Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to inaugurate the Agargaon-Motijheel part of Dhaka Metro Rail on October 20, 2023, Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader told UNB.
On that day, the PM will inaugurate the Farmgate, Secretariat and Motijheel stations of metro rail.
There are seven stations on the Agargaon to Motijheel part of Dhaka Metro Rail. These are: Bijoy Sarani, Farmgate, Karwan Bazar, Shahbagh, TSC, Press Club and Motijheel.
Once the Agargaon-Motijheel part of Metro Rail opens, commuters will be able to travel from Uttara to Motijheel in just 38 minutes — a miracle by Dhaka standards.
Initially, five trains will run from Agargaon to Motijheel every 15 minutes and the number of trains will be increased gradually by reducing the time interval, the minister informed.
MAN Siddique, managing director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), said that Farmgate, Secretariat and Motijheel stations are being opened on October 20.
All work involving the stations have been completed. Now, work on the passenger walkways at the station is going on and it will be finished by October 15, Siddique hoped.
Initially all trains will not go up to Motijheel. Trains will have numbers assigned to them. According to the number, which train will go to Agargaon and which will go to Motijheel, can be identified.
According to the DMTCL MD, a three-step test run is conducted on the line before a train runs commercially. The first step in the trial run is the proficiency test or performance test. The second step will be the ‘System Integration Test’. The final stage will be ‘trial run’ or experimental movement.
Siddique also said, “Now we are in the second step and all tests will be completed five days before the inauguration.”
According to the Metro Rail authorities, when the entire system is operational, service will be available from 7 am to 10 pm initially and then it will be extended to 11:30 pm.
The cost of the country’s first ever metro rail project stands at Tk 33,472 crore. Notably, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provided Tk 19,719 crore in the form of a loan to support the project, while the Government of Bangladesh funded the remaining amount.
In the beginning, the estimated cost of this project was about Tk 21,000 crore. The cost has increased due to the construction of an additional 1.6 km section from Motijheel to Kamalapur, acquisition of new land for each station, and the addition of various new facilities.
The main construction work of the project started in 2017.
The project is scheduled to be completed by December 2025.
The prime minister formally inaugurated the Uttara-Agargaon section of MRT-6 line of the Dhaka Metro Rail on December 28 last year.
At first, only three stations on this route were open to the public. Later, all nine stations on the Uttara-Agargaon route became operational in phases.