Cost of the ongoing Dhaka Metro Rail project will go up by Tk 1,505 crore mainly due to the increased cost of land acquisition for expansion of stations under the mega project.
Road transport and highways division has recently taken a decision to hike the project cost.Now, the project cost is going up to Tk 23,490 crore. The implementing agency has already informed the planning commission of the cost, official sources said.
According to the existing rules, the ministry concerned for executing the project can increase cost by 5 percent.
The commission has made no objection to the cost hike as the increase has been within the permissible limit, the commission officials said.
Physical infrastructure division of the commission sent letters to the finance ministry and other agencies, informing them about the cost hike.
It also suggested roads and highways division should revise and project quickly with inclusion of an increased project cost, commission sources added.
Tk 600 crore was set aside for necessary land acquisition under the Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (MRT-6) being implemented from Uttara to Motijheel in the capital.In addition to this, Tk 1,505 crore has been increased mainly because of accommodating higher cost of acquiring more land for expanding the proposed stations and other purposes.
Besides, Tk 5 crore more has been sought for training purposes as the project will require skilled manpower for operation. Tk 1 crore was allocated for this. Giving consent to the cost increase, the commission told the implementing agency: “It is stipulated that necessary steps for revising the project for the second time should be taken as soon as possible, where the cost increase should be reflected.”
Ecnec approved the metro rail project in December 2012 at an estimated cost of Tk.21,985 crore, lion’s portion of which is coming from Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
The project’s original completion deadline is June 2024. It faced a major setback after the July Gulshan attack in 2016 that
put a halt to the mega project as a number of Japanese experts were killed in the incident. Later, 11.29km Uttara-Agargaon segement’s completion period was curtailed to December 2019 and that of 8.50km Agargaon-Motijheel segment to December 2020 in the wake of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s intervention.
However, the present progress of the scheme does not suggest that it would be complete within the revised timeframe. Public sector project watchdog implementation monitoring and evaluation division (IMED) also said it would be a major challenge to complete the project following the deadline.
Until September this year, the project saw an overall progress of 30.05 percent, according to Dhaka Mass Transit Company Ltd (DMTCL) data.
The Uttara (3rd phase)-Agargaon segment saw 47.18 percent progress while Agargaon-Motijheel portion saw 23.50 percent progress.
Electrical and mechanical systems and collection of depot equipment and rolling stock advanced 19.87 percent.