The Planning Commis-sion (PC) is likely to endorse feasibility study for construction of two more metro rails in the capital at a cost of Tk 463.70 million, officials said on Wednesday.
"The project evaluation committee (PEC) of the commission recently recommended giving approval to the feasibility study project. It would be approved soon," said an official at the PC.
The Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) will build the 35-kilometre MRT-5 (Hemayetpur-Gabtoli-Mirpur section one-Mirpur Section 10-Kachukhet-Gulshan-Natunbazar-Vatara) and the 52km MRT-1 (Airport-Khilkhet-Purbachal-Bashundhara-Baridhara-Rampura-Kamalapur).
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is providing the lion's share of the cost for the feasibility study as it will give Tk 430.7 million while the remaining Tk 32.9 million will be provided from the government exchequer.
"We have already started feasibility study for both the metro rail lines inside the Dhaka city. We are hopeful about completing the study by the middle of next year," DTCA executive director Syed Ahmed told the FE.
After completing the study, they would take up the investment projects within 2-3 years for constructing the two metro lines.
The chief of the Dhaka's transport authority said they had discussion with the JICA for bankrolling the MRT lines.
"The donor has already assured us of funding the line-1 while a partial funding for the MRT-5. Asian Development Bank is likely to become a co-financer for the MRT-5," he said. Mr Ahmed said the consulting firm was studying the feasibility for the MRT-1, which is proposed to be constructed from the Airport to Kamalapur with a loop line from Khilkhet to Purbachal.
"We have a plan to build an underground line from Airport to Kamlapur while the Khilkhet-Purbachal as elevated one," he added.
Besides, the MRT-5 is proposed to be built from Hamayetpur-Gabtoli as elevated one while from Gabtoli to Notunbazar as the underground line and the remaining part from Notunbazar to Vatara will again be elevated one, the DTCA executive director said.
According to the DTCA, Japanese firm Nippon Koei and Oriental Consultants Global Co. Ltd. are conducting the feasibility study for both the MRT-1 and MRT-5.
"We are expecting to get the draft feasibility reports by March-April next. Then we will undertake the two separate investment projects and go for detailed design and construction works in next 2-3 years," Mr Ahmed said. The DTCA has already started construction of Bangladesh's first metro rail (MRT-6) from Uttara to Motijheel via Mirpur-Agargaon-Framgate-Shahbagh.
Mr Ahmed said they were expecting that upon construction of the proposed three MTR lines, the traffic congestion of Dhaka city will ease significantly.