The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide a loan of $33.26m to design the Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line 5 (Southern Route) in Bangladesh.

The Government of Bangladesh will provide the remaining $11.32m to meet the total $44.58m project readiness financing. Fundraising is expected to be completed by 2023. The feasibility studies, engineering design, and procurement documentation will be carried out during the project readiness financing phase.

Dhaka MRT line 5 is a part of the new metro rail system being developed by the Dhaka Mass Transit Company (DMTC). This project aims to ease traffic congestion and pollution in Dhaka. The 17.4km southern line will run along the east-west from Gabtoli station to Dasherkandi Stations in the capital city.

The design of the rail system will include climate and natural disaster resilience along with accessibility for women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities. Dhaka MRT line 5 will also feature automated ticketing and fare collection system equipped with an operations management integrated database.

The total cost of the project is approximately $2.5bn and will be considered for ADB financing in the future.

Dhaka MRT line 5 will run along the east-west corridor of the city and will connect other MRT lines running through the north-south corridor. Around 13km of the line and 12 stations will be built underground, while the remaining above-ground section will have four stations.

ADB South Asia principal transport specialist Kanzo Nakai said: “A high quality and high capacity public transport system requires huge financial resources and operational management capacity.

“ADB is one of the development partners responding to government requests for assistance in preparing and operationalizing the crucially important MRT system.”

Last month, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) of Bangladesh approved MRT Line 1 and MRT Line 5 (Northern Route) projects worth $10.8bn.