For rapid economic development and industrialisation, there is no alternative to develop infrastructures like roads, rail, power, gas, and other amenities. Among them, road connectivity is vital for the overall development of the country. There is a slogan in China, “In order to get wealthy, pave the road first.” Perhaps this slogan is applicable to all developed and developing countries in the world. Since the reform and opening, the state (China) has adopted the forms of government investment, collection of social funds and utilisation of foreign funds to increase more investment and give corresponding policy support to road connection with artery railway, freeway, hub airport and international shipping centre as key points. A good economy cannot run without good communications either for movements of the peoples or movements of the products. In modern times, it has been added for digital connectivity along with analogue connectivity. In this article, I have stressed road communication which is vital for our country and our people.
We all know about the traffic jam in Dhaka city and its nearby areas. It is beyond tolerance for a long time. Considering the factor, the present government has taken various pragmatic steps to ease the traffic jam in Dhaka and its adjacent areas. Metro-Rail project is one of them. First Strategic Transport Plan (STP) was initiated in 2005 for 20 years. It was then revised on 29/08/2016 which was approved by the Cabinet Division. Revised Strategic Transport Plan (RSTP) 2015-2035 has been formulated and going to be implemented by the Revision of Strategic Plan Authority. It aims to establish a planned, modern and coordinated mass communication to ease traffic jams. Revised Strategic Transport Plan (RSTP) 2015-2035 has planned five Mass Rapid Transit/Metro-Rail projects. They are MRT Line-1, MRT Line-2, MRT Line-4, MRT Line-5 and MRT Line-6 which has 100% government ownership and is financed by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) was established on 03rd June, 2013 is to plan, design, finance, construction, administer, maintain and manage, maintenance and conduction of above mentioned Mass Rapid Transit/Metro-Rail. All the projects will be implemented in 08 phases. DMTCL will build MRT Line-6 in the first phase.MRT Line-6 (Metro-Rail) at a glance:
Project name: Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit development project. Inauguration: 26/06/2016. Implementation Authority: DMTCL, Division: Roads Transport And Highways Division. Ministry: Roads Transport and Bridge Division, Route alignment: Uttara 03rd phase-Pallabi-Rokeya Sarani-Khamarbari-Farmgate-Hotel Sonargaon-Shahbagh-TSC-Doel Chattar-Topakhana Road-Bangladesh Bank, Motijeel, Dhaka. Start with special initiative-December, 2019 (Uttara 03rd phase-Agargaon), December 2020 (Agargaon-Motijeel). The total length is 20.10 km. Lately, the length of the Metro-Rail has been extended up to Kamalapur Railway Station which added another 1.16 km road distance.
It is a first track project with 21.26 kilometres in length. The feasibility study of the MRT Line-1 project is completed by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Route alignment: Airport-Kuril-Gulshan-Badda-Rampura-Mouchak-Rajarbag-Kamalapur & Purbachal. MRT Line-5: Route: Hemaetpur-Gabtali-Technical-Kachukhet-Banani-Vatara. Both are underground Rail routes. A loan agreement has been signed with JICA on 29th June 2017. It will be the first underground Metro-Rail in the history of Bangladesh. If we can conclude and implement these above-mentioned projects, there will be a great effect on the passenger movements in Dhaka City and its nearby areas and will be a positive effect on our economy also. It will reduce public sufferings and save money and time. We think that the Metro-Rail project is another development example for Bangladesh.
The writer writes on development and economic issues and can be reached at: [email protected]