Toll rates for using Padma Bridge ‘too high’: BNP

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday said the toll rates set by the government for crossing the much-awaited Padma Multipurpose Bridge are ‘too high’.

The BNP leader made the remarks at a press conference at the party chairperson’s Gulshan office.

Replying to a question, he said, “We have not fully studied this issue (toll rates). But it seems to me that the fixed rates are too high.”

He said the commuters will have to pay a lot more than they have to spend now to go to the southern districts.

Fakhrul also said the toll set by the government to use the Padma Bridge is much more proportionately higher than that of crossing the Jamuna Bridge. “The toll rate is almost two-time higher than that of Jamuna Bridge.”

As his attention was drawn to ruling party leaders’ comment that BNP leaders have to use the Padma Bridge with an apology, he said they want to ignore such reckless remarks.

“Is the bridge made with their (AL leaders’) ancestral property? It’s made spending the money of our people. The full money has been taken from the pockets of our people,” the BNP leader observed.

Fakhrul also said the ruling party leaders ‘plundered’ money by spending Tk30,000 crore for a project worth Tk10,000 crore. “So, all these words do not fit in their mouths.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the government finalised the toll rates for different types of vehicles for crossing the Padma Multipurpose Bridge.

The Bridges Division under Road Transport and Bridges Ministry issued a gazette notification in this regard.

According to the notification, Tk 100 toll has been fixed for motorbikes, Tk 750 for private cars and jeeps, Tk 1200 from a pick-up, Tk 1300 for microbus, Tk 1400 for small buses (with 31 seats), Tk 2000 for middle buses (with 32 seats), Tk 2400 for big-size buses, Tk 1600 for small trucks (5 tonnes), Tk 2100 for middle-size trucks (over 5 tonnes to 8 tonnes), Tk 2800 for middle-size trucks (over 8 tonnes to 11 tonnes), Tk 5500 for big trucks (up to 3 excel) Tk 6000 for trailer trucks (4 excel) and Tk 6,000 plus for trailers (over 4 excel).

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on May 11 said the much-hyped Padma Bridge will be inaugurated in June and preparations are going on for its opening.

Source: United News of Bangladesh