On the occasion of the Ground Inauguration of the Construction Works of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line-6 and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Gazipur- Airport on the morning of Sunday, June 26, Mr Masato Watanabe, Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh delivered the following statement:
Your Excellency, Sheikh Hasina, Hou’ble Prime Minister,
Mr. Obaidul Quader, Hou’ble Minister of Road Transport and Bridges,
Excellencies and distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
আসসালামু আলাইকুম (Assalamu Alaikum)
and good morning.
আমি বাংলাদেশে নিযুক্ত জাপানের রাষ্ট্রদূত মাসাতো ওয়াতানাবে। আজকের স্থাপনার শুভ উদ্বোধন উপলক্ষে আন্তরিক অভিনন্দন জানাই। (I am Masato Watanabe, Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh. I wish to express sincere congratulations on the occasion of the Ground Insuguration of Construction works.)
On behalf of the Japanese Embassy and the JICA Bangladesh office, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for inviting us to the inauguration of the MRT Line-6 and the BRT from Gazipur to Airport. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Hon’ble Prime Minister for sparing the time from her busy schedule. I am also very grateful to H.E. Mr. Obaidul Quader, Hou’ble Minister of Road Transport and Bridges, for your kind assistance and cooperation in executing our ODA projects.
As explained, the BRT is going to be implemented with financing from ADB and AFD. The MRT is a flagship project symbolizing the bilateral cooperation between Japan and Bangladesh. It has been promoted in the wake of the joint understanding which was reached between the two counties when the Hou’ble Prime Minister visited Japan in May 2014.
Dhaka, the great capital of Bangladesh, continues to thrive and expand. A safe and reliable MRT in Dhaka would definitely add further impetus to the Bangladesh economy. It is our honour to witness that JICA’s cooperation schemes including concessional loans and Japanese advanced technologies help its citizens attain a higher state.
Residents of some other Asian capitals such as Delhi and Bangkok already enjoy the benefits and convenience of JICA financed MRTs. A huge number of ordinary citizens, students and tourists in those megacities use MRTs as their preferred mode of transportation.
When the entire portion of the MRT Line-6 in Dhaka opens, the line will accommodate passenger demand of around 500 thousand people every day. The Metro Rail will undertake safe, rapid and eco-friendly movement of people and goods. By then, I can assure you that Japanese Ambassador and JICA Chief Representative will choose MRT, in place of their Toyota, Nissan or Honda cars, to rush to a meeting summoned at the Prime Minister’s Office.
আমরা এম আর টি করেই প্রাইম মিনিস্টার অফিসে যাব। (We will surely go to the Prime Minister’s Office by MRT.)
Moreover JICA, in coordination with ADB, actively engages in developing plans for additional MRTs and various road networks.
We are proud that Japan has been consistently developing cordial friendship with Bangladesh since the latter’s independence. At the bilateral summit late last month, Prime Minister Abe committed himself to continuing lending support to Bangladeshi vision of becoming a middle income country by 2021. It is our sincere expectation that these MRT and BRT projects will serve as an important step to the Vision 2021, hence the ultimate dream of Shonar Bangla of the people of Bangladesh.
To conclude, I heartily acknowledge the valuable efforts of everyone engaging in the MRT and the BRT, and pray for their safe and smooth implementation.
সবাইকে অনেক ধন্যবাদ। (Thank you very much everybody.)
June 27, 2016