The World Bank has expressed its desire to finance the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) project as it has been designed to help smooth journey between Gazipur and Dhaka Airport which would take only 20 minutes.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said this to the journalists after a meeting with the World Bank representative led by acting World Bank country director Rajsree Palongkar at the conference room of his office here today.
"We have asked the concerned authority to start the project work soon as the World Bank is agreed to finance 250 million US$ for implementing the project initially up to Mahakhali," said the minister.
The World Bank three years ago agreed to finance the BRT project between Jhilmill to Dhaka airport which was later shelved.
But now the World Bank wants to involve with the development works and wants to implement the project in three phases, said the minister. The buses will run on a dedicated lane on the existing six-lane highway under the BRT project where there will be no traffic jam; the buses will ply one by one. BRT transport system have already been famous in other cities including Chicago and New Delhi.
The BRT project is divided in two parts: one from Gazipur's Shibbari to Dhaka's Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, and the other from the airport to Keraniganj.
The project was approved on November 20, 2012 with a December 2016 deadline. However it has missed two deadlines due to negligence. Even the project authority's own February 2015 deadline to finish the detailed design dragged on to May this year. The new deadline for the BRT is December 2018.
Around 25,000 people are expected to commute on the BRT on both sides every hour in 100 articulated buses. Stations will see a bus arrive every three minutes. Passengers will be required to use a smart card to use the service and will be covered by a mandatory insurance policy.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be around Tk2,040 crore. Donors will give Tk1,650.7 crore, Asian Development Bank Tk1,280 crore, French Development Agency Tk360 crore and Global Environmental Facility Tk36 crore. The rest will be provided by the government.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)