Afterthought on an expensive MRT-5 route

Hefty $5.5b cost comes under scrutiny

ADB giving $2.5b for Gabtali-Dasherkandi metro line

| Updated: February 13, 2023 17:51:45

Hefty $5.5b cost comes under scrutiny

Cost of a foreign-aided Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line-5 project, estimated at US$5.5 billion, comes under scrutiny on afterthought as official circles find it highest in the region.

Sources said in a recent meeting, held to discuss the financing of the project, senior officials of the external relations division raised questions over the project cost which they find much higher compared to similar projects implemented in the region, including India and Pakistan.

According to a comparative study, the cost of constructing 1km line for the Delhi Line 1 was 50.59 million dollars in India and 64 million dollars for Lahore Orange Line in Pakistan.

But the proposed ADB-funded project will cost 319 million dollars for each kilometre.

"After a detailed analysis, the meeting decided to review the cost of the project and ADB consultants were requested to submit the report on this high-cost issue in the next meeting," one of the sources told the FE.

The Asian Development Bank has agreed to provide 2.5 billion dollars for the project for which project aid is estimated at $3.5 billion.

The rest $1 billion of the project aid will be mobilised from other development partners. The ADB has suggested that Korea might be interested to be the co-financier of the project.

According to the meeting sources, officials of the Asian bank told the meeting that they would communicate with the Korean Bank, requesting them to provide the $1 billion.

The government of Bangladesh will spend $2 billion for implementing the project on a second metro-rail route under the MRT Line 5.

This route will have a length of 17.2 kilometres from Gabtali to Dasherkandi in the capital, Dhaka.

Apart from Gabtoli to Aftabnagar, the line runs underground and there will be 11 stations in this area which will have a length of 13.1km.

On the other hand, the rest 4.1km line will have four stations, the project proposal says.

The authorities plan to complete the MRT-5 (southern) route- construction works by 2030.

MRT is considered one of the landmark projects undertaken by the government, and according to analysts implementation of such projects will not only help easing the traffic congestion in the capital but also boost image of the country in the global arena.

The government has already completed the MRT 6 line, partially though, which draws huge attention of the city commuters.

Works for another bifurcated metro-rail route under the MRT Line 5 have already been inaugurated.

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