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State-run Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) will start construction of the underground railway or Dhaka subway in March 2022.

Projecting 2026 as the year of commencing the underground rail services, DMTCL will build the depot first followed by subway tracks, stations and other auxiliary establishments.

DMTCL managing director MAN Siddique revealed the information while attending a virtual media brief today, Thursday.

He said that the MRT-1 project, (formerly known as mass rapid transit line-1), will be implemented under 12 construction packages.

Initially, the land for depot and some auxiliary buildings will be developed. DMTCL has already invited tender for the tasks. Finalisation of tender will be done within September.

After this, construction of the depot at Pitalganj of Rupganj will be started, MAN Siddique said.

The former road transport and bridges secretary added that the subway will have two parts–19.87km underground lines from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kamalapur Railway Station and 11.36km elevated lines from Kuril-Biswa road to Purbachal.

The DMTCL managing director said that at least 25 sets of metro rail would be purchased under the project. Each set will have eight coaches with a capacity to carry around 3,088 passengers at a time. Once the MRT-1 completed, 800,000 passengers will be able to avail the train service ever day.

DMTCL estimated Tk 525.61 billion (52,561 crore) as the project cost.

The government has a roadmap to complete six MRT projects in and around Dhaka by 2030.

Among those, MRT-6 or the 20.10km elevated metro rail lines from Uttara to Matijheel is now under-construction.