DHAKA- Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader today said the much-awaited metro rail would start its journey commercially by December 2019.
Quader, who is also General Secretary of the ruling party Awami League, made the remark while talking to journalists after attending a deal singing function over metro rail at a city hotel.
At the event, Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) signed three agreements with two Italian companies for the construction of Mass Rapid Train (MRT) line-6.
The minister said the construction works of the metro rail was delayed following a militant attack on Holey Artisan Bakery at Gulshan in July last year.
"The metro rail project is being implemented to reduce traffic congestion, but people are suffering a lot due to its construction works. We have already asked officials concerned to keep sufferings of commuters at a tolerable level," Quader said.
The cost of the MRT has been estimated at Taka 22,000 crore, of which Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is providing 70 per cent (Taka 16,500 crore) while the rest 25 per cent will come from Bangladesh government's fund.
Initially, the total length of metro rail will be 20 kilometres and it will have stations at 16 points of the city, including at Uttara, Pallabi, Mirpur, Kazipara, Shewrapara, Agargaon, Rokeya Sarani, Bijoy Sarani, Farmgate, Sonargaon Hotel, Shahbagh, Doel Chattar, Topkhana Road and Motijheel.
About 60,000 passengers will be benefited from metro rail per hour every day, officials said.
Awami League Presidium Member Advocate Sahara Khatun and representatives from both Bangladesh and Italian companies were present.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)