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Two donors may finance another metro rail line

Munima Sultana | December 06, 2017 00:00:00

The government is expecting to get necessary fund from two development partners for implementing another metro rail line (Hemayetpur-Gabtoli-Notun Bazar route) in the city.

A mission from Asian Development Bank (ADB) during its visit to Dhaka last week already assured of financing the mass rapid transit line-5 (MRT-5), sources said. Another mission from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will arrive in the city soon to hold discussion on funding the project.

JICA had earlier dropped a broad hint to finance a part of the project, they added.

The agency is already providing support to conduct the feasibility study and detailed design work of the 20-kilometre line.

"This section is likely to be implemented through co-financing of the JICA and ADB," said a source, preferring not to be named.

He said the assurance of finance will help speed up the process of implementation of the project while the feasibility study is expected to be finished soon.

Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) has taken the move to find finance for implementing different transport projects as recommended in the strategic transport plan (STP), a 20-year transport policy.

The recently-revised STP recommended developing five MRTs and two BRTs while introducing bus route franchise, among other options, to ease the chronic traffic congestion in the city.

JICA has so far been providing all necessary technical and financial supports to implement the MRT-6. It has already started feasibility studies for MRT-1 and MRT-5, but signed an agreement to implement the MRT-1 only.

The MRT-6 is being implemented from Uttara 3rd phase to Motijheel through Pallabi, Farmgate, Shahbagh and Press Club.

The MRT-1 is planned to be set up from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur Railway Station through Progati Sarani with a loop from Kuril flyover to Purbachal.

The MRT-5 is recommended to set up from Hemayetpur to Notun Bazar of Gulshan-2 through Gabtoli, Mirpur and Cantonment. It has also a link from Gabtoli to Hatirjheel.

Official sources said that with the financing assurance from the ADB and JICA, implementation of northern and southern parts of the MRT-5 would be possible.

But the link part of the MRT-5, which is from Gabtoli to Hatirjheel through Mirpur road, remained untouched as its feasibility study is not done under the JICA study.

DTCA sources, however, said the ADB might take an initiative to conduct the feasibility study of this part.

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