THE BANGLADESH Ministry of Communications has selected a local construction company to develop a metro network in Dhaka, subject to final clearance from the government’s Private Sector Investment Committee.

After meeting with Contech Managing Director Masud Reza, on June 27 Communications Minister Nazmul Huda confirmed that a Letter of Intent would be issued as soon as the committee had approved the proposal.

Contech was low-bidder in an international tender competition organised by Bangladesh Railways in 2002, offering to finance and build the 52 km network for 52bn taka under a 30-year BOT concession. There would be six routes, to be built using cut-and-cover techniques; the first would run from Syedabad to Gabtoli via Mohakhali. Reza hopes to be able to start work before the end of this year.

Funding for the project is being sought from JBIC. Contech says that Hong Kong’s MTR Corp will assist with construction; it has named local firm Sena Kalyan Sangstha as financial co-ordinator and project manager, and the Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology as lead consultant. n