The Financial Express

MRT trips closer to fruition

| Updated: November 23, 2021 22:02:14

MRT trips closer to fruition

Even after a test run of an elevated metro train, in MRT-6 segment, in presence of a large number of people on August 29 last, pessimists could not feel convinced. They were doubtful about the train's eventual gathering of the announced speed of 100-kilometre per hour from the initial 20-25km and its citywide operation. Blowing out all kinds of cynicism, a full-speed train on November 16 whizzed between Uttara and Agargaon stations at 100km per hour, heralding the commercial operation in the 11.7km section, hopefully from December 2022. At present, two sets of trains are engaged in non-stop trial runs between the two stations in northern Dhaka at nominal speed.

According to Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), upon completion of all trial runs, the Uttara-Agargaon section of the MRT-6 is expected to be in operation with 10 sets of train soon. It will later be joined by the viaduct-based line which is stretched up to Motijheel. The Uttara-Motijheel distance of 20.10km is slated to be covered in 40 minutes by a metro train. At present, it takes people two to two and a half hours to commute on the route. As has been observed by the DMTCL and the JICA experts, the whole Metro-6 project could be completed by 2024. The futuristic people have started foreseeing radical changes in Dhaka's lifestyle after the city enters the age of speed travel. That speed matters a lot in achieving holistic developments has long been axiomatic. Reaching destinations much earlier than it took in the past makes a lot of difference in this age of meeting deadlines. It is speedy travel in a traffic-filled city which expedites its all-round development. The need for a network of unhindered speedy travels within the city lately became an imperative. With the Dhaka people getting used to travel by this state-of-the-art train by the next four years, newer potential in them might be primed to be tapped. It will indeed be an achievement for a nation, economically.

The three national cricket figures' demonstration of using the seemingly intricate Rapid Pass to enter a metro station's platform on Nov 16 coincided with the breaking of a heartening piece of news on the same day. It said the authorities concerned were set to open a unique kind of exhibition, one which will show the people how to board these special trains as well as disembark. It will also include an information centre. Arrangements are also set to be there enabling people to have a detailed look at the carriages' interiors and learn about technical know-how not experienced before. That these trains normally stop at a station for a while only, and it starts moving with the door closing and leaving many behind is a part of the system. The passengers need to know that another train is on the way and it will reach the station in a few minutes. The special exhibition, to be held in the compound of the Diabari metro station in Uttara, will open to people in two months.             

As travelling by metro rail and commute's preparation at the station are completely new in Bangladesh, the initial phases require training. Especially the elderly, rural women and unlettered people remain fallible. The authorities could employ youth volunteers for helping people not accustomed to these travels. However, teams of special metro rail police forces are said to be on duty to check untoward incidents. In spite of an auspicious start, none can assertively say that pratfalls will not occur. Most importantly, metro travels ought to be passenger-friendly. 

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