The country’s first-ever metro rail will go on its commercial operation in the Uttara-Agargaon section on December 16 — the Victory Day — next year.
The metro rail authorities will start the partial operation of the new mode of public transport in the country with 10 sets of metro trains, an official said.
The Agargaon-Motijheel section will be operational for the second phase by December 2023, said MAN Siddique, managing director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), which is implementing the fast-track project.
He was speaking to reporters at the under-construction Agargaon station after a metro train reached there from the depot in Uttara’s Dia Bari for the first time during a performance test yesterday.
As per the prior announcement, the train reached the Agargaon station at 11:00 am. It started from the depot at 9:39 am and after completing necessary tests, it reached the station, a DMTCL official said.
Earlier on November 29, a metro train traveled to Mirpur-10 for the first time.
Formally known as the Mass Rapid Transit Line 6 or MRT Line 6, the elevated rail line is being constructed between Uttara Sector-3 and Motijheel at the cost of around Tk 22,000 crore.
Once completed, it will be able to transport 60,000 people per hour and would reduce travel time from Uttara to Motijheel from about two hours to only 40 minutes.
A total of 24 trains would be operating on the route when it would be fully functional.
MAN Siddique said the construction of a viaduct up to DoyelChattar in Dhaka University would be finished within this month and the entire 20.10km viaduct would be complete within January next year.
He said eight trains have already reached Bangladesh, of which seven are in the depot, while one will arrive at the depot from Mongla today. Two more trains will reach by January.
He added they are conducting different performance tests on all the trains that reached the depot so far. After the tests, they would carry out integrity and trial runs without passengers.
“We will complete all tests by September next year and take three months for other preparations to start commercial operations from December 16.”
The first phase — the Uttra-Agargaon section — is 11.73km long and has nine stations.
ABM Atifur Rahman, project manager (package-8) of DMTCL, said the train that was operated between Uttara and Agargaon yesterday was the second train to have reached the depot and was operated by an operator from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
The overall progress of the fast-track project was 73 percent till November this year.
The first phase saw 89.88 percent progress and the second phase — from Agargaon to Motijheel – 71.82 percent.
The installation of tracks and other equipment, and procurement of cars saw 68.80 percent progress, according to the project’s monthly report.
The authorities have already started working to extend the line up to the Kamalapur Railway Station.