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No project on front side of Kamalapur railway station: BR

Metro rail and Jhilmil flyover projects may hit snag


MUNIMA SULTANA | Published: December 08, 2019 10:05:00 | Updated: December 08, 2019 14:02:55


An inside view of the Kamalapur Railway Station in Dhaka city

The Bangladesh Railway (BR) has decided not to allow any transport related projects linking the front side of Kamalapur Railway Station (KRS).

The decision came at a recent meeting as BR was unable to build its planned multimodal transport hub (MMTH) on its own land due to various projects taken by different government agencies centring around this railway station.

The sources said, the decision is likely to hit the under-construction metro rail (mass rapid transit line-6) project and proposed Jhilmil flyover project as the authorities have planned to end their respective alignment on the front side of Kamalapur Railway Station.

Officials said BR took the decision to keep the front side of the entire station area totally open and free in line with a design concept of the Japanese firm which is working to construct the first-ever MMTH on 256 acres of railway land under public-private partnership.

With the initiative of Bangladesh and Japan governments, BR and Kajima Corporation sat several times to work on the concept design and finalised it recently.

BR officials said a meeting was held last week to discuss the progress of the PPP projects under government-to-government arrangement.

At the meeting, the railway minister approved the concept design and took the decision.

BR and Japanese firm are set to sit again next week, they added.

Dhaka Mass Transit Company (DMTC) and Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) have long been trying to get space to end one side of their alignments but they could not get enough space in the city.

Construction work of MRT-6 started from Uttara and it has to end at Motijheel without giving any option of transports.

DMTC has recently taken decision to take the line up to Kamalapur Railway Station so that commuters can get comfortable mode of transport after getting down from metro rail. Besides, it has planned to use MMTH for MRT 1, 2, 4 and 5.

Since Rajuk plans to construct a flyover off Dhaka-Mawa highway, it has changed the design several times for not getting space for touching the ramp inside the city.

It has initially planned to down the ramp at Paltan crossing but later shifted to Shantinagar. But none of those was later found feasible due to metro rail and Mouchak flyover.

Finally, Rajuk had planned to extend the flyover up to Kamalapur Railway Station to end the alignment.

It is learnt that BR has already informed Rajuk of its recent decision.

Regarding the DMTC's decision on MRT-6, Project Director M Monirul Islam Firozi said if the company can manage underground way, BR may not have any objection.

"But everything will depend on coordination," he told the FE over phone.

BR is already facing a big challenge to set up MMTH as different government transport related agencies have taken various projects centring the Kamalapur Railway Station without any consent of the railway.

The state-owned train operator and track developer also faces challenge to accommodate its existing train services and planned high-speed trains.

Apart from these, it has managed Dhaka Elevated Expressway and bus services with MMTH.

The PD said the Japanese investor planned to accommodate all these transport systems from the backside of different multi-storey buildings.

The BR is working on the conceptual design which was in principle approved during the 3rd platform meeting attended by the principal secretary to the Prime Minister's Office.

According to the design, a wide open space is necessary to accommodate hundreds of thousands of transports and the commuters to be using the transport hub as transit to go to different destinations.

BR has already formed a technical-professional team to overcome the challenges.

smunima@yahoo.com

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