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World hails Sheikh Hasina

Published : 24 Jun 2022 09:30 PM | Updated : 25 Jun 2022 05:16 PM

World hails the construction of the 6.15-kilometre Padma Bridge as the long-wait for the marvelous structure with double-deck rail and road connectivity is over.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday morning will inaugurate this architectural marvel that established a direct link between the capital Dhaka and the south-western 21 districts of Bangladesh.

The bridge is being seen as a symbol of turning around Bangladesh as it has been entirely funded by the government after withdrawal of funding from the project by the World Bank.

The finance ministry provided Bangladesh Bridge Authority an amount of Taka 30,000 crore as credit.

Many people from home and abroad could not believe that the mighty Padma would be bridged without foreign funds. Now the international community is hailing the government for the bridge.

“The United States congratulates Bangladesh on the momentous opening of the Padma Bridge.  Building sustainable transportation infrastructure to connect people and goods efficiently is important to fostering inclusive economic growth.  The Padma Bridge will create new and important linkages within Bangladesh, boosting commerce and improving the quality of life.  It is also another example of Bangladesh’s leadership in promoting regional connectivity in South Asia,” the US embassy said in a statement.

“Warmest congratulations to Bangladesh on the momentous occasion of the opening of the Padma Bridge on the 25th of June. This is an unforgettable moment for the country's development and will add over 1.2 percent to the GDP of the country. We look forward to using the bridge ourselves and to seeing what it does to facilitate people to people, family and commercial links. Congratulations, Bangladesh!” EU head of the delegation in Dhaka Ambassador Charles Whiteley said in a message.

Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer said the Padma Bridge would drive economic growth in the "dynamic" Bay of Bengal region, connecting Bangladeshis more efficiently with its neighbours.

"The bridge should also make it easier to connect Bangladeshis more efficiently with and drive economic growth in the dynamic Bay of Bengal region," he said in a video message.

Bruer said Padma Bridge is a major achievement by and for Bangladeshis and "all Bangladeshis should be proud of it."

"The bridge should give a significant boost to the national economy by reducing travel time and making it easier for people to move around the country, to conduct business and to see their families," he said.

Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Vikram K Doraiswami also congratulated Bangladesh on its achievement in building its longest ever bridge under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s “courageous” decision.

“Congratulations Bangladesh! I congratulate every friend in Bangladesh on this momentous occasion,” he had said.

“I want to specifically say how much we feel as India that this was a continuous and consistently courageous decision of the Honorable Prime Minister (Sheikh Hasina),” he said.

Doraiswami said the Padma Bridge would connect not just the economies of south and western Bangladesh but also connect sub-region and obviously India.

“From that perspective, as a country that has long valued the opportunity to increase connectivity across the sub-region, we in India are delighted,” he said.

Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming called it a symbol of “courage, determination and prosperity.”

He said some overseas development partners did not believe that the Bangladesh government could ever materialize such a mega structure with its own financing, without naming them.

“Nevertheless, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, steeled herself for all the doubts, pressures and allegations”, and decided to build the bridge with Bangladesh’s “own money, 100 percent Bangladesh’s own money,” he had said.

“I doubt, if any average leader of any country could have made such a tough decision as she did, I doubt, I really doubt.”

Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki said that Padma Bridge is a “wonderful milestone of the development journey of Bangladesh as it has been done on its (Bangladesh's) own initiative and funding”.

He also extended his heartfelt congratulations to the government and people of Bangladesh for completion of the Padma Bridge.

Terming the Padma Bridge as a national dream and pride which demonstrates what Bangladesh can do for its economic development and stability, the envoy said it would truly fulfill the growth potential of Bangladesh.

He said the year 2022 of Bangladesh would be remembered by the world with so many examples of quality infrastructure including the inauguration of Padma Bridge this month and metro rail by end of this year.

He recalled Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to Japan in 1996, and said she made a request to the Japanese side for cooperation on two bridges - Padma Bridge and Rupsha Bridge.

"It is gratifying that Japan was able to be part of this (Padma Bridge) project at the very beginning in the manner of conducting a feasibility study," he said.

Pakistan congratulated Bangladesh on the occasion of Padma Bridge inauguration.

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