National, Front Page

Epic bridge opens today

And how dream comes true

Published : 24 Jun 2022 09:22 PM | Updated : 25 Jun 2022 05:18 PM

Finally, it’s a dream come true. The Padma Bridge opens to traffic today.  The vested quarters and some national and international groups were active against this bridge. Defeating all the odds and obstacles, rumours and  propaganda by the Anti-liberation forces including the opposition political parties the government of Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has made it a success. Padma Bridge is indeed a great success story in the world. The question is how this historic dream comes true despite the deadly rumour and the hostility of a big political party of the country. Yes, credit goes to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the most competent daughter of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, for the bridge. Her rock-solid determination wiped out all hurdles and propaganda at home and abroad.

The most interesting aspect was that even some Awami League stalwarts also didn’t believe that the iconic bridge was possible when the World Bank withdrew funds. But the Prime Minister was firmly determined to build the bridge overcoming all obstacles.

No donors were willing to help Sheikh Hasina in building the bridge bypassing the World Bank’s decision.  Even most of the government high officials, decision makers of the ruling party and most of the opposition party members, including former Prime Minister and BNP leader Khaleda Zia, thought the construction of the gigantic task of building such a bridge was not feasible or wise without the help of the World Bank. But the Prime Minister was resolute to present the nation with the bridge as a world heritage.

In such a critical situation China came forward to help Sheikh Hasina in fulfilling her desire to build the bridge with skilled engineers and labour force. It’s no denying that for their skill and devotion it becomes possible to complete the construction of the bridge much too early.

The main bridge was built by China Major Bridge Engineering Company (MBEC), a Chinese contractor, while Sino Hydro Corporation, another Chinese company, managed the river. Padma is an unusual river due to its geological features. The morphology of the Padma was extremely unfavourable. River training was a huge challenge. China’s Sinohydro Corporation carried it out. The piles used in the project are the thickest and deepest in the world. According to sources, more than 500 Bangladeshis were among the 4,000 engineers and technicians worked on the project.

The bridge is a national dream, which has come as a reality because of the courage of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and it promises economic progress and prosperity of the South and Southwestern part of the country.

The construction of the bridge done with our own funds defies all the conspiracies against it at home and abroad.  

Self-financed Padma Bridge is a symbol of pride and self-dependence for Bangladesh. The long-cherished dream of millions of Bangladeshis has finally fulfilled with the inauguration of the bridge. 

The Padma Bridge is a multipurpose road-rail bridge across the Padma River. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s courageous leadership and firm determination have made it possible now.

The quality of the bridge is beyond any question. Construction work of mega Padma Bridge was not stopped even for a single day since its inception in December, 2015. Recently Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “We have not compromised on the construction standards of the Padma Bridge. It has been built using the world's latest technology and materials. The total construction process has been completed maintaining the highest standards.”

The construction of the Padma Bridge began in December 2015, with the installation of the first span on the piers 37 and 38, bringing the structure into view in September 2016.

After withdrawal of funding from the Padma Bridge by the World Bank, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina decided to build the bridge by our own finance. The brave decision and visionary leadership of Sheikh Hasina taught the nation to come out of the dependency on others.

Padma Bridge is a blessing for the countrymen as it will connect the people of south and southwestern region with the capital. The bridge will change their living standard and make communications easier. It will help the socio-economic development of millions of people in the south-western part and other parts of the country.

The bridge’s construction started in 2014, and the last span of the 6.15 km- long bridge was laid in December 2021. This journey was not very easy as people of different quarters criticized the initiative and expressed their doubts over the successful construction of the bridge. Brushing aside the criticisms and doubts, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina remained firm to build the masterpiece for the betterment of the countrymen.

The cost of this self-financed mega project in the country has been estimated at BDT 30,193.39 crore. With the completion of the mega project, the GDP growth of the south-western part of the country will increase by 2.5 percent, while the country’s overall GDP growth will increase by 1.23 percent per annum.

The Padma Multipurpose Bridge is a two-level steel truss bridge with a four-lane highway on the upper level and a single-track railway on the lower level. Trading across the country is likely to be further boosted after the opening of the Padma Bridge. Experts estimate an industrial revolution in 21 districts in the southwest, especially within a year of the double-decker bridge’s launch.

The Padma Bridge can no longer be called just a steel-built bridge. Still, it has become the center of Bangladesh’s ability, economic growth, and the emotion of the people.

Economists believe that with the opening of the Padma Bridge, the country's overall development will be boosted. People's income will increase. Various installations will be built on both the sides of the bridge.

It is a matter of pride for every Bengali. People are overwhelmed and enthusiastic on the occasion of Padma Bridge inauguration. Millions of people congratulated and thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on this day of success. It is a historical achievement for all of us. And the successful completion of the mega project is a befitting reply to the conspirators and rumour-mongers. 

Kudos poured to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for taking the country one step ahead to the prosperity and self-dependence.