JV appointed to develop depot area
The metro rail authorities yesterday appointed a Japan-Bangladesh joint venture firm to develop the depot area of the country's first-ever underground metro rail, formally known as Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line-1.
Dhaka Mass Transit Company Ltd (DMTCL), the implementing agency of all metro rail projects, yesterday signed a contract with the firm at a city hotel.
The companies are Tokyu Construction Co Ltd of Japan and Max Infrastructure Ltd of Bangladesh.
MAN Siddique, managing director of the DMTCL, Project Director Abul Kashem Bhuiyan, Masakazu Konishi, executive officer and division manager of Tokyu Construction Ltd, and Ghulam Mohammed Alomgir, chairman of Max Group, signed the contract.
Tokyu was also involved with the development of the depot area of the country's first metro rail (MRT Line-6) in the capital's Diabari while Max is involved with several projects of Bangladesh Railway and Roads and Highways Department.
The joint venture will conduct "soil improvement and land development" work at the depot in Narayanganj's Pitalganj at a cost of Tk 607.65 crore within 910 days, sources said.
Of the money, Tk 81.83 crore will come from government funds while Tk 525.83 crore will come as a Japanese loan, they said.
Works for the Tk 52,561.43-crore MRT Line-1, the biggest infrastructure project in the transport sector, will start with land development for the depot.
Earlier, the project authorities said the physical works of the depot would start in December this year.
But yesterday, MAN Siddique said the contractor was expected to start the work either at the end of January or on the first part of February next year after completing some formalities.
Once the 31.24-kilometre line is up and running, it will be able to carry 8 lakh passengers daily. The deadline of the project is 2026.
It will have two parts -- a 19.87-km section from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur (airport route), which will be underground, and a 11.36-km elevated line from Notun Bazar to Purbachal (Purbachal route).
The MRT Line-1 will be the second of the six lines to be built in the capital and adjacent areas to ease traffic congestion and pollution.
The government has taken a plan to build around 130km of metro rail network -- with both elevated and underground sections -- by 2030.
Ito Naoki, Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh, Ichiguchi Tomohide, Jica chief representative to Bangladesh, and Planning Secretary Mamun-Al-Rashid spoke at the programme, presided over by Road Transport and Highways Division Secretary ABM Amin Ullah Nuri.