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DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh aims to build a metro rail project at a cost of $737.5 million to ease the movement of Dhaka city's 15 million inhabitants, a senior government official said on Thursday.
"We will complete the construction works of the project by the year of 2019 with financial assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)," said Mohammad Mofazzel Hossain, the director of Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (DMRTDP), a state run entity implementing the project.
Hossain said that for the first project of this nature in the country, DMRTDP had signed deals with Italian-Thai Development Public Company Ltd, a Thai-based company and Chinese company - Sinohydro Corporation Ltd.
Of the total cost, JAICA will provide 75 percent and the rest will be met by the government of Bangladesh.
Hossain said JAICA provided loans with 0.01 percent interest payable within 40 years, including a 10-year grace period.
These two companies will be responsible for building the metro rail tracks, stations, viaducts, and a depot for a 20.1 km mass rapid transit line which would link the northern part of the capital with southern part through 16 stations.
When completed, the rail will carry some 60,000 passengers each hour.
Reporting By Serajul Quadir, editing by David Evans