The railway authorities on Tuesday reached a consensus with the mass rapid transit authorities to relocate Kamalapur railway station by demolishing the historic architecture to make way for the under construction metro rail’s extended route.
The proposal was tabled by Kajima Corporation, a Japanese company working to develop a multimodal transport hub at Kamalapur at a meeting in the presence of railways minister Nurul Islam Sujan, private industry and investment adviser to the prime minister Salman F Rahman and the representatives of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited.
It was accepted by all parties and now the proposal would be sent to prime minister Sheikh Hasina for a final decision, said the railways minister Nurul Islam Sujan.
Currently, the DMTCL is implementing the mass rapid transit line-6, popularly known as metro rail, an elevated rail service on the Uttara Phase-3-Bangladesh Bank route to carry 60,000 passengers per hour from both the ends.
The company last year planned to extend the 1.16-kilometre route of the line till Kamalapur.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Railway also initiated a project to build the multimodal hub at Kamalapur to provide maximum comfort and convenience to users.
The project was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in October 2018 while a memorandum of cooperation had been signed between Bangladesh and the Japan government in June 2017 in this connection.
Over the development of the hub, the railway authorities opposed the design of the extended route of the metro line-6.
Against this backdrop, the meeting was held on Tuesday at Rail Bhaban.
Railways minister Nurul Islam Sujan told reporters that as per the design of MRT Line-6 for the extended route the line would come to an end at Kamalapur, next to the railway station.
He further explained that once in full operation, every three minutes a commuter train will start from this end for its destination and to facilitate passengers to get on a train and let other trains leave the station, there must be enough space.
For this the DMTCL was scheduled to construct a loop line in front of the main rail station building at Kamalapur, the minister explained.
‘Because of the loop, the railway station building will be completely overshadowed by the MRT line,’ he said and added that at Tuesday’s meeting Kajima Corporation came up with a solution which was accepted by all while Salman F Rahman also agreed to the plan.
‘As per the proposal we will relocate our station building further to the north after demolishing the existing railway station and the new structure would be a replica of the existing as it is a heritage building for us,’ Nurul Islam said.
Kajima Corporation’s proposal also said that the loop line of MRT line-6 can be built on the road that leads to Notre Dame College, he also said.
The minister also said that the proposal would require prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s consent.
If accepted they would need to sign an agreement for such a major change, he said.
Mubasshar Hossain, former president of Institute of Architects Bangladesh, told New Age on Tuesday that the authorities should keep the Kamalapur rail station building intact as it is a historical structure.
‘There is no question of demolishing this building while many steps can be taken to save it,’ he said.
He also added that most of the land in the area was government land, so the authorities could easily accommodate the route of the MRT line.
‘People cannot live without history,’ Mubasshar added.
Kamalapur rail station was opened to traffic in 1968 and it has served as the central railway station since then.
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