Bangladesh’s commuting system entered a new era on Wednesday as prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the first ever metro rail service in the capital.
She inaugurated the operation of the first phase of the project, Uttara to Agargaon, from Uttara sector-15 playground.
Marking the occasion, the prime minister also unveiled a commemorative stamp and a banknote.
The event was organised by the road transport and bridges ministry at Block C playground of sector 15 in Uttara in Dhaka.
Senior government officials and people of all walks of life gathered at the venue to watch the inauguration of the first ever metro rail service in Bangladesh.
Among others, road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader, road transport and highways division secretary ABM Amin Ullah Nuri, Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited managing director MAN Siddique, Mass Rapid Transit line 6 project director Aftabuddin Talukder, Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh Iwama Kiminori accompanied the PM at the stage.
With the introduction of metro rail service, the country is also going to have the first-ever electricity-powered rail system.
The PM is scheduled to travel from Uttara to Agargaon by the train as the first passenger in a reserved coach after opening the service at the Uttara North Station at 2:00pm.
Along with her, there will be 200 invited guests in other compartments of the same train.
The gathering place was seen almost full with senior government officials of different ministries.
Bangladesh Awami league activists were seen chanting slogans for the prime minister at the back side of the gathering venue.
The entirely elevated service will be open to the public on Thursday at 8:00am. Initially, the service will run for four hours daily without stopping at any station between Uttara and Agargaon.
People living along the Uttara–Agargaon route followed seven-point special measures on Wednesday, ordered by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, in order to ensure security for the prime minister on the occasion of the inaugural ceremony.
The Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited has been implementing the Mass Rapid Transit Line-6 project, popularly known as metro rail, since 2012.
The entire 21.26-kilometre-long Uttara–Kamalapur metro rail route will be inaugurated in December 2025.
Today, an air-conditioned metro train will run on the 11.73-kilometre-long Uttara–Agargaon route without touching any station on the route, taking around 17 minutes.
Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader at a press conference held at the metro rail’s Agargaon station on Tuesday said that metro trains would run on the Uttara–Motijheel route in 2023 and start operating on the entire route up to Kamalapur by 2024.
‘Once the MRT Line-6 project is completed, its trains will be able to carry 60,000 passengers from both ends of the route per hour and five lakh passengers on the Uttara-Motijheel route daily,’ he said.
Twenty-four sets of trains would run under the service with six compartments each while plans are afoot to increase the coach number to eight in future, he continued.
According to Obaidul Quader, the passenger capacity in the four middle compartments is maximum 390 and in the two compartments at the two ends is maximum 378.
‘The passenger capacity in each train is 2,308 and the train will run at the highest speed of 100km per hour,’ he said.
From Uttara, metro trains would take 38 minutes to go to Motijheel and 17 minutes to Agargaon with stoppages and 10 minutes to Agargaon without any stoppage, he mentioned.