A loan deal has been signed by Bangladesh on February 20, 2013 with a Japanese development agency, for the construction of the country’s first ever metro rail system. The metro rail system is expected to cost about $2.8 billion and might ease Dhaka’s traffic jams.
The traffic in the capital of Bangladesh is considered among the slowest in the world, as commuters spend about three to four hours per day in jams. Dhaka is home to about 15 million people and has 200,000 motors vehicles. Apart from these, another half million cycle rickshaws also clog the roads.
Officials revealed that the project is proposed for a distance of 20.1 km and the elevated railway will stretch across the capital from north to south, with about 16 stations in between. The trains will have the capacity to ferry four million commuters every day, which will help to ease traffic jams. It has been estimated that the project will cost $2.8 billion.
Takao Toda, the Japan International Cooperation Agency Bangladesh said that his agency will finance 85% of the cost, at an interest rate of 0.01%. Toda said, “The metro-rail will reduce travel time to 36 minutes (to cross from north to south Dhaka), which now takes hours”. The construction of the metro rail is expected to begin in 2016.