Japan promises to provide $ 1 bn for Dhaka Metro Rail project

Japan has made a commitment to provide some 70 billion Japanese yen (nearly $ 1 billion) in assistance to Bangladesh under its 33rd Yen Loan Package covering three projects –- two in the power sector and one for the Dhaka Metro Rail project

Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Shiro Sadoshima handed over a note of verbale on the Japanese assistance in this regard on three projects to Finance Minister AMA Muhith at his secretariat office on Sunday afternoon.

PM’s International Affairs Advisor Dr Gowher Rizvi and Senior Secretary of Economic Relations Division (ERD) Iqbal Mahmood were present.

Talking to reporters, the Finance Minister said the Japanese government would provide $ 2.1 billion of the total cost of the Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit project (Metro Rail) project of around US$ 2.7 billion.

He said the around US$ 1 billion commitment includes $ 133 million for the Metro Rail project, US$ 238 million for the national power transmission and distribution project and $ 467 million for the Bheramara combined cycle power plant project.

Voicing his optimism that the work on the Dhaka Metro Rail project may start in the current fiscal year after necessary formalities, Muhith said the problem relating to route has finally been settled and it would go beside Khamarbari. “The project would contribute a lot towards resolving the traffic jam of the capital,” he said adding that the government is planning to complete the project by 2017.

Japanese envoy Shiro Sadoshima said the government of Japan has stepped into the final stage on finalisation of its commitment on the 33rd Yen Loan Package covering three projects.

He said the recent package is more than 30 percent of its last package and it represents Japanese government’s commitment to work together with the government of Bangladesh for the economic development of this country and nation building.

The MRT is the government’s one of the priority mass transport projects aimed at easing the city’s chronic traffic jam. On implementation, it would be the fastest transport system for thousands of passengers to travel in a corridor within few minutes.

The government missed the loan signing target in last March with the Japanese government as the Bangladesh Air Force objected to the elevated metro-line running through the Bijoy Sharani where its base is located. It took several months to finally take the decision about changing the route through Khamarbari, delaying the process for beginning the works of the project.

After missing the first deadline for signing the loan deal, the government had hoped to complete the loan agreement in the middle of the current calendar year. But this time too it could not do so because of non-completion of formalities for approval of the project profile.

The project profile approval was delayed as its cost increased due to shifting of the depot location of the MRT to 22 hectares of private land at Uttara from Pallabi after the Bangladesh Army disagreed to provide land for the MRT project.

Source : UbnConnect

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