National, Back Page

Millions wait for Padma Bridge inauguration

Published : 01 Jan 2022 09:54 PM

Millions of people of the country have been eagerly waiting for June 30 this year, as it is the much expected date for opening of the dream Padma Multipurpose Bridge to traffic.

According to economists, the government is optimistic that Padma Bridge will boost the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by 1.5-2 percent, as the entire bridge has already been visible as over 98 percent works of the main bridge have already been completed so far.

"We're working hard to open the bridge to traffic within the stipulated date," Md Shafiqul Islam, project director of Padma Multipurpose Bridge told BSS Saturday.

He said the overall progress of work of the Padma bridge project is over 89 percent.

Islam said the dream bridge of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the worthy daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is being implemented with the country's own fund.

"Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has challenged the World Bank and other lending agencies by demonstrating her government's zero tolerance to

corruption in the construction of the Mega Bridge," the official said.

The dream 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.

Political experts observed that with the implementation of Padma Bridge project, one of the major election pledges of Awami League led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is going to be materialized.

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 installed 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 two km downstream of Main Bridge.

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

According to project details, the construction work began on December 12, 2015 with government's own fund.

The first span of the Padma Bridge was installed at the Jajira point of Shariatpur on October 7, 2017. "It seemed that the dream of millions of people, especially those in the southern region of the country, has become true," the official added.

He said that the government has faced many challenges to construct the 6.15 kilometer-long Padma Bridge over the mighty river Padma with own fund. Along with Bangladeshis, Chinese, American, British, Indian and Japanese nationals are working round the clock on the project. 

The southern region will become the country's biggest economic zone after opening of the Padma Bridge.