The government’s priority project will be a public-private partnership
The minister for road transport and bridges placed the Metro Rail Bill, 2014 before parliament yesterday in a bid to provide an effective counter measure to Dhaka’s dire and increasingly demoralising traffic problem.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader placed the bill in the house seeking to give a legal framework to the proposed Metro Rail Project, including its construction, operation and regulations.
The proposed law has kept a provision for the constructing and operation of the metro rail on a public-private partnership basis.
The bill was sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Road Transport and Bridges ministry for scrutiny.
In its statement of objectives, the bill reads: “The government has taken initiative to build mass rapid transit (MRT) for easing traffic jam and rendering the fast and improved mass transport service in Dhaka city. A specific law is needed for construction, operation and maintenance of the country’s first metro rail.”
Initially, the bill will be effective in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Manikganj, Gazipur and Narsingdi districts.
The government will include other districts in the list by issuing gazette notifications.
The bill proposes a Tk1cr fine and 10 years’ imprisonment for operating the metro rail without a license or for illegally handing over a license to operate it.
The bill provides for five years’ imprisonment or a Tk50,000 fine for creating obstructions in the running of the metro rail.
Users without valid tickets may be fined up to 10 times the ticket price or face six months in prison, according to provisions in the bill.
Passenger fares will be fixed by government directive from time to time. A seven-member committee will be in charge of determining fares.
Separate committees will be in charge of issuing metro rail licenses and determining fares.
The executive director of the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority will be the head of the committee for issuing licenses.
On November 10, cabinet approved the draft of the Metro Rail Bill, 2014.