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Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader

Deal with JICA on Metrorail Route 1 likely in January

WT24 Desk

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Thursday said the formal process to sign a deal with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for constructing the 37-km long Metrorail Route-1 will be completed in January, UNB reports.  A high-profile JICA team will visit Bangladesh on January 8 in this regard, Quader said, while talking to reporters at the Secretariat after a meeting.

Earlier, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with JICA aiming to build the much-hyped Metrorail which will ease traffic jams in the city. Some 25 kilometers of the route-1 of the Metrorail project will be built on Airport-Khilkhet-Progoti Sarani-Malibagh-Kamalapur route, while the remaining 12 kilometers will be constructed from Khilkhet-Kendua Bridge, the minister said.

Besides, the feasibility study of routes 1 and 5 of the Metrorail project are underway with JICA funding, said Quader, adding the route-5 will connect Natun Bazar to Mirpur-1 through Gulshan 2-Banani and Mirpur-14. On the other hand, the tender floating of six packages out of total eight of Metrorail route-6 from Uttara to Motijheel was completed while the feasibility studies of the two projects are ongoing, the minister said.

Replying to a query, he said Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) will offer some 80 percent of its services online from May 2017. The state-run transport authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Access to Information (a2i) in this regard, said Quader, also the General Secretary of the ruling Awami League.

Quader also instructed the concerned authorities to complete the installation process of excel load control station within one month in order to refrain the vehicles from lifting excess weight. He said the renovation works of the highways will be completed before the rainy season maintaining standard quality.

Replying to another query, Quader said some 16 lakhs digital number plates were made while some 13 lakhs have been distributed already.

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