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Term paper

Metro rail project: Dream and challenges

Submitted By:
Dr. Mohammad Mostafizur Rahman
Roll: 7928
79th Special foundation training course

Mass rapid transit projects are often taken by the government of developing countries.
Developing countries in Asia are undertaking rail based system especially metro 1 as a
solution to solve the problems of urban traffic congestion and for meeting rapidly increasing
travel demand. This is also targeted for controlling environmental pollution and boosting up
economic growth. Experiencing projects in Hong Kong and Singapore, and cities in South
Asian countries, like Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta (India) and Dhaka (Bangladesh) are found to
rely on metro for the growing travel demand as ultimate solution. For developed world,
experts identified several reasons why countries like Canada, France, Germany and the
United States adopted rapid rail transit systems. Along with environmental goal achievement,
cities with increasing economic growth planned for rapid transit to make it congestion-free,
faster and reliable for the movement of people. Any new public transport system should be
based on the perceived impacts, such as increased market share for public transportation,
reduced automobile dependence, positive effects on environment and urban development.
Among them, most important and common issue is to reduce car use and increase the use of
public transport. On the other hand, developing cities choose metro mainly to meet the high
travel demand which often cannot reduce congestion. The government of Bangladesh
approved a long-term mega project (Strategic Transport Plan, STP 2005) to establish an
integrated environment-friendly traffic management system in greater Dhaka reducing
troublesome traffic congestion. From a set of investment options including road with Bus
Rapid Transit (BRT) or Metro Rail Transit (MRT) or various combinations of these (along
various level of road investment), the recommendation was in favor of BRT and MRT along
with moderate investments on the improvement of roads as a solution to meet the challenges
of the future transport demand of Dhaka. The planned Metro rail in Dhaka is about 60 km. in
length and is comprised of three lines. This could be a good response to the prevailing worse
traffic situation. It, however, raises some questions which cannot be ignored in any
circumstances. These issues also provide some indications to think about further assessment
of metro considering different aspects before going to implement the project desperately. This
research is an endeavor on that pursuit.
In the practical perspective of Dhaka city transportation and population ratio and its
activation possibilities government was very much concern and researching for the quite
modern sustainable solution. The urgency to mitigate the mass transportation problems in
Dhaka prompted the Bangladesh Government to seek expansion and modernization of the
citys Mass transit mode. In 1998, Bangladesh Government created the Dhaka Transport
Coordination Authority. An urban transport plan was commissioned in 2008, wherein the
Government laid out a comprehensive transport plan naming Strategic Transport Plan (STP)
for the Greater Dhaka City and its adjoining areas. The plan looked at various Key Policy
issues including safety, pedestrian preferences, public transport, non-motorized transport,
travel demand management, mass transit systems, etc. From 70 different policy
recommendations under the STP, 10 comprehensive transportation strategies were evaluated.

One of the adopted plans includes constructing 3 Metro Rail lines across the City. Under the
Road Transport and Highways Division of the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges, the
Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (DMRTDP) was taken up by the
Government. In June 2013, Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTC) was established
by the Government to implement the Metro Rail Lines across the city.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the country's first-ever metro rail
project on March 2016, opening up a new era in the country's communication system.

The Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (I) will construct the first Mass Rapid
Transit (MRT) system in Bangladesh, alleviating traffic congestion in Dhaka to provide a
smooth flow of people and goods, and stimulate economic activity. It is estimated that the
system will have about 510,000 users per day (comparable to the approximately 450,000
people who use the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line, which is similar in size). It is projected that
Dhaka residents will change their mode of transportation from automobiles and buses to rail,
decreasing the number of vehicles on the road. This is expected to reduce the emission of
greenhouse gases (GHG) and help alleviate climate change.This project will construct the
first Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line in Bangladesh, 20.1 kilometers in length, in the
Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka to meet the demand for transportation in Greater Dhaka,
contributing to the economic development of Bangladesh overall by alleviating traffic
congestion. Once the MRT is in place, it is projected that the number of people and amount of
goods moving in the transportation network will greatly increase, developing the economy
and reducing poverty in Greater Dhaka, and the MRT is expected to also contribute to
economic development in the country as a whole. The switch to a public transportation
system will curb air pollution in Greater Dhaka, alleviating climate change.
This project will construct Line 6, selected as the highest priority route of the three MRT
candidates from the Preparatory Survey for the Dhaka Urban Transport Network
Development Project, carried out by JICA between 2009 and 2011. The survey was carried
out based on the Dhaka Strategic Transport Plan, a 20-year basic policy of the Government of
Bangladesh for its Dhaka urban transportation sector, formulated and approved in 2004.

A feasibility study has been completed, the route has been decided upon, yet construction has
not begun. The progress was stalled by a number of objections to the route alignment by
numerous organizations. The deal for the first route (MRT line 6) of 20.1 kilometers
(12.5 mi), costing $2.8 billion, was signed by the government with the Japan International
Cooperation Agency on 20 February 2013. The first route will start from Pallabi, a northern
suburb of Dhaka to Sayedabad, in the south of the capital. Most of the metro will be elevated
above current roads, with stations also elevated. The Delhi Metro Rail
Corporation of India will serve as a project consultant.
A video released by the Dhaka Transport Coordination Board appears to show that the system
plans to use smart cards.
As of May 2015, soil testing for the line was nearly complete, with construction for the first
and second sections planned to begin in November 2016 and July 2017, respectively, for
planned public operation by the end of 2019.
The capacity of each train is 1800 passengers. With 56 trains to be in service by 2019, Dhaka
Metro will be able to service more than 60,000 passengers per hour with wait times
approximately 4 minutes. A 2011 report stated that traffic in Dhaka can stand still for as
much as 7 hours a day. With the route being able to be completed in less than 40 minutes at
an average speed of 100 km/h, it will drastically reduce the number of private cars on the
roads of Dhaka as well as travel times.
Rout Alignment
A tentative alignment has been decided upon for three new metro lines.
The stations on MRT Line 6 are still unclear. The Daily Star has reported that stations include
Pallabi, Sayedabad, Chandrima Udyan, Agargaon, Bijoy Sharani, Shahbagh, TSC, Bangla
Academy, Curzon Hall, Topkhana and Bangladesh Bank, but did not state where along the
line they would be placed. The original map above also has different station placement to a
Dhaka Transport Coordination Board video released in January 2012.

MRT Line 6

MRT Line 5

MRT Line 4

Uttara North (future


Hotel Sonargaon



Airport Entrance


Airport South




Mirpur 11


Army Stadium


Adamjee Cantonment






Section 10


Uttara Central (future


Uttara South (future



Zoo Road


Bijoy Sarani






Karwan Bazar



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