Congestion for Metro Rail Construction

Hasina urges people to show patience

Special Correspondent

26 May, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Hasina urges people to show patience

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurates new intercity train ‘Panchagarh Express’ on Dhaka-Panchagarh route through video conferencing from her Ganabhaban residence in the capital on Saturday. —BSS Photo

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday urged the people to have patience during severe congestion in the capital for the ongoing construction work of the metro rail project.

“People living in Dhaka are suffering due to the ongoing construction work of the metro rail. I urge them to have patience for having a better transport system,” she said.

 “I hope there will be no suffering after the completion of the work.”

The premier came up with the remark while inaugurating the much-awaited four-lane 2nd Meghna Bridge and the 2nd Gumti Bridge on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway through a videoconferencing from her official residence Ganabhaban.

The premier also opened two flyovers — Konabari and Chandra flyovers, four underpasses — Kaliakair, Deohata, Mirzapur and Gharinda underpasses, and two more bridges — Kadda-1 and Bimail bridges, on the Joydebpur-Chandra-Tangail-Elenga Highway under the SASEC Road Link Project.

Sheikh Hasina said there will be 16 stations under the metro rail project. The stations include Uttara (North), Uttara (Centre), Uttara (South), Pallabi, IMT, Mirpur 10, Kazipaha, Taltala, Agargaon, Bijoy Sarani, Farmgate, Sonargaon, National Museum, Doel Chattar, Bangabandhu National Stadium and Bangladesh Bank.

“Measures have been taken in a way so that some 60,000 passengers can travel every hour,” she said.

Roads stretching from Uttara-Mirpur-Shahbagh-Motijheel have become narrow due to the ongoing construction work, resulting in an untold suffering of the passengers of various modes of transport.

The premier said the Awami League returned to power 21-year after the assassination of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

“After assuming office, we have been able to bring in development for the country and the people. I am grateful to the people as they keep faith in me to serve them,” she said.

The premier also asked the authorities concerned to procure modern passenger coaches and wagons for Bangladesh Railway to meet the growing demands.

She also emphasised achieving the capability of locally building modern wagons and coaches. The premier urged the drivers to go by the traffic rules to avoid accidents

“Those who drive on roads must go by the traffic rules. They have to drive within the speed limit,” she said, urging the passers-by to cross the road going by the traffic rules as well.

The premier said the aim of her government is to improve the living standard of people and free the country from poverty.

She said the newly-constructed bridges would be very much helpful for the socioeconomic development of the country.

“These bridges will help boost regional cooperation,” she said.

Terming Bangladesh the role model of development in the world, the premier urged all to maintain the pace of the development.

Later, she spoke to a cross-section of people in Munshiganj, Cumilla, Gazipur and Tangail through the videoconference.

On March 16, Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Shitalakkhya Bridge (Second Kanchpur Bridge) on the Shitalakkhya River and another bridge of the same project.

Japanese contractors Obayshi Corporation, Shimizu Corporation, JFE Engineer Corporation, and IHI Infra Systems Company Limited started the construction of the second Kanchpur Bridge along with the second Meghna and second Meghna-Gumti bridges on the Dhaka-Chattogram Highway in January 2016.

The total estimated cost of the three bridges was Tk 8,486.94 crore. Of the amount, Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) provided Tk 6,430 crore.

As per the contract, the Japanese firms began work in January 2016 and it was scheduled to complete within June 2019. But, the progress of the work was halted for around four months after the Holey Artisan attack in July 2016.

Later, the government extended the deadline for six months by re-fixing it in December 2019. But, the construction of the bridges has been completed around seven months before the schedule.

The work on the around 400-metre new Kanchpur Bridge, with a cost of Tk 950 crore, was completed in December 2017 and the new one is two metres wider than the old one. The authorities have already started renovation work on the old bridge.

The construction of the new 930-metre Meghna and 1,410-metre Gumti bridges was completed spending Tk 1750 crore and Tk 1950 crore respectively.

Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan also spoke at the programme from Bir Muktijoddha Sirajul IslamRailway Station in Panchagarh through videoconference.

Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader and Agriculture Minister Abrur Razzaque were also present at the programme at Ganobhaban.