Kawasaki Heavy Industries has shipped the first trainset comprising 6 cars for Dhaka MRT Line 6 from the Port of Kobe, Japan, to Bangladesh. The new cars are expected to arrive at the depot in Dhaka in April 2021 and will be subsequently handed over to Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) after the completion of testing and commissioning.
The train is made of stainless steel, which is light and durable material. In addition to indoor CCTV cameras, external CCTV cameras are installed to check the status of passengers and platforms during one-man operation. The system is designed to ensure safety not only for passengers on trains but also for passengers getting on and off trains and platforms. Each car is equipped with two large-capacity air conditioning units, enabling a comfortable in-train environment in high temperature and humidity.
In August 2017, the transit company ordered from Kawasaki and Mitsubishi Corporation 24 six-car trains (144 cars) for the Line 6 under a JPY 40 billion (USD 369.17 million, in 2021 prices) contract. Under the contract, Kawasaki is responsible for design, manufacture, testing and commissioning of the new trains, including depot equipment, while Mitsubishi is responsible for commercial administrations and partial supply of depot equipment.
Dhaka MRT Line 6 will be the first MRT system in Bangladesh with a length of 20 km fully elevated track comprising 16 stations, connecting Uttara North to major business and commercial hub of Dhaka, Motijheel. USD 2.8 billion is the value of the project for which the construction works are in full swing. The Government of Bangladesh and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed an ODA loan agreement for the development of the infrastructure. In 2020, the agency signed an agreement for technical assistance on safety management system for the new line.
In addition, JICA announced it will provide BDT 685.6 billion (USD 808.8 million) for the construction of MRT Line 1 and MRT Line 5, approved by the government in 2019. At the end of 2019, the Asian Development Bank provided USD 33.2 million loan for the studies of the MRT Line 5.
As the authorities are planning the construction of new MRT lines, the demand for the trains is expected to continuously increase future as well. Kawasaki says it will proactively continue to develop its rolling stock business in Bangladesh by effectively using this opportunity and will also contribute to the development of economy and as well as a safe and secure society through urban transport development in developing countries.