Hasina makes her first visit to the Padma Bridge after winning a challenge with the World Bank
Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, accompanied by her sister Sheikh Rehana, visited Padma Bridge for the first time on Friday after winning her challenge with the World Bank, where she pledged the country would complete the project through him- even after his corruption allegations. .
Rejecting the allegations, Sheikh Hasina had, in 2014, questioned the World Bank, announcing that the country would build the bridge with the funds of its people. The corruption allegations have been proven to be unfounded in a Canadian court. An investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) also found no evidence of corruption in the project.
Hasina reached the bridge shortly after 7 a.m. on Friday and took a two-kilometer walk there with her sister, the only survivors of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s family after the August 1975 assassination that virtually wiped her out. .
The Premier looked very happy and content as she inspected the progress of the long-awaited bridge construction.
After attending a breakfast hosted by the Bangladesh Bridge Authority at Janzira Point, Hasina left the area around 10 a.m.
The Padma bridge became visible on September 30, 2017, with the laying of the first span on the pillars 37 and 38. After 38 months, the laying works of all the spans are completed.
After the last span was installed on December 9, the Padma Multipurpose Bridge is now 6,150 meters long and sits directly above the Oland Bridge in Sweden.
The bridge toll plaza, connecting road and other structures fell to Shibchar of Madaripur, as they involve three districts. The length of the bridge over the body of the river is 6.15 km, being connected to 41 spans – each 150 meters long – on 42 pillars.
The two-story metal and concrete bridge allows road transport on the upper floor and trains on the lower floor.
There will be 2,917 pavement slabs for road transport and 2,959 rail slabs for trains. Of these, 1,239 road slabs and 1,860 railway slabs had been installed as of November 30.
In addition, a 4 kilometer viaduct on both sides of the bridge has already been built and it does not include any steel spans.
However, according to project director Md Shafiqul Islam, the bridge works could be completed by 2022 as the works have been delayed due to the pandemic.
In 2007, the executive committee of the National Economic Council approved the Padma Bridge construction project at a cost of 10,162 crore taka.
The bridge was previously scheduled to be commissioned by 2013. Later, project spending was scaled up three times – to 20,507 crore taka in 2011, 28,793 crore taka in 2016 and 30,193 crore taka in 2018. As a result, the cost of the project almost tripled.
The World Bank pledged $ 1,200 million, ADB $ 615 million, JICA $ 415 million and IDB $ 140 million for the $ 2.9 billion Padma Bridge project aimed at improved connectivity for residents of 19 districts in the southwest.