Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Wednesday said the government is going ahead with plans to build six metro rail routes by 2030 to reduce traffic congestion in Dhaka city and nearby areas and increase public transport capacity.
“Some 128 kilometers metro rail route, including some 67 kilometers flyover and 61 kilometers subway, will be built across the Dhaka city,” he said.Quader, also the Awami League general secretary, said this while inaugurating a hospital for metro rail project through video conferencing from his official residence on parliament premises in the capital.
With the hope of building confidence among the engineers and workers, the metro rail project authorities opened two field hospitals for employees infected with coronavirus. Both the hospitals -- a 14-bed hospital at Panchabati Construction Yard in Uttara and a 10-bed hospital at Gabtoli Construction Yard -- got approval from the health department.
The minister said that the field hospitals have been built for the health protection of the project officials during the pandemic.
“The field hospitals were set up to improve the coronavirus management at the project,” he said.
Quader said necessary manpower, including doctors and nurses, has already been recruited for the hospitals and equipment, including cardiac monitors and oxygen cylinders, has already been installed.
“These have increased the capability of the metro rail authority in dealing with Covid-19 patients and that will further raise confidence among the thousands of staffers of the project, including workers, technicians, engineers and consultants,” he added.Nazrul Islam, secretary of Road Transport and Highways Division, and MAN Siddque, managing director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Ltd (DMTCL) which is implementing the metro rail project, among others, took part in the programme.
Physical work for the country’s first metro rail came to a halt after the government in late March shut down the economy to contain the spread of coronavirus. The authority is still struggling to speed up the construction works due to Covid-19 pandemic. Overall, the project has progressed only 49.15 percent till date. The project witnessed only 5.03 percent progress in the last five months.