Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader announced that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would inaugurate the country’s first-ever metro rail service up to Motijheel in October this year. The metro rail, which currently operates for 12 hours on the Uttara-Agargaon section of the line, will soon offer commercial operations along its entire 20.10km route, connecting Uttara to Motijheel.
Officials anticipate that the full-length inauguration will dramatically reduce travel time for commuters, allowing them to travel from Uttara to Motijheel in just 38 minutes, compared to the current 110 minutes—a remarkable 65% reduction in travel time.
Managing Director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), MAN Siddique, reported that nearly 95% of the work on the Agargaon-Motijheel section has been completed. The construction of the viaduct and metro rail stations has progressed well, though some challenges remain in completing entry and exit points at certain stations. All 24 sets of metro rails have arrived in the country, and testing and commissioning of some trains are underway.
The performance tests on the Agargaon-Motijheel section are scheduled to commence in July, followed by the system integration test in September, with a trial run set to begin in October.
However, there are concerns regarding the feasibility of inaugurating commercial service by October after such a relatively short trial period, as the previous section’s commercial operation began after a trial period of over a year.
Minister Obaidul Quader explained that based on previous experience, the commercial service was planned to be inaugurated following a shorter trial period. He urged the public to be mindful and help maintain the beauty of the metro rail and also emphasized that the metro rail is a national asset.
The seminar provided an overview of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited’s current projects, revealing that they are implementing four metro rail projects in Dhaka, with financing for MRT Line-5 (South) confirmed, and feasibility studies for Line 2 and Line 4 underway.
The benefits of the metro rail project include reducing traffic congestion, saving travel time costs and vehicle operating costs. Additionally, it will contribute to addressing climate change challenges by reducing carbon emissions and generating numerous employment opportunities.
The event was attended by the Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh, Iwama Kiminori, who expressed that the metro rail sector holds promise for increasing cooperation between Bangladesh and Japan. Dhaka North Mayor Atiqul Islam announced plans to relocate inter-district bus terminals based on metro rail connectivity.