Dhaka’s exciting new metro rail service is edging closer to becoming a reality. The long-awaited Agargaon-Motijheel section is anticipated to open on October 20. However, there’s a small hurdle remaining before the launch can take place – an important test run needs to be completed.
Officials have sent a summary paper outlining the 8.11-kilometer route of the mass rapid transit (MRT) Line-06 to the Prime Minister’s Office. The goal is to kickstart the metro rail service on October 20, though this could change depending on the Prime Minister’s schedule. The Prime Minister intends to personally inaugurate the service by taking a ride on the train, much like the first part.
Mohammad Abdul Rouf, the company secretary of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), explained, “We’re considering having the launch on a day when people aren’t working. Therefore, we’re looking at either October 20 or 27.”
Rouf noted that October 20 is a day off for many, but they are open to adjusting the date to accommodate the Prime Minister’s availability. Insiders have revealed that DMTCL is aiming to complete all necessary tests for the second part by October 15.
Previously, DMTCL inaugurated the Uttara-Agargaon section on December 28. The following day, the metro rail initiated a limited four-hour service, stopping at only two stations. Over the subsequent months, they progressively extended service hours and station coverage.
Despite not having all the stations ready between Agargaon and Motijheel, initial train operations might commence between just four stations.
As the trial run for the second part is still underway, it’s unlikely that all types of tests will be completed before December, according to sources. Consultants have mentioned that load tests on the trains are still ongoing since the trial run commenced on July 07.
Following the opening, there may be one or two trains operating daily. Nonetheless, achieving smooth operations might take an additional two months, another source emphasized. Mr. Rouf countered these claims, asserting that the chosen date was the result of consultations with project stakeholders, including contractors and consultants.
Presently, the MRT-06 operates along an 11.7-kilometer track, from 8:00 AM to 8:15 PM, covering all nine stations. The prospect of riding the entire 20.1-kilometer line has sparked considerable curiosity among the public. DMTCL has commenced work on the Motijheel-Kamalapur section, with an aim to complete it by 2025.