Jatiya Sangsad on Monday passed the Metro Rail Act, 2015 which is aimed at providing fast and improved mass transport service in Dhaka city.
This act will give a legal framework to the overall activities of the proposed Metro Rail Project, including its operations, control and regulations.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader moved the bill in parliament that was passed by voice vote.
According to the act: “The government has taken initiative to build mass rapid transit (MRT) for easing traffic jam and rendering 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.”
The law will be effective in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Manikganj, Gazipur and Narsingdi districts initially. The government shall include other districts in the list by issuing gazette notification in the second phase.
It has kept a provision of Tk 1 crore fine and 10 years’ imprisonment for operating metro rail without license or illegal handover of license for operating Metro Rail.
The authorities concerned will fix the rate of passenger fare against metro rail service following directives of the government from time to time. There will be a seven-member committee to fix the fares.
There is also a provision of one years’ imprisonment or Tk 500,000 fine or both for creating obstructions to running metro rail and unauthorised entry into the reserved area of the metro rail.
The punishment for breaching the security of the metro rail and its passengers is five years’ imprisonment maximum or Tk 50 lakh fine or both.
For unauthorised printing of Metro rail tickets or pass, selling, distorting and producing fake tickets is ten years’ imprisonment maximum or Tk one crore fine or both.
If any employee of the Metro rail misuses it or its equipment that person will have to face one year’s imprisonment or Tk five lakh fine or both.
For travelling on metro rail without ticket or pass, the punishment will be a fine maximum ten times the price of the actual fare or six months imprisonment.
The punishment for not maintaining technical standard regarding anything of the metro rail, will be five years’ imprisonment maximum or a Tk 50 lakh fine or both.
For not having the insurance of Metro rail, its passengers and third party the punishment will be maximum ten years’ imprisonment or Tk 10 crore fine or both.
There will be separate committees for issuing licenses of metro rail and fixing the fares.
Executive Director of the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority will be the head of the committee for issuing license. The proposed law also kept provision for constructing and operating the metro rail under PPP basis.
The Cabinet on 10 November approved the draft of the Metro Rail Bill, 2014.
The Metro rail or Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (Line 6) is a priority project of the government and the Tk 220 billion project to build Dhaka’s first metro rail is expected to be complete by 2019.
A public limited company named Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL) will operate the Metro Rail while the DMTCL will be supervised by the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority.
The proposed route of the MRT Line-6 is Uttara 3rd Phase to Bangladesh Bank via Pallabi-Rokeya Sarani-Khamarbari-Farmgate-Hotel Sonargaon-Shahbagh-TSC-Doel Chattar- and Topkhana Road.
There will be 16 metro rail stations under the project. The stations include Uttara (North), Uttara (Centre), Uttara (South), Pallabi, IMT, Mirpur 10, Kazipara, Taltala, Agargaon, Bijoy Sarani, Farmgate, Sonargaon, National Museum, Doel Chattar, Bangabandhu National
Stadium and Bangladesh Bank.
According to the government, the metro rail will be able to carry some 1800 passengers every four minutes, transporting an estimated 60000 people every hour.