National, Front Page

Sheikh Hasina did it!

People thank the Prime Minister

Published : 10 Dec 2020 10:56 PM | Updated : 11 Dec 2020 01:09 AM

People on Thursday thanked Bangabandhu’s daughter, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and expressing gratitude said, the long cherished dream of millions of people, the Padma Bridge, has now come true.

They came up with these reactions after the installation of the last span of the Padma Bridge. 

Echoing the same sentiments on Thursday, people of almost all walks of life said Sheikh Hasina did the great job amid conspiracies hatched by the World Bank, and other aid agencies at home and abroad after removing many hurdles.

“If the leadership is far-sighted, and if there is goodwill, no obstacle can deviate a nation from reaching its goal.Our great liberation war in 1971 and Padma Bridge are excellent examples of this,” former Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University AAMS Arefin Siddique told Bangladesh Post.

He also said, “When the World Bank moved away from financing the Padma Bridge, many people thought that ‘Padma Bridge’ was just a fantasy. At the time, even a minister of the government expressed doubts over the implementation of Padma Bridge. But, our visionary, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina then decided to build the Bridge with our own funds. Now, it has become true.”

Mazharul Isalm Rifat, Assistant Director of Bangladesh Tourism Board, told Bangladesh Post, “The Bridge will initiate a ‘tourism and transportation revolution’ in the 21 southwestern districts of the country. Tourists want better transportation. From that point of view, Padma Bridge is a milestone.”

“The Padma Bridge, itself, is now a tourist spot. Many people from all over the country are now going to visit the Bridge. Besides, tourism in the southern areas of the country including Sundarbans, Naogaon, Paharpur will greatly flourish through the Bridge,” he added.

“We are very happy today. It’s another victory of the country ahead of the ‘Glorious Victory Day on December 16’. December 10 in 2020 is a very memorable day for every Bengali national. It is the day when the country completed the installation of the last span of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge, making the entire structure of the multi-purpose bridge, 6.15 kilometres, visible,” said Mahbub Hasan Sarabon, a Dhaka University student.

Meanwhile, the local people at Mawa in Munshiganj and Jajira in Shariatpur expressed satisfaction after the installation of the last span of Padma Bridge. Large numbers of people gathered on the river bank to witness history.

They were delighted and also hopeful that the rest of the work on the Padma Bridge will be completed within the stipulated time.

Abdul Khaleq, a tea shop owner in Shimulia, said, “The dream Padma Bridge has been implemented. We are happy that the work is almost over today. We hope that our business will increase to a great extent with the launch of the bridge.”

Nur Mohammad, a resident of Ranigaon village under Louhajong police station, said, “All the people of the country are satisfied with the construction of the Padma Bridge. By fulfilling the demand of the people through the Padma Bridge, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has shown the world that nothing is impossible.”

“If the Padma Bridge is opened, the communication and transportation system will be better. Our business will grow. As a result, many people will get employment opportunities,” he added.

Kamrul Afsar Hillol, a doctor at Shibchar Upazila Health Complex in Madaripur, told Bangladesh Post, “We have to wait for hours for ferries to reach the other side of the Padma. As soon as the Padma Bridge is completed, people will be able to come and go while patients will get improved treatment. The Padma Bridge will also benefit people in many other areas, including trade and commerce.”

Chattogram University Professor, educationist Emdadul Haque told Bangladesh Post. “We are feeling happy today. The long-cherished dream of the people of the country is about to come true. As a Bangladeshi, I am very proud that our government has met the challenge of completing the Padma Bridge with its own funds.”

According to the Japanese aid agency JICA’s feasibility study, once the bridge is complete, the GDP will grow by 1.23 percent. The GDP of the southwest region will increase by 2.3 percent. 

Mongla Port and Benapole land port will then have direct road connection with the capital Dhaka and also the port city Chattogram.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the bridge on 4 July 2001. After detailed study, in 2004 JICA advised that the bridge be constructed at Mawa-Jajira. 

The expenditure of Padma bridge project, approved by ECNEC in 2007, was Tk 101.62 billion (Tk 10,162 crore). In 2011 the expenditure was hiked to Tk 205.07 billion (Tk 20,507 crore).

Revisions in 2016 brought the cost up to Tk 287.93 billion (Tk 28,793 crore). Then, in June 2018, the cost again increased to Tk 301.93 billion (Tk 30,193 crore).