All spans of Padma Bridge by July 2020: Quader

Road Transport and Bridges Minister, Obaidul Quader, on Monday said that all 41 spans of the much-awaited Padma Bridge will be installed by July 2020, if there is no natural disaster. “The 20th span of the bridge will be installed Tuesday. Later, three spans will be installed every month,” he said.

Obaidul Quader, also general secretary of Awami League, was talking to reporters after a meeting with Japanese ambassador Ito Noaki at Shetu Bhaban in Dhaka. Quader said “We hope, we will be able to install all 41 spans of the Padma Bridge by July 2020 if we do not face any natural disaster.”

“Our target was that the plying of vehicles on the Padma Bridge would begin by June 2021. But now, we expect that it might be possible to do so before June 2021 if we do not face any natural disaster,” he added. Rejecting all uncertainties raised by BNP, Obaidul Quader said Dhaka city corporation polls would be free, fair and credible.

He said, “We want the election to be competitive and participatory. Let the polls be held in a free, fair, credible and acceptable manner.” “People will vote for whom they wish. We want such an election,” he added. In reply to another query, Quader said, “There are challenges in everything. But our say is that “the Prime Minister has clearly instructed to hold a free, fair and credible election.”

On December 18, the 19th span of the Padma Bridge was placed between the 21st and 22nd pillars at the Jajira point of the bridge. With this installation, 2.85-km of the mega structure is now visible. The construction work of the long-cherished Padma Bridge started in December 2015, and the first span (superstructure) was installed on September 30, 2017.

The length of the double-deck Padma Bridge is 6.15 kilometres. Trains will run through the lower deck while the road will be on the upper level of the bridge. When the construction of the bridge is completed, the capital will be directly connected with 21 southern districts through road and rail.

The construction of the main Padma Bridge is being conducted by Chinese company, Major Bridge Engineering Co Ltd, and the river training work, by Sino Hydro Corporation of the same country.