Metro rail project works gather pace

Dhaka,  Thu,  17 August 2017
Published : 06 Aug 2017, 22:02:21
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Metro rail project works gather pace

DMTCL signs Tk 42.57b train procurement deal with Japanese consortium
FE Report


An agreement was signed in the capital Sunday to procure 24 sets of trains, necessary equipment and spare parts for the metro rail project, making progress one step further in implementation of the project.

Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) signed the Tk 42.57 billion contract with Japanese Kawasaki Mitsubishi Consortium, which is also responsible for preservation, and trainings for the engineers to be engaged in the MRT operations and management.

The agreement for this portion of the country's first metro rail project known as mass rapid transit line-6 (MRT-6) from Uttara to Motijheel was signed three days after inauguration of the construction works of the stations and viaducts.

"Metro rail is no more a dream, it's now a reality," Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader told a media briefing, following the signing ceremony.

He said the project has got its own pace of implementation and expressed the hope that it would be completed timely -- the government often claims it would be launched by 2019.

He, however, hinted that the project would take eight more months to launch the MRT line-6 than that of its schedule as the time was lapsed due to the unfortunate Gulshan café attack.

Initially, the entire metro rail project was scheduled to be completed by 2024. Later, the government through negotiations with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the financier, decided to complete the first part (MRT line-6) in 2019, followed by second part in 2021.

The minister said the MRT line-6 project did not have any problem at present while the JICA providing all kinds of support, including smooth release of necessary funds.

Replying to a question about making the DMTCL functional as per the JICA recommendation, he said that no step would be taken without the concurrence of the JICA. "Whatever deficit remains will be removed."

According to JICA, DMTCL should be strengthened before starting of the project construction.

Though all procurement and contract signing were being done under the DMTCL, there was no initiative in making the company functional.

Addressing the signing ceremony, JICA chief representative Takatoshi Nishikata requested the government to expedite the process of recruiting professionals for the DMTCL.

JICA wants to build the country's capacity in implementing, operating and maintaining the MRTs with high quality, he said.

Japanese Ambassador Masato Watanabe also highlighted the Japanese government's commitment towards the mega project with ensuring quality infrastructure and said MRT would be the flagship project to symbolise the bilateral cooperation and relationship between the two countries.

Road Transport and Highway Division Secretary MAN Siddique and member of parliamentary standing committee on MoRTB Nazmul Hoque also spoke on the occasion.

smunima@yahoo.com
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