PM Sheikh Hasina took the first official ride of the metro rail from Diabari of Uttara to Agargaon after buying a ticket.
Bangladesh’s first elevated metro rail was inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday.
By Sahidul Hasan Khokon: The country’s first elevated metro rail was inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday. It will ease Dhaka’s traffic woes.
The PM opened the 11.73-km part of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line-6 of the metro rail project from Diabari to Agargaon. She took the first official ride of the metro rail from Diabari of Uttara to Agargaon after buying a ticket.
The PM’s younger sister Sheikh Rehana was present on the occasion, along with many other officials.
Sheikh Hasina also released a commemorative banknote of Taka 50 to mark the metro’s opening. She later addressed a rally at the Diabari Playground in Uttara. Mariam Afiza became the first operator of the metro. People can start riding the metro train from tomorrow.
Initially, the metro rail will run from 8 am to 12 noon every day from Uttara to Agargaon stations without any break.
State-owned Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) will operate 30 double-decker buses to transport passengers to and from metro rail stations. Of these, 20 buses will be operated on Agargaon-Motijheel route via Farmgate, Karwan Bazar, Shahbagh and Gulistan while 10 buses will run from Uttara’s House Building to Uttara’s North station at Diabari via Abdullahpur.
The government-owned company Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) is implementing the metro rail project.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been constructing the metro rail and providing soft loan for the project. The construction work of the MRT Line-6 began in 2016.
The second section of metro rail from Agargaon to Motijheel and the third section from Motijheel to Kamalapur railway station will be launched in phases. The metro rail from Agargaon to Motijheel will be introduced in December next year. It will be able to transport 60,000 passengers per hour and half a million passengers per day and the trains will arrive at each station every four minutes.
Traffic congestion in the capital will be reduced after complete operation of the metro rail. It will also increase revenue collection.
According to the project details, initially some 10-set of train having six coaches will run from Uttara to Agargaon. The staying time of the train at a station is yet to be decided.
At each station, the train will wait until the boarding and alighting of passengers is completed. Each train can run at a speed of 100 to 110 km with 2,300 passengers. However, the speed will be lower in areas with bends.
After assuming power in 2009, the Awami League government has taken various initiatives to reduce public sufferings by easing traffic congestion in the capital.
FIRST PASSENGER ON METRO
PM Sheikh Hasina became the first passenger to travel on the metro rail. The first ever metro train, carrying Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana along with around 200 passengers, left from North Uttara to Agargaon at 1.53pm on Wednesday.
The 200 passengers included freedom fighters, ministers, government officials, diplomats, school students, and others.
Earlier, the PM bought the metro ticket around 1.35 pm at the North Uttara station followed by her younger sister. Later, both punched their tickets at the entry of the station and boarded the train.
After arrival at the North Uttara station, the PM planted a sapling there. Mariam Afiza drove the train.
Sheikh Hasina said another feather was added to the cap of Bangladesh’s pride and development with the opening of country’s first-ever metro rail, vowing to build a prosperous “Smart Bangladesh” by 2041.
“One more feather after the Padma Bridge was added to the journey of Bangladesh’s development with the inauguration of the metro rail,” she said.
POSTAGE STAMP RELEASED
Sheikh Hasina released a special commemorative postage stamp, an opening day cover and a data card.
The postage stamp, first-day cover and data card will be sold from Philatelic Bureau of Dhaka GPO and will also be available at other GPOs and head post offices across the country later.
She also unveiled a commemorative note of Taka 50, marking the launch of the country’s first ever metro rail.
The note, containing portrait of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with a background of metro rail on one side and a photo of metro rail on the other, will be available for people.
They can collect it from Bangladesh Bank’s Motijheel office from December 29 and later from other branches.