Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The executive committee of the national economic council (ECNEC), the government’s highest economic policy-making body, has approved the much-awaited BDT 219.85 billion first metro-rail project for Dhaka to establish smooth traffic system in the busy metropolitan city.
Presided over by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the ECNEC (executive committee of the national economic council) at its meeting approved the 20.1 kilometre-long metro-rail construction project from city’s Uttara north to Bangladesh Bank (BB).
Bangladesh’s first ever billion-dollar metro rail project is now set to enter the implementation stage after approval by ECNEC, said Member of the Planning Commission Abdul Mannan Hawlader after the meeting.
This will be the first metro-rail in Bangladesh to be named Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line-6. The 20.1-kilometre proposed line will be set up from Uttara north to the central bank of Bangladesh roundabout to carry passengers in the busy capital.
The planning commission member said the 20.1-km long metro rail line would be completed in three phases by June 2024. The Pallabi-Sonargaon Hotel route would be completed by 2019 while the Sonargaon-Motijheel route by 2020. The remaining Uttara-Pallabi route is expected to be completed by 2024.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has recently pledged US$ 2.10 billion loan for building the metro-rail. Out of the total amount of BDT 219.85 billion, BDT 53.90 billion will be provided by the government from its own resources and BDT 165.94 billion from the JICA loan.
The ECNEC also approved and revised seven other projects of BDT 42.86 billion. 
The projects are: BDT 12.30 billion South-western coastal districts’ climate resilient infrastructures construction, BDT11.40 billion Reaching Out of School Children (ROSC), BDT 4.66 billion Transformation of Existing Non-Government Schools into Model Schools in Selected 310 Upazilla Headquarters, BDT 870 million Conversion of Sylhet Divisional Stadium into an International standard Cricket Stadium; BDT 3.02 billion Dapdapia Bridge on Barisal-Patuakhali road (3rd revised), BDT 9.80 billion Road network development and maintenance (3rd revised) and BDT 810 billion 347 meter PC girder bridge on Karatoa River at Sonatola ghat on Ullapara-Belkuchi road.
BBN/SSR/AD-19Dec12-8:50 am (BST)