Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the first phase of metro rail - running from Uttara to Agargaon - today (Wednesday).

The premier will inaugurate the operation of the project at 11am from Uttara sector-15 playground.

As the government is starting the operation on a limited scale, it will take 20 minutes to travel the 11.73 Km distance from Uttara to Agargaon but soon it will shorten to 16-17 minutes, said the Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) authority.

On the eve of Metro rail opening, President Abdul Hamid and PM Hasina greeted the people of the country in separate messages.

In his message, the president said, "I am expecting the implementation of the entire section of Metro Rail from Uttara to Kamalapur, within the stipulated time."

PM Hasina, in her message said, "Without the full cooperation of residents of Dhaka Metropolitan and stakeholders, the construction of Metrorail was a daunting task. Thanking them for their cooperation in building a beautiful metropolis."

Deputy Commissioner (DC) of DMP's media wing Md Faruque Hossain said the DMP has been providing security for the Metro Rail project ever since construction works. As the metro rail authority has already requested the DMP for security from the beginning of formal operation tomorrow, local thana police along with reserve force will provide security, he said.

The Metro rail authority has requested around 3000 police members but the DMP will provide an adequate number to ensure security and safety of the stations, the DC (Media) added.

Things to know about the first phase

In the first phase, a limited number of trains carrying fewer passengers will operate for a short period in the morning and afternoon and the speed will be slower than usual for three months, as a period to get accustomed, Managing Director (MD) of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) MAN Siddique told UNB.

The trains will wait for a bit longer than usual at the station at first to help passengers become accustomed with the new seating and ticketing system. With the increase in the number of trains the train will wait for less time at stations cutting the travel time.

In the beginning, the train will not stop at all stations. The train will leave the Uttara station and stop at Pallabi, and then it will go to Agargaon without stopping. Stopping of trains at intermediate stations will start later.

He said that initially the train will carry 200 to 250 passengers and later 700 to 800 passengers.

Of the 12 trains that have been kept ready for operating from Uttara to Agargaon, ten will run regularly and two will be kept on standby for any problem, he added.

Ticketing system and fare

There are two systems for ticketing for passengers who want to travel through metro rail in Dhaka: automated and manual.

In the automated system passengers can get their tickets by themselves but one passenger will be allowed to get a maximum of five tickets at a time.

Besides, those who find the automated system confusing can get their tickets manually following the traditional system of buying tickets from counter paying cash.

All passengers will have to enter through the gate using a smart pass card after getting a ticket and will be able to use escalators to go to the platform on the third floor.

The minimum fare for Dhaka metro rail was fixed at Tk 20 and the maximum fare for travelling from Uttara to Motijheel at Tk 100.

In the first phase, the fare from Uttara station to Agargaon station will be Tk 60 . The fare from Uttara (North) to Uttara (Central) and Uttara-South Station will be Tk 20.

Besides, from the first station Uttara North to Pallabi and Mirpur-11 stations, the fare will be Tk 30, the fare till Mirpur 10 and Kazipara stations will be Tk 40 and till Shewrapara station it will be Tk 50.

According to DMTCL, the rail operation till Motijheel may start by the end of 2024, and Kamalapur by 2025.

By December 2024, metro rail will start operation from Agargaon to Kamalapur route with 24 trains.

As the train will run at the speed of 100km per hour it will take 38 to 40 minutes to reach Kamalapur from Agargaon crossing a distance of 21.16 Km.

The Metrorail project was taken up in 2012 and a loan agreement in this regard was signed with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), a Japanese development cooperation agency, the following year.

The main construction work of the project started in 2017.

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