Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana on Friday made a surprise visit to the Padma Bridge that has set a milestone in the country’s development trajectory.
The prime minister reached the Padma Bridge in a convoy around 7:23am and walked about 2 kilometres from pillar-7 to pillar-18 with her sister during the visit, reports UNB Munshiganj correspondent.
Later, they had breakfast at Service Area-2 at Jazira Point. The prime minister left for Dhaka around 10am.
Dewan Abdul Quader, executive engineer of the Padma Bridge project, said the prime minister was very happy seeing the progress of the bridge, the much-awaited dream project of the nation.
Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam, Deputy Commissioner of Munshiganj Kazi Nahid Rasul and Shariatpur Deputy Commissioner Md Parvez Hasan were also present during Sheikh Hasina’s visit.
On December 26, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said the eye-catching bridge will be inaugurated in June 2022 as per the target.
The prime minister inaugurated the construction work on the mega project on December 12, 2015.
China Major Bridge Engineering Corporation (MBEC) was appointed for the main bridge work. The steel material bridge’s length is 6.15km, viaduct 3.148km (road), 532m (rail), approach road – 12.117km, and span – 41 (with each span being 150 metres long).
The project was first approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) with an estimated cost of Tk10,161 crore in 2007.
Following irreconcilable differences with the World Bank arising out of the issue of financing in 2012, the government decided to go for it alone.
The second revision of the project was approved by Ecnec on January 5, 2016, with an estimated cost of Tk28,794 to be implemented by 2018. Without changing the project proposal, the costs were increased again to Tk30,193 crore In June 2018.
On October 14, last year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened the construction work on a rail link between Dhaka and Jashore under the “Padma Bridge Rail Link Construction Project.”
The first phase of the Padma Bridge Rail Link Construction Project will establish a rail link between Mawa and Bhanga via Janjira and Shibchar through the Padma Multipurpose Bridge.
This will connect Dhaka, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Shariatpur, Madaripur, Faridpur, Gopalganj, Narail and Jashore.
China Railway Group, a Chinese government-nominated contractor, is implementing the project under the China G2G system.
Shedding a label of “basket case”
Once written off as a “basket case” 50 years ago by then US President’s national security adviser Henry Kissinger, Bangladesh has made a miracle in its development journey by proving its ability to continue the development process. Now it has rolled out a roadmap to become a developing nation by 2041.
Having a long memory, like its people, Bangladesh is now set to become the 34th largest economy by 2025.
Source: United News of Bangladesh