The prime minister yesterday directed the authorities concerned to release shares of the metro rail company in the stock market to ensure public ownership, said Planning Minister Abdul Mannan.
She issued the directive at the Ecnec meeting while approving proposals for two more metro rail projects in Dhaka with an estimated cost of Tk 93,800 crore, he said.
Mannan was briefing the press after the weekly meeting at the planning ministry.
As per the metro rail plan, the government would build five lines -- an elevated, an underground, and three elevated and underground -- in the capital and its adjacent areas by 2030, to ease traffic congestion and reduce pollution.
State-run Dhaka Mass Transit Company Ltd is implementing the projects.
The prime minister also asked the authority to implement the projects without harming Hatirjheel’s beauty, sources said.
Talking to reporters at the Secretariat, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said ground work for the two new metro rail lines -- Mass Rapid Transit-1 and Mass Rapid Transit-5 (Northern Route) – would start soon as funding for the projects has already been settled.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency would provide the lion’s share of the costs in soft loans, he said.
He also said the prime minister asked him to start a feasibility study for implementing metro rail projects in Chattogram city. “Following the directive, I have asked the secretary of the ministry and people involved in the metro rail projects to start the feasibility study as soon as possible,” he said.
The Ecnec approved the proposal for MRT-1 -- from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur Railway Station – with a cost of Tk 52,561.43 crore. The 31.24km line will have an elevated section from Notun Bazar to Purbachal.
Officials expect the project to be completed by 2026.
The MRT-5 (northern route), from Hemayetpur of Savar to Bhatara via Gabtoli, Mirpur and Gulshan, has an estimated cost of Tk 41,238.55 crore. The 20km line would have underground and elevated sections.
The project is scheduled to finish by 2028.
Apart from these two projects, the Ecnec meeting yesterday approved eight other projects that cost Tk 6,225 crore.
They include construction of a multi-storied building in Mirpur for government employees for Tk 1,088 crore and multi-storied building at Azimpur for judges for Tk 129 crore.
The prime minister also asked the authorities concerned not to give any new gas connection to homes and install LPG storage in every building from where gas would be supplied to flats.
She also asked all secretaries to live in government quarters or else the government would not pay their rent, meeting sources said.
She urged all to use nets to prevent mosquitos in government buildings, they said.