A move is underway to formulate a special law to use underground space going far below existing buildings for establishing subway network in and around Dhaka city.
Sources said Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) has taken the move as it has been working to set up three subway networks with 240 kilometres in length.
The authority has already formed a committee headed by additional secretary of Bridge Division to prepare the draft of the law, they added.
"This will be a special law to guide the ways to utilise spaces that go 30 metres below our land or building structures in the subway network area," said Chief Engineer Quazi Muhammad Ferdous.
As the firm which is working on the feasibility study and preparing preliminary design for subway network has made good progress in finalising the routes, he said,this law has now been necessary to be prepared to avoid conflicts during the implementation stage.
The BBA appointed a joint venture firm led by Tecnica Y Proyectos SA (TYPSA) of Spain to carry out the feasibility study and preliminary design after signing a contract on August 02, 2018.
Other firms under the joint venture are PADECO of Japan and sub-consultant KSC and BCL Bangladesh.
Initially, the BBA proposed establishing four subways in the city estimating the cost at US$8.4 billion but the firms were guided to carry out the study to integrate and seamlessly interface the subways with the MRT or metro rail lines with the options for interchangeability and interoperability of train services.
The firm later proposed establishing three networks of subway with 240 km in length by covering missing links in the metro rail projects.
The report submitted in September 2019 proposed to connect the subway networks with nearby districts which was missing in the six metro rail corridors being implemented in the city by another agency of the government.
The officials said the firm will complete preliminary design of the subway networks by June next year.
The chief engineer said as the country has not used underground space not below 2-3 metres of the surface, existing landuse related laws cannot support the project during the stage of implementation.
After formulating the draft law, he said, the BBA will send it to the ministries concerned for their comment. "If they feel the need for appointing international experts to work on the drafting, BBA will then consider it," Mr Ferdous told the FE in reply to a query.
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