ADB indicates funding of Dhaka metro rail
07 November 2015, Nirapad News: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has come up with US$ 1.0 billion investment proposal for constructing a new metro rail in the city.
But the bank wants to conduct studies of its own prior to committing the fund, official sources said.
The government is considering to start MRT line-1 and 5 in the city’s north-south and east-west corridors on a priority basis for which it needs substantial foreign funds.
Sources said the ADB raised the $1.0 billion proposal to the Economic Relations Division (ERD) during the visit of a team of its officials last week to discuss the country strategic paper.
As per the proposal, the bank wants to conduct at least four studies including pre-feasibility and feasibility studies.
Official sources said during a meeting between the bank and the ERD where representatives of the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges and relevant agencies were also present, the government made it clear that without arranging at least $3.0 billion, any of the two projects could not be started.
“We have made it clear to them (mission) that without having the entire fund arranged, any of the two projects would not be started,” said Road Transport and Highways Division secretary MAN Siddique.
He said the government has already got an indication from Japan about availability of its support for the MRT-1 as it has conducted the pre-feasibility study of the corridor.
Of the total, one MRT line from Uttara to Motijheel is now at the implementation stage with the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s funding.
Sources said the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) has already requested the JICA to invest in both MRT-1 and 5 but is yet to get any response.
However, they said possibility of Japanese government’s lending agency’s funding in MRT 1 is bright as it has already conducted pre-feasibility study on the corridor on the sideline of the studying for RSTP.
According to the draft RSTP, the government may need $ 2.9 billion for constructing first part of the MRT-1 by 2025 and $ 4.2 billion for MRT-5 by 2035. The government is now planning to construct part of the MRT-5 with the fund of the JICA.
Fifty-two kilometre MRT-1 has been planned to be constructed from Airport to Kamalapur station with an extension from Khilket to Purbachal while the MRT-5 which would be 35 km from Vatara to Gabtoli through Gulshan 2, Mirpur-10 having link with Basundhara city and Hatirjheel link road.
Sources said the government has requested the ADB to place fresh proposal arranging co-financier or any other mode to cover the huge gap in funding.
It is learnt that the ADB has proposed to invest 40 per cent of the cost and 40 per cent by another financier and the rest by the government.
They said though the government is not sure of getting fund for the entire corridor, it may propose the ADB to invest in the MRT-5.