Bangladesh Metro Rail Project Moves Ahead

The $1.7bn metro rail project in Dhaka, Bangladesh has moved ahead as its main lender, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is set to start loan negotiations with the government next month.

JICA plans to prepare a detailed design for the proposed project beginning next month and complete it before entering the loan agreement in December, according to the Daily Star.

The state-owned aid agency of Japan intends to fund 80% of the project, which will build ametro rail linking north Dhaka with the south. It is considered to be the country's first such mass transport system.

The planned electric railway will carry about 60,000 people an hour at peak times, helping to ease traffic congestion in the Bangladesh capital.

The government is expected to issue bids for the project by the end of this year and plans to award the contract in the first quarter of next year. Construction is expected to begin by July next year.

The route will have stops at Pallabi, Chandrima Udyan, Bijoy Sarani, Shahbagh, TSC, Bangla Academy, Curzon Hall, Topkhana and Bangladesh Bank, and additional routes will be introduced in the future.

The project would be implemented on a public-private partnership basis and will be delivered in three phases, with most of this rail network laid out overground.