by Staff Correspondent, Dhaka,
The 400-year old Dhaka city, haunted by nagging traffic congestion, entered into the metro-rail era with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurating the first phase of the elevated metro rail in the capital on Wednesday.
Hasina, the longest serving prime minister of Bangladesh, set yet another milestone in the country’s communication history with the Japan government’s financial assistance. Hasina, earlier in June, opened the largest Bridge on the river Padma to connect the country’s southern part with the capital.
Prime Minister Hasina opened the 11.73 km part of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line-6 of the metro rail project from Dhaka’s Diabari to Agargaon by unveiling its plaque at Diabari in the city.
Her younger sister Sheikh Rehana was present at the inaugural function.
Hasina will also release a commemorative bank note of TK 50 to mark the opening of the metro rail. She will take the first official ride from Diabari of Uttara to Agargaon after buying a metro ticket.Mariam Afiza will be the first operator of the metro train.
The train, which will initially run from 8 am to 12 noon every day, will be opened to the public from December 29. The train will run between Uttara and Agargaon stations without any stoppage.
Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) will operate 30 double decker buses to transport passengers from and to metro rail stations.
Of those, 20 buses will be operated on Agargaon-Motijheel route via Farmgate, Karwan Bazar, Shahbagh and Gulistan while 10 buses will run from Uttara’s House Building to Uttara’s North station at Diabari via Abdullahpur.
Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), a government-owned company, is implementing the metro rail projects. The MRT line-6, construction of which was began in 2016, costs more than 33,000 crore taka.
The second section from Agargaon to Motijheel and the third section from Motijheel to Kamalapur railway station are expected to be opened to the public sometimes later next year.
The MRT will be able to transport 60 thousand passengers per hour and half a million passengers per day. The trains will arrive at each station every four minutes.