Friday, 27 May, 2022
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Metro rail project cost to shoot up

The proposed extension of the route to increase the original estimated and delay implementation by one year

Metro rail project cost to shoot up
MD NASIR UDDIN

Popular News

The cost of Dhaka Metro Rail project is set to increase by a big margin and will also delay by one more year as some changes to the mega scheme including extension of the route have been made.

The project was originally planned for a 20.10km route from Uttara to Motijheel (3rd phase).

Later, Prime Minister directed to extend it by 1.16km from Motijheel to Kamalapur.

The additional work and planned expansion in congested station areas is likely to shoot up the project cost by a whooping Tk 114.87 billion to Tk 334.72 billion, according to officials at Dhaka Mass Transit Company Ltd (DMTCL).

The original estimated cost is Tk 219.85 billion,

At the same time, the whole project’s deadline is being proposed to be extended by another year up to December 2025.

DMTCL already prepared a revised project proposal and sent it to Road Transport and Highways Division to forward it to Planning Commission for ECNEC approval, sources said.

“Now, we’ve to revise the project proposal. We’ve already sent our proposal to the concerned division, which will take the next course of action,” DMTCL managing director MAN Siddique said. After the decision for extending the route to Kamalapur, the length of the elevated metro rail route will stand at 21.26km.

For this extension, the number of stations is rising to 17 from 16 and more land will be acquired more the extended portion.

Besides, the land allocation and designing for Transit-oriented Development (ToD), train operation electricity cost and collection of enterprise resource management system will be required. 

Installation of lifts and escalators, construction of footpath at the stations, increased consultancy cost while the related project activities are raising the cost also, according to the project officials. 

DMTCL plans to turn every multi-storey station and adjacent areas into income-generating commercial hubs under the TOD system. The first TOD hub would be set up at the Uttara Centre Station along the Uttara end of the MRT line-6. DMTCL has already purchased 28.62 acres of land from the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) at a cost of Tk8.66 billion.

These additional activities are missing in the original project proposal.

Moreover, increased duties and VAT will also raise the project cost.

Twenty-three percent of the total project cost after increase will be spent on duty, VAT and land acquisition, according to the project revision proposal.

Out of the planned revised cost of Tk 334.72 billion, the government is expected to bear Tk 137.96 billion while Tk 196.76 is expected to come from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Out of Tk 114.87 billion, the government is being proposed to provide Tk 84.06 billion and JICA will be requested to give additional financing of Tk 30.81 billion.

However, Economic Relations Division (ERD) is yet to receive any proposal from the concerned department to start negotiation with Japan in this regard. 

ERD joint secretary Muhammad Ashraf Ali Faruk, tasked with looking after ERD’s Japan desk, said: “We’ve heard that the cost of metro rail project may rise, but we have not got any proposal in this regard.”

“The issue will come to us once DMTCL and concerned departments finalise the cost hike issue. And then, we’ll send proposal to Japan for additional financing,” he added.

The project’s 11.73km Uttara-Agargaon first phase as nearing the finishing line and it is expected to be open by December this year.

Test run of metro trains have been successfully conducted in this segment. 

The overall progress of the total 20.10km route has so far advanced 74.04 percent with the first phase’s construction work advancing 90.08 percent, while Agargaon-Motijheel portion progress is 73.08 percent.