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Building multimodal transport hub big challenge for BR

Lack of coordination among different agencies blamed


MUNIMA SULTANA | Published: November 07, 2019 10:52:05 | Updated: November 09, 2019 11:20:16


A screen grab taken from a YouTube video shows a partial view of Kamalapur Railway Station in Dhaka

Bangladesh Railway (BR) is facing a big challenge of setting up a multimodal transport hub in an entire area of Kamalapur Railway Station due to lack of coordination among different agencies.

Sources said the challenge remains not only to accommodate its existing train services and planned high-speed trains with other transport modes including bus services but also to manage the projects like metro rail and expressway.

BR has found that many transport agencies have taken up projects without their knowledge, linking respective alignment with Kamalapur station from various sides, they added.

"Even we were not informed about their detailed plans for their projects how and where the agencies concerned have plans," said an official.

Some major problems were identified during a coordination meeting with these agencies, he added.

A Japanese firm along with the BR is working on setting up of Kamalapur Multimodal Transport Hub (KMTH) under the government-to-government (G2G) public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement, highlighted the challenges during the meeting.

The state-owned train operator has made a progress in setting up of the KMTH on its 256 acres of land as per the conceptual proposal put forward by Kajima Corporation.

The Japanese company presented a conceptual design on the proposed KMTH, accommodating BR's train services, high-speed trains, bus terminals, three mass rapid transit (MRT) lines (1,2 and 4), Dhaka Elevated Expressway (DEE) by restructuring the entire setup of station areas.

It was informed in the meeting that projects like subways, a flyover project of RAJUK and under-construction Dhaka metro rail were taken up linking with Kamalapur railway station without BR's knowledge.

RAJUK has also tagged the ramp of its proposed flyover coming from Dhaka-Mawa Road with the hub's front side. Dhaka metro rail company is working to extend MRT-6 up to Kamalapur station. MRT-6 is under-construction from Uttara to Motijheel.

BR as the leading agency has to coordinate with Bangladesh Bridges Authority, Dhaka Mass Transit Company, Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority, PPP Authority along with Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha and others to manage their projects with the proposed transport hub. The Ministry of Railway and Road Transport and Highways Division and other ministries may also be engaged.

BR officials said the conceptual design was in principle approved during the 3rd platform meeting attended by principal secretary to the Prime Minister's Office.

They said as the design has been prepared, keeping a large area of land free on the front side of the station, it has been decided not to allow any project from front-side. The Japanese firm requested all the agencies to accommodate their designs of respective alignment from backside.

A wide open space is necessary to accommodate hundreds of thousands of transports and commuters to be using the transport hub as transit to go to different destinations, said an official.

Besides, BR has facing challenge of shifting Inland Container Depot (ICD) from the station area and other housing, hospital, graveyard, private land and bazaar to set up the KMTH.

Project Director M Monirul Islam Firozi said a technical professional team has already been formed to overcome all challenges.

smunima@yahoo.com

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