Bangladesh’s mega bridge to boost economy

Bangladesh’s largest river bridge is expected to bolster country’s economy through a landmark connection between capital Dhaka and the country’s southern region.

Construction of the Padma bridge, a multipurpose road-rail bridge across the Padma River, is expected to be complete by end-2020 and open for plying by mid-2021.

“Our overall progress in construction is 82 percent and currently we are working very smoothly. If nothing unpredictable happens, we must be able to complete it by December 2020”, M Shafiqul Islam, director of the bridge project told foreign  news agency.

This is the largest project in the country’s communication sector in terms of size and expenditure, he added, “And we do not expect another mega project [like this one] in the near future.”

the 6.15-kilometer-long (3.8 miles) billion-dollar project turned into an uncertainty as the World Bank withdrew its promised $1.2 billion loan on allegation of corruption, resulting in then the Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain Hossain to quit in 2012.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, however, brushed aside the corruption charge and declared a challenge to construct the bridge with internal resources.

The strategic bridge was also marked as one of the core campaigning issues of the South Asian country’s national polls in 2014 and 2018.

Promising no more delay, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said last week that the construction works of the bridge project had progressed by 73%.

“We hope to finish the construction of the Padma Bridge by December next year.” Quader said.


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