Last Tuesday marked an important milestone for the Mass Rapid Transit Line-6 project, as the country's first-ever electricity-powered train ran its first test on the tracks. We are elated to see the progress on this project as it promises to solve the persistent gridlocks in the capital and make everyday travel hassle-free for citizens. Upon its completion, the metro rail will be able to transport 60,000 people per hour and would reduce the 2-hours travel time from Uttara to Motijheel to only 40 minutes.
However, we also worry about whether the project can be completed within the given deadline of June 2024. Already, there have been many setbacks and not all of them due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The testing phase itself is supposed to take from anywhere between 6 months to over a year, when the early commissioning of the project was supposed to happen in December of this year. Another deadline that was not met was for metro services between Uttara and Agargaon to be open from 2019, and from Agargaon to Motijheel within 2020. Still, the Road Transport and Highway Division is optimistic about meeting the June 2024 deadline of completing the project and we, too, are hopeful. We applaud the authorities for having been able to launch the test run before the deadline (May 24). But we would also urge all parties involved to maintain the current timeline while ensuring that the quality of their work is not compromised. It is also crucial that the costs do not exceed the Tk 22,000 crore budget, as happens often with large-scale projects. While the MRT-6 will surely be a lasting solution to many of the capital's traffic issues, it must be carried out with care so that it is, efficient, long-lasting and safe.