Road transport and bridges minister, Obaidul Quader, on May 3 said the much-awaited metro rail would start its journey commercially by December 2019. Quader, who is also general secretary of the ruling Awami League, said this while talking to journalists after attending a metro rail deal signing event at a city hotel. At the event, Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) signed three agreements with two Italian companies for the construction of Mass Rapid Train (MRT) line-6. The minister said the construction work of the metro rail was delayed following a militant attack on Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan, uly of last year.
"The metro rail project is being implemented to reduce traffic congestion, but people are suffering a lot due to its construction work. We have already asked the officials concerned to keep the sufferings of commuters at a tolerable level," Quader said. The cost of the MRT has been estimated at BDT220 billion, of which Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is providing 70 percent, and the rest will come from the Bangladesh government. Initially, the total metro rail length will be 20 kilometers and it will have stations at 16 points of the city, including at Uttara, Pallabi, Mirpur, Kazipara, Shewrapara, Agargaon, Rokeya Sarani, Bijoy Sarani, Farmgate, Sonargaon Hotel, Shahbagh, Doel Chattar, Topkhana Road, and Motijheel. About 60,000 passengers per hour will benefit from metro rail every day, officials said.