Need of Urban Transport
Based on a World Bank assessment, Dhaka's average traffic speed has decreased over the past ten years from 21 kph to 7 kph, and by 2035, it may only be 4 kph, which is slower than the walking speed. According to another research, which was commissioned by the Brac Institute of Government and Development, Dhaka's traffic congestion wastes almost 5 million working hours daily and costs the nation USD 11.4 billion annually.
To solve this problem, The Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) developed a 20-year strategic transport plan (STP) in 2005 to transform and build a better integrated transportation system for the city's quickly expanding capital in order to address this issue. Later, the Dhaka Metro MRT system was developed to offer more transportation choices and selected the first MRT Line-6 from Uttara, a northern suburb to Motijheel, for development which is of 20km.
The infrastructure development also needed a new telecommunication system and laying of Optical Fiber Cable network. HFCL, with its tenured experience and in-depth expertise in designing and developing LTE Based communications technology for railways – has played an essential role in modernizing the legacy telecom and signalling systems for Dhaka Metro.
HFCL has been entrusted with a Specialized Telecom Partner role by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) to integrate the latest telecom systems for the Dhaka metro rail project. The contracts involved setting up of turnkey telecommunication system, including Optical Fiber Cable network, Redundant and Reliable Data Communication Network, Video Surveillance, Access Control and Intrusion monitoring of Secured areas, Passenger Information and Announcement System, LTE Based Communication System for Data and Voice Communication with Trains and Centralised System Health Monitoring.
LTE Based System for Voice and Data Communication with Train
For connection with the Train Driver and the On-Board Train Management System, most Metro Projects throughout the world use TETRA-based Radio Communication Systems. Dhaka Metro is one of the world's first projects to use LTE technology for this purpose. Adapting the Technology to work correctly for Train Operations was a major challenge.
Interfacing with other Project Partners
The HFCL Communication System must communicate with various other Project partners, including Signalling, Traction Power Control, Station and Depot Building Management Systems, Platform Screen Doors, Fare Collection System, and, most crucially, Civil Works. The most crucial and always challenging task is interacting with other project partners to ensure that all pieces across project partners fit neatly into each other. Covid constraints made this effort much more challenging because face-to-face encounters were limited and most Interface work had to be done remotely, frequently across nations.
In order to ensure seamless train operations, this cutting-edge and mission-critical project required extensive network integration, including the first deployment of advanced LTE-based Train to Track connection with Voice Telephony, Passenger Information Systems, and CCTV Surveillance. HFCL successfully commissioned the systems together with a 24x7 live System Health Monitoring System”.
A total of 60,000 people per hour and 5 lakh people per day will use the metro train and there will be 4-minute interval between the trains. Sheikh Hasina, Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh, flagged the country's first metro line in the capital city of Dhaka on December 28, 2022. Since then, metro services have been favourably embraced by the public as their benefits become clear to passengers. Almost 300,000 passengers used Metro services in the first month of operation, with only three stations open for services which made close to Taka 2.5 Cr in income.