it has not started work on building the main line.

A Thailand-based company -- the Italian-Thai -- is working as the contractor to build the MRT line from Uttara to Agargaon under the package CP-03 and CP-04.

According to people with knowledge of the matter, out of 11.73km, the contractor has constructed 750 metres line inserting the viaducts at the Uttara part until December last.

Under the CP-03 and 04, the contractor will construct 11.73km viaduct and nine stations from Uttara to Agargaon.

The Ital-Thai has completed commercial pilling of 2,270 out of 2,327 and has built 297 pile-caps out of total 766 up to Agargaon.

It has also completed building 121 piers-shafts out of 449 and 880 pre-cast viaducts out of 4,577 in these areas, the people said.

Meanwhile, the progress of civil work of the metro-rail depot at Uttara under the package CP-02 is also falling short of the target.

Until November last year, the contractor completed only 22 per cent of the physical work at the depot although its work is scheduled to be completed by June this year.

The contractor under the package CP-05 in August had formally taken over the charge to start construction work of 4.92km MRT line from Agargaon to Kawran Bazar part at Tk 18.54 billion.

The joint venture (JV) involving Tekken Corporation (Japan), Abdul Monem Ltd. (Bangladesh), Abe Nikko Kogyo Co., Ltd. (Japan) signed contract with the metro-rail company and is working for constructing Viaducts and three elevated stations at Bijoy Sarani, Farmgate and Kawran Bazar.

On the other hand, Ikuokitada, the Japanese contractor of Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co. Ltd. is working to construct the line from Kawran Bazar to Motijheel.

According to the deals, both the contractors are supposed to complete work by December 2020.

A company official said, "The contractors are mobilising their equipment to start the physical work of the main line between Kawran Bazar and Motijheel. We are hopeful that they will complete the work within the stipulated time."

The state-owned company has signed another deal with Indian Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Marubeni, Japan JV for electro mechanical system under the package CP-07.

Under the package, the contractor is supposed to complete the work by December 2020.

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the metro-rail project for Tk 219.85 billion in December 2012. As per the schedule, the MRT line will be set up between Uttara 3rd phase and Motijheel by June 2024.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Japanese official donor, signed nearly US$2.10 billion worth of loan agreement with Bangladesh in February 2013 for constructing the metro rail.

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