Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday directed the authorities concerned to establish a museum on Padma Bridge at a suitable place in Bhanga of Faridpur district.
The premier said this while presiding over the 17th ECNEC meeting of the outgoing fiscal year (FY22) held at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.
Sheikh Hasina, also ECNEC Chairperson, joined the meeting virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence in the capital as.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said that the premier directed the authorities concerned to set up a museum on Padma Bridge at a suitable place in Bhanga considering the scenic beauty there as well as the connecting roads and flyovers centering the Padma Bridge.
Some instruments and equipments used for constructing the bridge would also be kept at the museum, he said.
He informed that the prime minister on the inauguration day of the bridge on June 25 would take photos with the workers associated with construction of the bridge alongside the concerned ministers, secretaries, other concerned officials and employees.
Terming the Padma Bridge as a structure of ‘national pride’ and it also reflects the indomitable courage of the prime minister as well as financial capability of the government, Dr Alam said that the overall cost of the bridge was not higher if the inflation is adjusted.
Recalling the background of fund withdrawal from the Bridge by the World Bank and other co-financiers like ADB, JICA, he said it was the premier who stood firm in her commitment to construct the bridge with own funding.
Besides, Dr Alam said apart from him, some eminent economists like Dr Abul Barakat, Dr Atiur Rahman also advocated for the government’s capacity to build the bridge with own funding although many apprehended that it was not possible to construct the bridge without foreign funding.
He said that the Padma Bridge was constructed with a rationale expenditure although the DPP of the project was revised for several times.
Answering to a question, Planning Commission Member Mamun Al Rashid informed that international standard rehabilitation was ensured during the implementation of the bridge with around Taka 12,000 crore while around Tk 12,000 were spent for the main structure of the bridge with less than Tk 2,000 expenditure for per kilometer.
The state minister said the prime minister also asked the authorities concerned to ensure underground utility lines like electricity in the cyclone and disaster prone areas.
Referring to the Dirai-Shalla portion of Madanpur-Dirai-Shalla-Jolshukha-Ajmiriganj district highway with Taka 628.54 crore, he said the prime minister approved the project on condition that bridges would be built in place of proposed culverts as those often hinders the usual flow of water and boats couldn’t move under the culverts.
Dr Alam said the prime minister asked the authorities concerned to build elevated roads in the Haor and low-lying areas so that those could have a life span of 70 to 80 years and to avert maintenance cost and misuse of fund.
He said that additional allocation for incorporating the provision for bridges instead of culverts would also be ensured. Dr Alam mentioned that rats often damage the rural roads.