The construction work of the first metro rail project is expected to start soon as the authorities have finalised selection of two companies to develop half of the 20-kilometre line and necessary infrastructure on the depot site.
Another contractor to procure the train sets would also be finalised shortly, sources said, for making those ready before launching the mass transit line in the capital by 2019.
According to sources, two contracts are scheduled to be signed with the two selected companies on April 26. The companies will develop the depot infrastructure under contract package (CP) 2 and construct 10-km elevated lines and stations under CP 3 and CP 4.
The schedule to signing contract on CP-8 for procuring 24 sets of trains, each having six bogies, would take few more days to finalise, officials said.
Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development (DMRTD) project has set the schedule recently after getting concurrence from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the main financier of the Tk 220 billion project.
The DMRTD completed necessary formalities for signing the contract.
"We are hopeful about starting construction soon as all the necessary formalities to sign the contracts have been completed," said an official.
Though there were some delays in company selection, he said, the project office was hopeful about making up the time already lost and meeting the target of launching mass rapid transit line-6 (MRT-6) by December 2019.
The MRT-6 has been planned to set up in the busiest north-south corridor from Uttara to Motijheel. The project was launched after JICA's confirmation to finance Tk 160 billion.
The project office has already opened tender for all eight CPs and contracted out one small component last year to develop land for the depot at Uttara in the capital.
The project office refused to disclose the names of the companies selected for the CP 2, 3 and4.
Reportedly, several Chinese companies, one Thailand and two Indian companies had submitted the request for proposals (RfPs) within the deadlines in September and October last year. The Japanese company which was pre-qualified for the CP 3-4 did not compete, however.
The pre-qualification process of the CP2 had started on August 30, 2015 while the CP 3 and 4 on June 30, 2015.
The companies participated in the tender included Simplex and, Larson and Turbo of India, China Harbour Engineering Company, Sino Hydro Corporation, Italian-Thai Development.
The project office was also carrying out evaluation on the CP 5-6 and 7 for construction of the rest 10-km elevated lines and setting up electrical and mechanical equipment.
The metro rail system is being developed to ensure uninterrupted transportation of more than 60,000 passengers every hour.