The first phase of Bangladesh's first metro rail project is now visible as the last viaduct of this part was installed yesterday.
The last viaduct was installed in between pier numbers 375 and 376, connecting Uttara with Agargaon by the 11.73km elevated structure.
"This is a very pleasant day for us," MAN Siddique, managing director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), the implementing agency of the project, told reporters.
Mass Rapid Transit Line-6, also known as MRT-6 is being implemented to build the 20.10km elevated metro rail from Uttara third phase to Motijheel at the cost of Tk 22,000 crore.
Authorities have a plan for early commissioning of the total line in December this year.
Planning Minister MA Mannan recently, however, said the first phase -- from Uttara to Agargaon -- of metro rail is likely to be operational in December this year.
Asked whether they would start operation of the first phase in December, MAN Siddique said they would be able to inform about the plan after the metro rail reaches Bangladesh, expectedly in April.
He, however, said they were running behind their schedule to bring metro trains from Japan due to the Covid-19 situation.
The original implementation period of the project was 2012-2024.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina later directed that metro services from Uttara to Agargaon be made operational by 2019, and from Agargaon to Motijheel by 2020.
Failing to meet the deadline, the authorities in May 2019 said the project would be launched on December 16, 2021, when the country would be celebrating the golden jubilee of its independence.
PROGRESS OF THE FIRST PHASE
The first phase of the project saw 81.38 percent progress as of February 25, MAN Siddique said. The rail line has been installed at 8.72 km, out of the 11.73 section, he said.
Besides, 16.20km, out of 19km rail lines, inside the depot at Diabari, has already been installed and installation of a mast for the overhead catenary system has been done inside the depot and to Kazipara station, he added.
Full installation of rail rile in the first phase is expected to be completed within May, he added.
Nine, out of 52 structures to be built inside the depo, have been completed, he said hopping to complete all civil works within five to six months.
Works for building concourse roof for first three stations -- Uttara north, central and south -- have already done while same work for five others station is now going on, he said.
MAN Siddique, on February 4, told reporters that they might start a trial run of the first metro rail service in July, as the first train is expected to arrive in April. The trial run might continue for as long as six months, he added.
The first train was supposed to leave the Port of Kobe on February 20 for Bangladesh and could reach a depot in the capital's Diabari on April 23 via the Mongla port. But, the train could not be sent on February 20 due to incline weather and now they are expected to be shifted on March 1, MAN Siddique said.
The second train is likely to reach the depot on June 16, and the third one on August 13.
As they had to complete inspection of the trains engaging third party due to Covid restriction, the authority would check 19 major elements after the trains reach Bangladesh and then they would carry out an integrated test before going for a trial run, he said.