Special Supplement

Govt fulfils people’s dream through Padma Bridge

Published : 24 Jun 2022 09:20 PM | Updated : 25 Jun 2022 05:30 PM

The Awami League government has fulfilled dreams of millions of people by constructing the long-cherished Padma Multipurpose Bridge with own financing.

"The dream bridge over the mighty river Padma has established a direct link between the capital Dhaka and the southwestern districts of the country," Project Director of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Md Shafiqul Islam told BSS.

He said millions of people are waiting to celebrate the memorable and historic day for the country, as the government will open the 6.15 kilometre double-deck rail-road bridge over the Padma on June 25.

Deputy Minister for Water Resources AKM Enamul Haque Shamim said the opening ceremony of the Padma Bridge will be the most memorable festival in the history of the country on the banks of the Padma River.

"A vested group hatched conspiracy against construction of the bridge. But no conspiracy could hinder the honesty, sincerity and courage of Bangabandhu's daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina," he said.

Conspiracy has also started centering the inauguration of the bridge but no conspiracy will succeed, he added.

Talking to BSS, Md Moniruzzaman, a frequent traveler on the Jhalakathi-Dhaka route, said the visionary and dynamic leader Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has successfully completed the bridge and materialised dream of millions of people into reality.

"People from all walks of life including women, elderly persons and students are ready to celebrate the inaugural ceremony of the bridge as Jananetree Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will open it at 10 am on June 25," he said.

Earlier, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said that the 6.15 kilometre long Padma Bridge is the symbol of dignity as well as revenge to humiliation.

"It is the dream bridge of Sheikh Hasina. The Padma Bridge is the golden outcome of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's courage, which proved our ability and capacity," he said.

Quader, also Awami League General Secretary, said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the worthy daughter of Father f the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was determined to construct the Padma Bridge with own finance.

He said she has built the bridge and showed the world that Bangabandhu's Bangladesh has capacity and capability to construct such a mega structure.

Besides, Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord Implementation and Monitoring Committee Convener Abul Hasanat Abdullah recently said the incumbent government has built a safe, durable, eco-friendly and affordable communication network to make an advanced Bangladesh.

"The government has built Padma Multipurpose Bridge to make the communication system as industry and business friendly," he told journalist after visiting the Padma Bridge site at Shibchar in Shariatpur district.

Hasanat said it has been possible to build the Padma Bridge because of the courageous role of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, adding, "Bangladesh is moving forward under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina."

According to an economist, the Padma Multipurpose Bridge will change the economic landscape of southwestern Bangladesh, as well as it will connect many countries of South and Southeast Asia and contribute to communication, trade, industry, tourism and many other sectors in various ways.

He said once the long-cherished Padma Bridge is inaugurated on June 25, it is expected that the volume of external trade will go up through the country's ports located in its southwestern region.

"The Mongla seaport will be more operational after the opening of the Padma Bridge," said Prof Anwarul Qadir, a prominent educationist and director of the Sundarbans Academy.

Observing that this would also attract traders to invest in the southwestern region, he said imports and exports from Mongla and Payra seaports and Benapole and Bhomra land ports will increase.

The educationist anticipated that the Padma Bridge will allure entrepreneurs to set up new industries in the region.

Political experts said that the Padma Bridge is the largest construction infrastructure since the independence of Bangladesh.

According to Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) officials, some 22 meters wide concrete deck slab (2.5 meters hard shoulder on the both side) with 4 lane road on upper deck, while a single track dual gauge rail will be constructed on lower deck. The deck height is 13.6 meters. The bridge is being built with 760mm dia Gas Transmission Line, 150mm dia Fiber optical & Telephone Duct, High voltage Electric Line, Platform in River over Pile Foundation at 2km downstream of Main Bridge.

The construction of the main bridge was carried out by China Major Bridge Engineering Company (MBEC), a Chinese contractor Company, and the river management was done by Sino Hydro Corporation of China, they said.

According to project details, the construction work began in December, 2015 with government's own fund.

The estimated cost for construction of the bridge is Taka 30193 crore. The first span of the Padma Bridge was installed at the Janjira point of Shariatpur on October 7, 2017.

This was followed by the installation of the second span on January 28, 2018. The third span was installed on March 11, 2018. The fourth and fifth spans of the bridge were installed on May 13 and June 29 respectively.